Upgrading Training in Disability Management

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Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah for the Disabled (YSIS) is preparing to take on a bigger role in the training of skilled and competent workers in the right techniques of disability management.

The Jeyaratnam Campus, which was launched by Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir at the existing complex in Bercham, recently, will provide the facilities for its skills training to be upgraded to diploma level.

Estimated to cost RM4.2 million, the campus will have a unique and iconic structure of the shape of a man on a wheelchair – the international logo for disability. The campus is named after the foundation’s chairman Tan Sri V. Jeyaratnam.

It will have all the facilities of a college-type skills training centre with hostels, lecture halls and amenities. These include a multipurpose hall for seminars, conference, graduations, workshops, vocational training and sports and Paralympics’ training.

“It will be twinned with international bodies with foreign lecturers for course of study in the field of human service training”, said Jeyaratnam.

“It is a great challenge to raise the standards in disability care and management but we will do so. Yayasan services reach out to all, irrespective of age, race or religion.”

“Our policy is to also provide all services free of charge because we should not add to their suffering and ask for payment for being disabled.”

“We want the world to know that we are equal to international standards right here in Ipoh. Though we are well established and well known in various parts of the world we are edging to be a leading NGO in this country as well as South-East Asia.”

He said it was YSIS’s contribution to Perak and the nation in bridging the acute shortage of skilled and trained caregivers in the country.

“We are grateful to Pan Malaysian Pools Sdn Bhd who continues to support us in this training course, which is free to encourage potential caregivers from all over the country to attend.”

YSIS is the first NGO in the country to start the skills training course by bringing in experts and specialists in the area of community based rehabilitation from Upsalla University in Sweden.

These experts and specialists recognised by the World Health Organisation gave training to YSIS’s professional staff first in community based rehabilitation for two months.

They then moduled a training course in community-based rehabilitation following the WHO training modules and provided the certificate course in community-based rehabilitation and have successfully trained 900 caregivers, staff from the government run Persatuan Pemulihan Dalam Kommuniti centres in the country, and special education teachers, trainees from nursing colleges and other caregivers.

The YSIS was established in 1982 and headed by Jeyaratnam as its chairman ever since. Its sole purpose is to improve the socio-economic well-being and quality of life for adults and children with disabilities.

From the humble beginning of a wooden building, it moved into an eight-acre site in Bercham donated by the State Government 10 years later and gradually set up a state-of-the-art main centre, Pusat Permulihan Sultan Azlan Shah and 11 other independent centres throughout the state.

Jerry Francis