Webinar series to advocate disability inclusion

By Shahad A. Aldhahri

GOMBAK, 15 November 2021: As International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) is known as an institution that practices disability inclusion universally, the Professional Speech Communication’s students have organised a series of webinars in promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities (PwDs). 

Aimed at creating awareness and in persuading the audience to practise disability inclusion, the webinar series themed “Care for Disability Inclusion” will be running from November to December 2021 in line with the commemoration of the International Disability Day on 3 December 2021.

PwDs are those who have ‘long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society’ as defined in the Persons with Disabilities Act 2008.

The instructor of Professional Speech Communication, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aida Mokhtar, believes that there is great importance in practising disability inclusion as mentioned in the Qur’an when Prophet Muhammad was talking to the leaders of the Quraysh a blind man who was interrupting him was turned away, as mentioned in Surah Abasa (verses 3-10). 

“The verses explain on how to practise disability inclusion that should be emulated by everyone today as we can learn that the importance of paying attention to the blind man who was are eager to learn about Islam” she further explained. 

Nancy Doyle, an Organisational Psychologist specialising in neurodiversity in a 2020 Forbes article entitled “We Have Been Disabled: How The Pandemic Has Proven The Social Model Of Disability” explained that there are two models of how people perceive disabilities: the social and medical models. 

“The social model is often mentioned as ideal which delves into the responsibility of society for the disablement of others, for example if we were to learn sign language then the deaf would be able to understand us better,” she added.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey J. Martin in his book Handbook of Disability Sport and Exercise Psychology, stressed that the medical model perceives a disability as a personal flaw and a medical condition that needs correcting and the social model suggests that while people might have an impairment, the physical and social environment are the ones that cause the disability.

There are 15 webinars in this series which will further discuss the inclusion of PwDs with the topic of autism and down syndrome, mental health issues of PwDs and the family perspective of having or raising a family member.

Besides that, the disability support given to students in universities in Malaysia by the Disability Services Unit of UiTM and student society I-MaC of the IIUM and the role of early intervention centres such the National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM), and K-Linkcare Centre in the practice of disability inclusion and the personal experiences of a person who has visual impairment in employment, are among the topic that will be discussed too. 

Members of the public are welcome to join or watch these exciting webinars on the social media platforms belonging to Professional Speech Communication: on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. The webinar will be streaming live on Facebook. 

For any enquiries, readers are advised to contact Shahad Abdulaziz, (shahaddhahri@gmail.com).***

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