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, 15 September 2011

A big step forward

Thursday September 15, 2011

A big step forward

Local councils get a nudge in the right direction.

SYABAS to Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil for playing an instrumental role last week in persuading the Cabinet to make a positive move in the interest of the country’s disabled community.

The minister succeeded in getting her colleagues to push for the appointment of people with disabilities (PWDs) in special committees in every local council.

This is to ensure that basic issues such as accessibility will no longer be overlooked and neglected by city and town council planners and engineers.

The move follows a similar directive given by Selangor Chairman of the Local Government, Study and Research Committee Ronnie Liu to all 12 local councils in the state earlier in the year.

I think it is great that both these politicians have put aside their party’s differences momentarily in such an exemplary way to focus on the handicapped community which is struggling with the most basic issues.

They have pointed out that if disabled people are ever going to catch up with the rest of the nation, it must start with the local councils.

To put it in a nutshell, when the disabled are able to use the pavements or access buildings with their wheelchairs, only then will they be able to find jobs, take care of themselves and live like the rest of society.

No amount of admonition from politicians is going to make a difference for the more than 10% of the population, coupled with the growing number of elderly citizens, if local councils do not get into the act.

As chairman of Petaling Jaya City Council’s technical committee on disability, here are some tips from MBPJ for those who are unsure of how to get a committee going or what to do after that:

> Choose your PWDs wisely. Although it is imperative to have people with handicaps in the meetings, make sure the ones you pick will be able to contribute. There is no time to lose, so do not get people who will just warm the seats. The ones picked must be serious, dedicated and knowledgeable. This may require some orientation and exposure of how councils operate to give each PWD an idea of what is expected of them.

> Have meetings once a month: There is so much to catch up on and monthly meetings will help to get things going.

> Have a wide and varied representation: Don’t only think of those in wheelchairs. It’s vital to get others like the blind, the deaf, people with learning disabilities, little people and even the elderly with physical problems. Don’t forget parents of PWDs, too. They often have great ideas but don’t have the opportunity to voice them.

> Invite active NGOs: Think of support groups for people with stroke, Parkinson’s and even epilepsy, not just people with physical disabilities or those in wheelchairs. People with walking disabilities have a lot to contribute, especially in the way pavements are designed. Having said that, don’t forget individuals with disabilities as well. Because many of them may have been locked away in their homes as the local councils had forgotten about their needs, they may present the best ideas.

> Provide or pay for their transport: This is the least councils can do for their invaluable input.

> Approve new buildings only when they get the blessing of the committee. The PWDs’ views should go hand-in-hand with the local councils’ engineering and planning department.

> Organise regular site visits: Each local council should organise regular visits to the new buildings during construction to make sure that everything is in order.

> Hold social awareness programmes: International Day for the Disabled on Dec 3 and other special days such as Parkinson’s Day, World Mental Health Day, Older Persons Day and White Cane Day are all excellent opportunities for local councils to highlight and involve the public.

> Exemplary certificates as recognition: Identify buildings, restaurants and even homes for the disabled and elderly that provide proper facilities and appreciate them for their deeds. This is a very effective way to get more outfits to create a better world for PWDs.

> Slow and steady will get you there: Don’t be in a rush to get everyone on board. You can invite them over the weeks and months. Starting small will also help you to make sure that you have the right people on board who can help you reach your target.

So to all the local councils everywhere: Good luck!

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