Going the distance for the disabled: The Star – June 12, 2012

Tuesday June 12, 2012
Going the distance for the disabled

THERE may be many disabled-friendly facilities in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) but there is still room for improvement, said USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Asma Ismail.

She said there was a special committee to look into accessibility for disabled staff and students in the university.

“But there’s room for improvement.

“We’ll try to have more facilities but it takes time and the budget also comes into consideration,” she said.

She was officiating at the Disability Equality Training workshop at USM’s School of Social Sciences recently.

Prof Asma added that the understanding gained from the workshop would certainly give an accurate picture of the needs of physically challenged students and staff in the university.

“It will enable the university to prepare a plan to improve access for the disabled as much as possible,” she said.

“Although this group is a minority in USM, their presence contributes to the success of the university,” she added.

The workshop was initiated by a disabled undergraduate from the School of Social Sciences, Khu Li Fang, 29.

It was aimed at providing awareness on the facilities required for the disabled.

In his presentation, workshop facilitator Peter Tan Hua Choon said that around 10% of the world’s population or 650 million people lived with a disability.

The workshop also discussed topics such as independent living, approaches and processes, as well as drawing up an action plan to resolve problems faced by disabled people.

On The Air Live With Tim Abbott In Technical Difficulties

Resonance104.4fm is the world’s first radio art station, established by London Musicians’ Collective. The non-profit community radio station broadcasts from Borough High Street in London. On Fridays at 3.30pm GMT, Tim Abbott hosts the half-hourly show called Technical Difficluties which touches on disability issues around the world. Tim (@lightchronic) and I connected with each other in Twitter through Zashnain Zainal(@bedlamfury), a mutual Twitter acquaintance.

Tim invited me to go on the air live interview with him in the show last Friday. That was my first one-on-one live radio show with a station in the United Kingdom. Among the topics we covered were my experience with disability, and the built environment and public transport in Malaysia. I made three pages of notes on the points that I wanted to share prior to the programme. In the end, I did not use any of them as Tim was very good in leading the direction of our conversation and made me feel well at ease to talk openly about those issues. Click here to listen or download the podcast.