The second day of the training for the Return To Work Section staff of PERKESO entailed actual site audit. Participants were divided into five groups accompanied by a facilitator each. I was assigned to Group 4 that was to audit Menara PERKESO, the organisation’s headquarters at Jalan Ampang. Incidentally, several participants of the group worked there, which made the exercise easier as they were familiar with the premises.
Menara PERKESO at Jalan Ampang – Headquarters of the Social Security Organisation Malaysia
Making photographic record for access audit of an accessible parking at Menara PERKESO.
Members of the group that I facilitated displayed great enthusiasm and initiative during the site audit. Although time allocated for this practice was limited, they tried to cover as much ground as possible. If only the officers of local governments showed half as much spirit in ensuring that the built environment is accessible, the infrastructure would not be in the situation it is now where disabled people face great difficulties with barriers all over the place.
Measuring public telephone and toilet seat height at Menara PERKESO.
Group presentation on findings and recommendations at Audit Access Training for PERKESO’s Return To Work Section.
Participants were required to make a presentation of their findings and make recommendations according to the Malaysian Standard MS 1184: Code of Practice on Access for Disabled Persons to Public Buildings. Generally, all of them have a good grasp of various barriers in the buildings that they audited. In fact, I was surprised at how detailed their findings were. What they need now is more practice in producing an audit report with precise recommendations that is useful to building owners and contractors rectifying the problems. In summing it up, I would say the participants did well and PERKESO is doing the right things where disability issues are concerned.
Group photo at conclusion of Audit Access Training for PERKESO’s Return To Work Section.
Tags: access audit, Akta OKU 2008, Akta Orang Kurang Upaya 2008, disabled people Malaysia, MS 1183, MS 1184, MS 1331, Naziaty Yaacob, OKU, orang kurang upaya, PERKESO, Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial Malaysia, Social Security Organisation Malaysia, SOCSO, SOCSO Return to Work Program, UBBL 34A, Undang-Undang Kecil 34A Undang-Undang Kecil Bangunan Seragam
The Return to Work Department of PERKESO (Social Security Organisation Malaysia) is running a 2-day Access Audit Training for 36 case managers and placement officers starting today. Dr. Naziaty Yaacob is the chief facilitator, assisted by four co-facilitators, for this workshop held at the Kuala Lumpur PERKESO office.
Simulation exercise of person with low vision outside the Kuala Lumpur Perkeso Office.
The purpose of this workshop is to familiarise participants with barriers in the built-environment, conduct access audits and furnish recommendations for workplaces of disabled members of the organisation under the Return to Work Programme.
We will be conducting access audits of five buildings and their surroundings tomorrow morning, namely the Intercontinental Hotel, Boulevard Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, Wisma PERKESO at Jalan Tun Razak and Menara PERKESO Jalan Ampang which is the headquarters of the organisation. I will be facilitating the team auditing Menara PERKESO headed by Tuan Roshaimi bin Mat Rosely, Manager of Return to Work Section.
Tags: access audit, Akta OKU 2008, Akta Orang Kurang Upaya 2008, disabled people Malaysia, MS 1183, MS 1184, MS 1331, Naziaty Yaacob, OKU, orang kurang upaya, PERKESO, Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial Malaysia, Social Security Organisation Malaysia, SOCSO, UBBL 34A, Undang-Undang Kecil 34A Undang-Undang Kecil Bangunan Seragam, wheelchair user Malaysia
Casuarina tree outside Restoran Khaleel blocking almost the entire sidewalk at Gurney Drive.
Continuing from my previous entry regarding the lack of kerb ramps to the seafront promenade at Gurney Drive, there actually are quite a number of them across the road. The first kerb ramp is outside Evergreen Laurel Hotel where the blind man crossing sign is. However, there is no ramp to get off the sidewalk at the other end.
The subsequent kerb ramps outside the Zealand Cafe, Carnation Cafe and Song River Cafe are either poorly constructed or lead to sidewalks blocked by trees, phone booth or lamp posts. Wuan and I encountered a lamp post right in the middle of a sidewalk reminiscent of the one that we maneuvered around at Pandan Perdana and fell off the pavement and onto the road.
Lamp post right in the middle of sidewalk at the junction of Persiaran Gurney – Jalan Birch.
When these sidewalks are not blocked by trees or street furniture, we encountered vehicles indiscriminately parked on the driveways and blocking access to the kerb ramps. In the end, I had to go on the road, too, and face oncoming traffic passing by inches away just like what I experienced the day before.
Wuan and I had gallivanted around Gurney Drive several times before this and I wonder how we managed then. We must have had more courage back then. Or perhaps we had faith in drivers in Penang to be careful and considerate. The accessible facilities for disabled people in Gurney Drive are simply built without much thought and consideration, and are a danger not only to disabled people but non-disabled pedestrians as well.
Indiscriminately parked vehicle blocking access to kerb ramp at Gurney Drive.
Like I have repeated so many times before, building a ramp does not make it wheelchair friendly, handicapped friendly or disabled friendly, whatever we choose to call these facilities. They must be safe to use and barrier free. The ones at Gurney Drive are not. They fall short of even the most basic of requirements.
The people at Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (MPPP) must take note of these matters seriously. It is a matter of life and death for disabled people when we have to go on the road to move from one point to another. It is not that difficult to make good kerb ramps and sidewalks that are barrier free. But I see the same mistakes being duplicated all over all the time.
Helo? There is a phone booth blocking the sidewalk at Gurney Drive.
This issue is not unique only to Gurney Drive, or Penang for that matter. Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya (MPAJ) and Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh (MBI), to name a few, all build facilities that are mostly non-usable by disabled people despite of the availability of Malaysian Standard MS 1184: Code of Practice for Access for Disabled Persons to Buildings and Malaysian Standard MS 1331: Code of Practice for Access of Disabled Persons Outside Buildings
The engineers, architects and whoever are in charge of such infrastructure in the local governments are not doing their job properly. Two years after coming into force, the Akta Orang Kurang Upaya (Persons with Disabilities Act) rings hollow for disabled people whose right of equal access to public facilities are still being overlooked and ignored.
Tags: access audit, accessible tourism, Akta OKU 2008, Akta Orang Kurang Upaya 2008, curb ramp, disabled people Malaysia, footpath, Gurney Drive, kerb ramp, Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh, Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya, Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang, MBI, MPAJ, MPPP, MS 1184, MS 1331, Persons with Disabilities Act 2008, sidewalk, street furniture, wheelchair user Malaysia