Disability Equality Training For University Of Malaya Disability Liaison Officers

The Students Affairs Division (Bahagian Hal Ehwal Pelajar) of University of Malaya organised a 2-1/2 day Disability Equality Training (DET) workshop from 28th to 30th November for its Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs). This is a newly created position. The DLOs comprise principals and supervisors from all the residential colleges and academic staff. They are the resource persons on disability matters for students and staff of the university.

Peter Tan facilitating DET Workshop for Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs)
Peter Tan facilitating the Disability Equality Training (DET) Workshop at University of Malaya.
Photo by Wuan.

The objectives of this workshop were to identify and include good practices in their work following the Social Model of Disability and to develop a roadmap on implementation of inclusive facilities and services in campus. The fact that the participants already have a basic understanding of disability issues made my work as their facilitator easier.

UM Disability Liaison Officers at DET Workshop
University of Malaya Disability Liaison Officers at the Disability Equality Training Workshop.
Photo by Wuan.

The various DET modules reinforced and expanded the DLOs’ existing knowledge about disability in a logical and easy to understand method. We covered topics like the Social Model of Disability and Medical Model of Disability, and examined the differences between impairment and disability, disabled person and person with disabilities, and worked on paradigm-changing exercises using the open box solution to solve problems. These are the crucial knowledge that the DLOs need when they deal with disability matters.

Group 2 presenting their action plan.
Photo by Wuan.

The workshop concluded with the DLOs coming out with feasible action plans to improve on the existing services and facilities for disabled students. These include coming out with a Standard Operating Procedures for DLOs, increasing the availability of documents in accessible formats and an accessibility map of the campus. These plans are a good start in making DLOs understand their roles and at the same time provide useful information to disabled students who may need them.

Group 3 presenting their action plan.
Photo by Wuan.

It was a privilege to be a facilitator to this faculty of academics, all of whom are experts on their respective fields of study. I would like to record my gratitude to Puan Halimaton Attan, Head Assistant Registrar, and Puan Maznah Azis, Psychology Officer of the Counseling, Career & Disability Section of the Division of Student Affairs, for initiating this workshop and their support in seeing it to a successful conclusion. I hope this will be the catalyst to make University of Malaya a fully accessible campus.

Group 1 presenting their action plan.
Photo by Wuan.

Group photo with Disability Liaison Officers of University of Malaya.
Photo by Wuan.

Disability Equality Training For JOCV And Malaysian Counterparts

Thirty members from the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and their Malaysian counterparts from various disability-related governmental agencies participated in a one-day Disability Equality Training (DET) at the Pusat Latihan Perindustrian dan Pemulihan Bangi (PLPP Bangi) last Thursday. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Kenji Kuno. I played the supporting role as a co-facilitator.

Dr. Kenji Kuno facilitating the Disability Equality Training (DET) for JOCV members and Malaysian counterparts
Dr. Kenji Kuno facilitating Disability Equality Training (DET) for JOCV members at PLPP Bangi.
Photo by Wuan.

The two main components in DET are the Social Model of Disability and Action Planning. Social Model fosters the understanding of the causes of disability while Action Planning foments the removal those causes to enable full participation of disabled people in society.

Disability Equality Training (DET) Workshop in session
Disability Equality Training (DET) Workshop in session.
Photo by Wuan.

I am glad to say that the participants left the workshop with a good knowledge on how they can remove disabling factors that they encounter in the course of their work. I was thinking would it not be excellent if the Malaysian government adopts DET as a standard course in the civil service. This will definitely expand the understanding of disability issue in the general population that will wishfully lead to a more inclusive society.

Group photo with JOCV members after the Disability Equality Training (DET) Workshop
Group photo with JOCV members after the Disability Equality Training (DET) Workshop.
Photo by Wuan.

Almost Over

The 2nd Regional Training of Trainers on Disability Equality Training (DET) ended today. Some of the participants have already left for home. I am missing them already. We spent so much time learning from each other in the eight days we were together. The 1st Regional Senior Disability Equality Training (DET) Trainers’ Training will conclude tomorrow. I am still here at MAKPEM in Bandar Baru Sentul waiting for Wuan to come pick me up.

I have to admit it has been a tiring two weeks but it was well worth the sleep deprivation and the time spent at the training. There were so many concepts to pick up, so many new presentation and facilitation techinques to learn and so many friendships forged. The camaraderie among the facilitators and participants was great. This must be one of the best trainings that I have attended.

On Saturday, I will be facilitating a half-day DET session for members of POCAM (Persatuan Orang-Orang Cacat Anggota Malaysia) with fresh skills learnt from this training. It is my fervent hope that more people will become aware of disability issues and that society at large and disabled people work together to resolve the multitude of problems that are disabling certain segments of the population from full and equal participation in Malaysia.