Badan Latihan dan Hidup Berdikari Malaysia (ILTC) pada 23hb Mac 2016 menyerahkan memorandum kepada ahli-ahli parlimen mendesak supaya golongan orang kurang upaya (OKU) dikecualikan daripada cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan (GST).

Disabled Members Protest

Disabled Members Protest
Disabled Members Protest at JPJ Wangsa Maju

ILTC Malaysia members staged a protest outside JPJ Wangsamaju KL.

ILTC Malaysia members staged a protest outside JPJ Wangsamaju KL.
Disabled group’s protest disabled drivers required to produce doc's medical report.

Friday, 12 December 2008

In need of facilities

Thursday December 11, 2008

In need of facilities

Despite so much awareness created, only a few government bodies are making life easier for the disabled.
LAST week began with such a nightmare.

The one thing that most active persons in wheelchairs frequently worry about suddenly happened to me.

And of all things, it happened on Dec 3, the day each year on which the world celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).

I was at a Government-sponsored function to observe the occasion when all hell broke loose.

A major war was going on inside my tummy, and I was about to explode. Generally, when a person in a wheelchair has to go, he really has to go!

My only consolation (or so I foolishly assumed at the time) was that I was fortunately in a disabled training centre with several hundred handicapped people.

Together with help from an able-bodied friend, we made a dash to the nearest restroom with a wheelchair logo. To our horror, there was no toilet bowl in it!

We raced to the only other men’s toilet at the other end of the building only to find a cramped space. Not only was it wrongly designed, but it was also poorly maintained.

There was no toilet seat or toilet rolls. There were not enough grab bars to hold on to and the one that was there was fixed at the wrong spot.

In fact, there would have been no way I could transfer myself onto the throne had my friend not been there to help.

The place was so tight that it was amazing how we managed to do it at all. My friend heaved and puffed and had to perform a couple of unbelievable acrobatic feats to finally get me out of my chair.

To prevent soiling my clothes, I was forced to strip down to my birthday suit with my helper in the cramped cubicle all the time because I could not reach the door to shut it.

To think that the IDPD’s focus this year was on “dignity and justice”, and here I was, ironically being robbed of both on an that particular day.

That unpleasant episode lasted for more than an hour. I felt even more guilty as I had prevented many other disabled people from using the facilities all that time.

Apart from the drama in the restroom, I was told that the ­disabled were not served at the meal table until some of them com­­plained about it. It was the VIP able-bodied persons who had the privilege of waiters attending to them.

It was also sad to note that all the official vans by the government used to transport their staff were not designed for wheelchairs.

One would have thought that after all the awareness created about disabled persons and their needs (including by the authorities), at least one or two vehicles would have such features by now.

On the contrary, I was inform­ed that currently none of the vehicles owned by the Govern­ment are wheelchair-friendly.

The next day, however, was much better.

This time, I found myself with a group of disabled persons in Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya.

We were there as part of a new initiative by the Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) to make the entire stretch of pavement on Jalan Gasing friendly to all persons, especially the disabled and the elderly.

The MBPJ project is part of the city council’s mission to create a liveable city for all its residents.

What this means is that the present pathway will have to undergo various changes. Narrow passageways will have to be widened to allow access to wheelchairs.

Proper kerb cuts will need to be provided to allow wheelchairs and prams to access the pavements. Bus stops will also need to be accessible.

Street furniture will have to be rearranged. These include signboards, postboxes, lamp posts and even trees that cause obstruction to pedestrians.

Open drains will have to be covered so that the blind (and children) do not fall into them.

Tactile flooring to help the blind move about independently and traffic lights with audible alerts to tell them when to cross the road, will have to be provided.

Once these changes are implemented, the disabled will no longer feel imprisoned in their homes.

Even though there is presently no disabled-friendly public transport, they will at least be able to go out to the nearest shop, religious building or hospital like the rest of society.

The MBPJ project is expected to be completed by next March.

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