Giving their input: The panellists (from left) former national Paralympic athletes Law King Kiew and Noris ah Bahrom, Senator Bathmavathi, Dr Naziaty, Dr Tunku Ta’ayah, Ida Nerina, investment bank remisier Christine Lee and Maxine Chan.
Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur organised a forum involving women with disabilities recently, in conjunction with International Women’s Day celebrations.
The invited panellists were local actress Ida Nerina, Senator Bathmavathi Krishnan, national Paralympic athlete Norisah Bahrom, activist Christine Lee and Universiti Malaya Department of Architecture lecturer Dr Naziaty Mohd Yaacob.
The forum was aimed at inspiring women with and without disabilities, as well as students of private higher learning institutions.
“In conjunction with International Women’s Day 2014, we decided to provide a platform for women with disabilities to speak up and share their experience so as to inspire other women who have just experienced disability and even those without any disability,” said Gleneagles Hospitals regional chief executive officer and CEO Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur Datuk Amir Firdaus Abdullah.
“These fascinating women have inspired me, personally, and we at Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur are proud to fulfil our corporate social responsibility by celebrating their success and contribution,” he said.
Besides 50 disabled women, student representatives from several local universities were also present at the forum.
Non-governmental organisations that attended the event included Independent Living and Training Centre (ILTC), Malaysian Association for the Blind, National Council for the Blind, Beautiful Gate Foundation, National Society for the Deaf Malaysia and Helping Hands Therapy Services.
“Our hope is that when these students step into the professional world and become employers, they would be more sensitive to the needs of this group and not marginalise them just because of their status as people with disabilities,” Amir added.
Gleneagles consultant specialist on rehabilitative medicine, Datin Paduka Dr Tunku Ta’ayah Tunku Zubir also presented a lecture entitled “Health and Wellbeing of Women with Disabilities’’ at the function, which was launched by Raja Puan Besar Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim.
“There are many reasons for an individual to become disabled.
“Most of those in the 20 to 30-year age group become disabled due to accidents. Some are disabled due to illness, while it’s the age factor for others.
“The fact of the matter is that the number of individuals with disabilities keep increasing on a yearly basis,” said Dr Ta’ayah.
“Nearly 80% of people with disability are still not readily accepted by community members, especially at the workplace,” she added.