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Accessibility & Advocacy
 

1.         Background:

Since 2008 MAB is actively involved in promoting the need for proper access in a built environment and to information. In collaboration with many disabled NGOs, MAB has taken the lead in promoting and creating awareness among the Government agencies, corporate organisations and the general public regarding the needs of the blind. In 2012 MAB established a special unit to look into issues pertaining to accessibility and advocacy.

2.         Objectives Of The Unit :

  1. The Unit will coordinate and conduct awareness creating training, workshops and talks to the general public, government agencies and corporate organizations regarding the need for an accessible environment and access to information.

  1. The unit will also advocate and to highlight to the relevant agencies regarding the current issues facing the blind in achieving economic independence.

  1. To organize programmes to educate the blind regarding accessibility for the blind in a built environment, universal design, web accessibility.

  1. To educate the blind to understand and exercise their rights in accordance with the Disability Act 2008.

3.         Highlights of Activities carried out by the unit since 2012.

3.1.     Air Asia Training Programme:

  • MAB provided a 1 ½ hour training programme “guidelines to assist the visually impaired” to flight attendants and guest service of Air Asia staff.  This training programme is part of a one day programme on Disability Equality Training (DET) where the different disabled persons will present how to assist the disabled who uses the services of Air Asia.

  • Since 2009 MAB conducted more than 200 classes with Air Asia.

  • Other than the above, MAB also provided similar classes to the staff of Ministry of Transport, AG Chambers,   Ministry of Health and other corporate companies.

3.2.     Access Audit:

  • MAB has participated in providing advice and also checking on the accessible features made for the blind in numerous buildings and transportation such as the KTM stations, Rapid KL  buses, LRT stations, Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya Selangor buildings and roads, Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur and MRCB projects in Brickfields, to name a few.

3.3      Ministry Of Health:

  • MAB also worked closely with the Ministry Of Health to prepare manuals and conducted workshops to create awareness among the front line staff of hospitals and clinics how to assist and serve blind persons.

  • We are currently working with the Ministry by organising workshops to give O & M training to Occupational Therapist who are presently working at hospital throughout the country.

3.4      SIRIM BHD Working group on accessibility for disabled person:

  • Presently, MAB is represented in the SIRIM working group to revise the code of practice MS:1184 and MS:1331 and replace it with a new code of practice which is  called “Universal design and accessibility in built environment”  This new code has been finalised in June 2014.

CONCLUSION:

  • In the past years MAB has made some progress in achieving greater access for the blind in the built environment by working closely with relevant government agencies, corporate sectors and disabled NGO’s and in the future MAB will continue to create greater awareness among the general public regarding the need for an accessible environment for the blind to work and live with minimum assistance from others.

  • MAB is also planning to organise workshops, seminar and other programmes for the blind in order to give them a better understanding of their rights in accordance with the disability act passed by parliament in 2007.

Prepared by:

Muhammad Fairuz Abdullah

Accessibility and advocacy executive

Malaysian Association for the Blind.

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