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.

Nurturer Of Life: Close To Heart – The Star – 10 May, 2012

I realised that I could never reciprocate the devotion that my mother had showered on me even if I had wanted to. How does one pay back the blood, sweat and tears of a mother’s love? The only thing I can do is to live life fruitfully in her honour. She would have wanted that.

Nurturer of Life – My story about my mother’s sacrifice published in The Star on 10 May, 2012 in conjunction with Mother’s Day.
Click on image for full size. Click here for online version.

Moving On: Close To Heart – The Star – 14 July, 2011

It took exactly two months from the time Cheng Bee of Star 2 spoke to me about contributing an article on disability to the completion and submission of the manuscript to her. In the months of April and May, I was occupied with co-facilitating Disability Equality Training workshops with Dr. Kuno of JICA.

When I finally had time to start writing, I was overwhelmed in trying to compress the 27 years of my life post spinal cord injury into 1400 words. I spent a number of days writing and rewriting, throwing out the less consequential and adding more significant events as I went along.

There were a few ocassions when I teared, especially while recalling the sacrifices my parents made for me and the last few days of my mother’s life as she slowly drifted away. Although a lot of emotions were stirred up in the course of writing, I felt a sense of fulfillment and serenity when I finally clicked the send button to submit the article.

The response from friends in Facebook and Twitter were truly encouraging. I did not set out with the intention to write an inspirational story of my life. In fact, it was anything but inspirational, seeing how long it took me to realise that there is life after spinal cord injury.

The message is simple. One should quickly go through the denial, rehabilitation and acceptance processes and move on while waiting for that elusive cure. There is no point in putting everything on hold and then realise that twenty year have passed by with nothing to show for it. It is a mistake I hope others in conditions similar to mine do not make. Viva la Vida!

Moving On - Close To Heart - The Star
Moving On – My life after spinal cord injury published on 14 July, 2011 in The Star.
Click on image for full size. Click here for online version.