Living with Dyslexia in Malaysia

Visit to University of Nottingham


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


  1. Hi Suet Sen, while you were at the Uni of Nottingham, did you come across the MA in Special Needs that is offered by their Education Dept? I enrolled for this course and found it very good for personal, social and emotional dev. especially in relation to understanding children with special needs (such as dyslexia, AD/HD, Autistic, Behavioural/Emotional Disorders, etc). This course, not only, shed light on the needs of these special children but also I hv gain tremendously in understanding my deeper self and draw from my inner strength to teach them. It has been said that, “we need to know ourserves first before we can teach others.” How true!

    I am an early childhood educator and do understnd your frustration in getting the relevant people at govt level to look at the needs and right of all children for education. Children nowadays hv more learning disability than before and it is time for us to look at the environment and systems rather than saying that it is the child’s problem, therefore treat him first before sending to school. The education system in Msia has flaws and our children are failing because of that!

    Comment by Audrey Lee | September 28, 2009 | Reply

  2. oops, the quote shd be”we need to know OURSELVES first before we can teach others”

    Comment by Audrey Lee | September 28, 2009 | Reply

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