Living with Dyslexia in Malaysia

New Subang Centre – 15 April 2009

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The Association has been on the look out for a bigger premise at Subang Jaya for some time as there is a long waiting list of students wanting to enroll at the Subang Centre. Due to space constraints we could not take in more than 20 students.

In mid-April, the new Centre at USJ 4 was opened. This corner house (also known as the Yellow house)– as per the photo attached, is more spacious and can accommodate another 2 classes.

New Address: 2, Jln USJ 4/4B Subang UEP. Tel:  8023 0919

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June 2, 2009 Posted by | Persatuan Dyslexia | 5 Comments

Persons with Disablities Act 2008 Forum at Bar Council

I attended this Forum  in Jan and voiced our concerns about the driving license issue for our dyslexics. Quite a number of our dyslexics who have made it into the workforce face the dilemma of not being able to drive as they are not able to pass the driving tests. These tests are not ‘user-friendly’ for our dyslexics

In this Forum, it was noted that in the PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT 2008,     the omitted aspects are – i. prevention and early detection of disabilities and  ii. anti-discrimination.

It was pointed out that in the US, it is mandatory (not optional like here) that children be identified and receive the required special services as soon as possible. This Act also did not state sanctions or penalties against the discriminator. There should be clear procedures on pursuing remedies to be taken by a disabled person or his family  member to enforce his rights against discrimination in any form.

The omitted aspects in this ACT affects our dyslexic community. I suggest that the Association work hand in hand with the Bar Council to fight for the rights of our dyslexic children. They are being discriminated in many areas especially education.

The point raised by Coralie in the recent AGM that our Dyslexic children  fail and flounder in their SPM, therefore how can they be able to enter the colleges or universities? Is there a way like overseas whereby our special children are given exemptions. For our kids to have the minimum 3 credits and a pass in BM before they can be allowed to take any Cert or Diploma course in a College is  tough going. How many can make this mark?

There has been research done in UK and the US whereby it was found that one out of every 2 prisoners had a learning disability.  If we do not help our children they would most probably land in prison and be one of the famous bank robbers as they would have the intelligence to rob a bank.

If we are able to include the above 2 omitted aspects into the PERSONS WITH DISABLITIES ACT 2008,   then our children would not be discriminated and they would be able to enter colleges/universities of their choice and be able to pass their driving tests too.   Then, they can prove their worth and be given a chance to contribute positively to society.

But this is not going to be an easy task…..therefore we need lots of support to push this through. Not only from the Association but from each and every parent.

“When there’s a WILL, there is a WAY”

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Dyslexia | Leave a comment

Visit to University of Nottingham

VISIT TO UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM – 29 April 2009

The University had a low-keyed talk on the Disability Act 2008 for their staff and I was invited as I was keen to visit the University, having met up with Ms Shamini (Counsellor) and her assistant Cik Mazlina at the BAR Council’s FORUM in January 2009.

Ms Helen Chin, a lawyer was the Guest Speaker and she spoke about the Disability Act – please refer to my other article on this ACT.  Helen has worked tirelessly with the Bar Council to fight for the rights of the disabled.

Mr Paul Boardman, the Director of Administrative Support Services, gave a talk on “Introduction to Disability Provisions on Campus”.

Paul mentioned that in the United Kingdom they are forced by Law to take care of the Learning Disabled, unlike here in Malaysia. In the UK, they cannot turn away anyone with a disability unless it is justified. They also have the Data Protection ACT and the Disability Discrimination ACT to help the LDs.

Paul stated that this University was built with the disabled in mind. Their buildings are accessible buildings. Examples are induction loops in the Lecture Rooms to assist the hearing impaired, then there are the tactile floors  to assist the blind, ramps etc….

For the learning disabled, longer time for book loans (Library), Academy support (Pilot Project) and alternative examination arrangements.

There are DLOs- Disability Liasion Officers in each school to help the special needs students here in the University.

The next Speaker was Ms Shamini Nadarajan. She  mentioned that there are currently 24 students registered with them. Out of which 6 are having Learning Differences, 2 with Multiple differences, 4 (Vision), 1 (mobility), 11 (long term medical/mental health difficulties).

There are exams provisions like extra time given and alternate examination arrangements provided to assist the students. There is a pilot project now with 3 students and it is working out well.

Paul and Shamini reiterated the University’s motto “The Right Thing To Do”. Ie they want to contribute to the needs of the people with disabilities nationwide.

So parents, your kids have a University that they can go to IF,   a big IF, they pass the minimum ENTRANCE requirement. This requirement is set by our Ministry.

Our kids would need all the help they can get to meet this minimum requirement.

How to achieve this Minimum requirement?? Assist Helen via the BAR Council to fight for the rights of our children.

Report by Cho Suet Sen

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Dyslexia | 2 Comments