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.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Concerns of the disabled

Thursday July 14, 2011

Concerns of the disabled

Wheel Power
By Anthony Thanasayan

The lack of sensitivity surrounding people with handicapping conditions is not just limited to the general public.

A MAJOR seminar involving local councils in Selangor took place in Petaling Jaya last month. The focus was on how to improve the quality of lives of Malaysians with disabilities in their constituencies.

Here are some of the chief concerns raised by the participants who included persons with disabilities in the round table discussions.

Lack of awareness

Despite a significant increase in awareness regarding disabled people over the past few years, participants felt that there was plenty of room for more non-disabled people to get to know about disability issues.

It was noted that the lack of sensitivity surrounding people with handicapping conditions was not just limited to the general public.

The Government, in particular the local authorities, have far to go in understanding and appreciating the needs of residents with disabilities, including the elderly.

The private sector is not much better. Businesses, developers and even professionals are also out of touch with disability issues. It was pointed out that this was obviously one of the main reasons why the needs of the disabled community were often sidelined.

Because of this complete disregard of disabled people’s basic needs such as access to buildings and the outside built environment, many of these vital facilities are not put in place.

Adding such facilities to buildings now can be expensive. However, that should not deter anyone or be used as an excuse for not righting a wrong.

With this background, the discussion groups stressed that the needs of the disabled should be an essential consideration in all the planning departments, especially among the local councils.

Monitoring and enforcement

Once the necessary disabled-friendly facilities are in place, there should be follow-ups to check for non-compliance. Local councils must ensure that new buildings without disability access are not approved. Parking lots for the disabled should only be used by physically disabled drivers. The authorities should take prompt action against abusers of such facilities by slapping the maximum compound. No discounts should be given. Vehicles of offenders should be towed away. Otherwise, there is no need to provide such facilities in the first place when the disabled themselves can’t use them.

Budget for the disabled

All local councils should set aside a generous budget for the needs of disabled residents. This is only fair considering that this important community has been left out for so long. Only with enough funds and prompt action will our society be able to “turn back the clock” in making things right for the handicapped in the area of development.

Get the designs right

Redevelopment projects for the handicapped should be comprehensive. Great care must be taken to ensure that all designs are uniform in terms of standards. For example, toilets for the disabled which carry different designs will only confuse users and stress them out. Every effort should be made to ensure that older designs are improved to meet present-day needs.

Feedback should be obtained from people with a wide variety of disabilities, to have a better understanding of their needs. Special attention should be given to pavements which must be friendly to both wheelchairs-users and the blind. This is a common oversight as some local councils only cater to one category of disability.

Connectivity of accessible points should also be carefully observed. It is common to find one stretch of pavement made for the disabled, and another neglected.

Maintenance of facilities for the handicapped is imperative in ensuring a barrier-free environment for all.

Feedback needed

Set up a technical disability group comprising end users. This is the most effective way to get projects going within a local council.

Ensure that there are representatives from a wide range of disabilities, for example, the blind, Deaf, wheelchairs users, people with walking difficulties, little people and Parkinson’s patients.

There is nothing like getting the proper input direct from the horse’s mouth. The committee must meet at least once a month to get the momentum going.

The Petaling Jaya City Council is, to my knowledge, the only local authority with this model. Efforts are currently underway to have similar committees in Selayang, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang soon.

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