Complex for disabled in the works

On the ground: Fatimah (second right) chatting with participants of a workshop in Kuching. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak will set up a one-stop complex to serve the disabled community, from diagnosis and employment to residential care.

State Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the state government had approved RM50mil for the proposed Special Needs Community Support Centre under the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“The complex will include the whole chain of facilities for screening, diagnosis, education, vocational training, employment and residential care.

“It will also look into talent development in sports and other fields for disabled persons,” she told reporters after opening a workshop on accessibility for the physically disabled here yesterday.

Fatimah said the complex was currently at the early design stage. A suitable site had yet to be identified.

She noted that while there were individual associations for various disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism and dyslexia, as well as a state-run one-stop early intervention centre (OSEIC), none of them covered the whole chain of facilities.

“We have started with OSEIC, which covers diagnosis, early intervention and rehabilitation, but we want to include education, vocational training and employment.

“The complex will be where we try to put everything under one roof,” she said.

Fatimah also said the complex would not duplicate what the associations were doing but would complement and supplement their work.

“We will fill the gaps, for example, by providing education for severely disabled children who cannot be integrated into the school system.”

She added that this was in line with the state government’s policy towards becoming a socially inclusive society.

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