Budget 2020: More R&D allocation for the disabled

08 Oct 2019 / 11:56 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The disabled community hopes that the government, through the 2020 Budget, will provide funding to institutions of higher learning for research and development (R&D) for people with developmental disabilities, learning disorders, dyslexia, autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Secretary-General of the Malaysian Chinese Handicapped People (POCCM) Sia Siew Chin said the allocation was also for the production of innovative products for such facilities.

She also said that additional funding should be given to the development of new technologies specifically for the use of the disabled especially in information and communication technology (ICT), mobility assistance and support tools for their movement.

“Examples include the use of smartphones specifically for the visually impaired or hearing impaired as well as advanced wheelchairs that help facilitate their daily activities,“ she said.

“We want the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry through the Persons with Disabilities Development Department to be serious about empowering the disabled and we have always given their cooperation and support in this regard,“ she told Bernama.

She said they also hoped for special provision or subsidies to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to train the disabled.

“This is to give special exposure to volunteers who want to help the disabled and the elderly to ensure that they serve the group professionally,“ she said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Association of Malay Disabled Persons (Pokuam) President Suhairi Abdullah hoped the government would raise the special aid rate from RM400 to RM500 in the 2020 Budget as this was inadequate, especially for those not working.

“The increase is necessary given that some of the disabled are paid salaries, but are paid on a daily basis or on contractual basis of between RM1,200 to RM2,000.

“The amount is insufficient especially in urban areas because besides the high cost of living, the movement of people with disabilities is so limited that we sometimes have to spend more to move around,“ he said. — Bernama

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