The Sin Chew Daily, through its Wishing Tree Programme, is organising two half-day seminars on Independent Living for People with Disabilities. The seminars will be held in Penang and Kuala Lumpur respectively. The four topics that will be covered are:
- Introduction to Independent Living
- Practice of Independent Living in other countries
- Effect of Independent Living on Disabled Persons and their families
- Independent Living in the Malaysian context
The main target audience are disabled persons, especially those who are severely disabled, and family members who are acting as carers for disabled persons. The practice of Independent Living empowers disabled persons to take charge of their own lives. At the same time, it would lift the burden off the carer and family.
The Independent Living Movement has long taken root in the USA. The first Centre for Independent Living (CIL) was established in Berkeley in 1972. In the Asia-Pacific region, the first CIL, named the Human Care Association, was set up in Tokyo in 1986. From Japan, it has spread to South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, and now to Malaysia.
It is still in its infancy stages here. My goal, which is also the common goal of all my colleagues in the Society for Independent Living in Penang, is to set up a CIL to support severely disabled persons desiring to practice Independent Living. This seminar and the ongoing courses that I have been conducting in Penang will one of several steps that we are taking to promote our vision.
Here, I would like to extend an invitation to everyone who is interested to learn what Independent Living is all about to the seminar in Penang. We would like to work with the community to dispel misconceptions about disabled persons and work towards a goal that is mutually beneficial for all.
Seminar on Independent Living for People with Disabilities
Date: August 19, 2006 (Saturday)
Time: 2.00-5.00 pm
Venue: Sin Chew Media Corporation’s Hall
67, Jalan Macalister, 10400 Penang (Opposite UMNO Building)
Language: English and Hokkien with Mandarin translation
Details of the seminar in Kuala Lumpur on August 27 will be published later in this blog and in the Centre for Independent Living Penang Forum. For further information on the seminars, I can be contacted at 013-340 3728.