Provide disabled-friendly facilities, urges Azizah
The relevant authorities in the State have been urged to assist the disabled (OKU) to ensure facilities are OKU friendly. Making the call, Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Hjh Azizah Mohd Dun said better infrastructure for the disabled would make it easier for them to move around. “This hopefully would make the public more considerate to the disabled,” she said when launching White Cane Day and Walk for the Blind 2008 at Wisma Merdeka here yesterday. Her speech was delivered by Assistant Minister Herbert Timbon Lagadan. According to Azizah, the responsibility for the welfare of the disabled lies not only with the Government, the private sector could also provide jobs to them as well as disabled-friendly infrastructure. Azizah added that currently there are 150 blind OKUs working as teachers, law advisor in a Government Department, administrator, telephonist and masseurs and they should become role models for their contribution to the country’s development. She added that each year more facilities are provided by the Government for the OKUs such as two special schools namely Sekolah Rendah Pendidikan Khas Tuaran with 32 blind students and SMK Badin, Tuaran with 27 OKU students studying with other normal students. Azizah also hoped that White Cane Day 2008 could raise public awareness on the ability of the OKUs to lead a normal life and be accepted as part of the community. She also urged OKUs who have not yet registered with the General Welfare Service Department (JPKA) to register to enable them to receive assistance from the Government such as General Aid Scheme and Disabled Employee allowance. Meanwhile, Mayor Datuk Illiyas Ibrahim urged housing and building developers in the State to provide OKU-friendly basic facilities when designing their buildings. He said City Hall would ensure that all new buildings follow the building by-laws on OKU access and suggest that Government buildings be renovated to make them OKU-friendly. Also present during the event were Deputy State Secretary (Administration) Datuk Maznah Abdul Ghani and President of National Council for the Blind, Datuk S Kulasegaran.