As a DET (Disability Equality Training) trainer, I conduct workshops to facilitate the understanding of disability issues. At the end of these workshops, participants would have sufficient knowledge on the causes of disability and made a commitment to break environmental and attitudinal barriers in their work places or organisations.
Imagine to my horror, and embarrassment as a DET trainer, when a road hump was built across the road right next to the driveway to our house a few days ago. Wuan and I were not aware of it until she told me the next morning when she went out to discard the garbage.
We were neither informed nor asked if we consented to have the hump put up outside our house, as is the usual procedure when such a request is submitted to the municipal council, in this case, the Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya (MPAJ).
In the past, I have worked with MPAJ to make the surrounding areas in the housing estate more accessible. I have also given a presentation on the build environment barriers at a dialogue session with disabled people, government agencies and the private sectors organised by the municipal council. In addition to that, I have held meetings with policians (links here and here) and municipal councillors serving this constituency with regards to making Pandan Perdana more accessible to disabled people.
Therefore, imagine how flabbergasted I was when I saw the hump. All the effort in breaking barriers around the place I now call home has come to nought. To add insult to injury, there is now a formidable barrier right at my doorstep. I have filed a complaint with MPAJ and awaiting the response from their engineering department responsible for infrastructure maintenance.
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.
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.