Independent Living Course At Institut Sosial Malaysia

The Institut Sosial Malaysia (ISM) under the recommendation of Dr. Kenji Kuno of the Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat Malaysia and Japan International Cooperation Agency invited me to speak on Independent Living for Disabled Persons (Kursus Kehidupan Berdikari bagi OKU – Sesi 1/2010) on Tuesday. The ISM conducts training for civil servants and social workers on matters related to social development.

Peter Tan conducting Independent Living course at Institut Sosial Malaysia
Peter Tan conducting Independent Living course at Institut Sosial Malaysia.

The main office block and seminar rooms were located atop a hillock just at KM6 of the Lebuhraya Kuala Lumpur – Seremban. It commands a panaromic view of Bandar Tasik Selatan and the surrounding areas. About 20 social welfare officers and social workers participated in the four hour course spread over two sessions.The first session was Pengenalan Kepada Kehidupan Berdikari (Introduction to Independent Living) and the second on History of Independent Living.

Peter Tan sharing the history of Independent Living with participants at Institut Sosial Malaysia
Peter Tan sharing the history of Independent Living with participants at Institut Sosial Malaysia.

The practice of Independent Living was new to most of the participants as they were unaware that severely disabled persons too can live independently if given the right support and opportunities. After the sessions ended, I could feel that they got a pretty good grasp of what Independent Living is all about, especially how it is practiced in other countries such as the USA, Sweden and Japan, among others. And I need to brush up on my Bahasa Malaysia. There were more than a couple of times when I could not find the correct words to use and had to be “rescued” by the participants.

Busy As A Bee

One thing I like about being busy with work is that I have no time to brood which I am very apt to. An idle mind is a devil’s workshop, so they say. This and the previous month have been an especially busy period with several speaking engagements and working on a few new blogs that I am building.

There are also a couple of entries that I would like to post but have not found the time to write yet. Hopefully, I will be able to do that when I have finished preparing materials for the Disability Equality Training (DET) that I will be conducting in Kelantan next weekend. Right now, it is all a rush as I try to wrap up the preparations before Friday.

In the meantime, do check out the two blogs that I have been working on – Softly Whispering is a photoblog of the favourite images that I have taken while Delicious Food in Malaysia is a repository of food and ingredients that have shaped my appetite through the years. The links for both blogs are available on the right sidebar of the main page.

The other site that I have been busy with is the Asia Pacific Disability Equality Forum. This site is developed by Dr. Kenji Kuno of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It is a treasure trove of resources on DET and provides a list of DET trainers from eleven countries in this region.