Sunday October 14, 2012
We need inclusive initiatives for the disabled
THE recent initiatives proposed by a group of disabled individuals to the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), as reported in Pressing issues for the disabled (Wheel Power, Living, Sept 27) by Anthony Thanasayan, are both modest and reasonable. They address the assistance desired, directed to the individual as well as other structural issues which will go a long way towards making Malaysian society more inclusive.
It is a shame when the government’s much applauded “transformation” initiatives which seek to improve and enhance our standard of living take scant account of the needs of sections of our society who, through little fault of their own, are/become disadvantaged. Disabled people are not asking for special treatment, but for a mature society to accommodate their needs so as to facilitate their fuller participation in society.
As Thanasayan rightly points out, the government needs to spell out how it will care for people with disabilities, or at the very least, in my view, come out with measures to support care-givers and individuals and organisations who provide such support and care. 1Malaysia must therefore go beyond rhetoric in the eyes of all sections of the community, including people living with disabilities.