KUALA LUMPUR: The strategic plans covering 15 areas under the Policy on Persons With Disabilities (PWD) are currently being implemented to ensure that the group has equal rights to opportunities and full participation in the community.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister (KPWKM), Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the areas among others, were related to advocacy, health, rehabilitation, accessibility, education, employment, and research.

“This year, the ministry’s plan includes two studies on PWDs specifically their opportunities in getting employed and support system for PWD caregivers.

“The programme which is expected to start next year will allow the caregivers involved to make their task as a career and no longer a voluntary effort, with the Social Institute of Malaysia as the main agency to help the ministry provide courses and training.”

She said this at the Malaysian Association of the Blind (MAB) 2021/2022 Excellence Achievement Award ceremony here today.

In her speech read out by Social Welfare Department (JKM), PWD Development Division director, Zuhami Omar, Nancy said based on JKM data last July, of the 663,650 PWDs registered in the country, 57,043 were in the visually impaired category.

In terms of employment, she said 0.31 per cent or nearly 3,800 PWDs were appointed to various positions in the public service as of end of last year.

This was in line with the policy of hiring one per cent of PWDs in the public sector that was introduced in 1988, outlining the affirmative action must be taken by ministries, agencies, and local authorities to make the move a success.

“At KPWKM, we have exceeded the one per cent target with 144 (1.77 per cent) out of 8,138 positions filled by PWDs,“ he said.

As for students who are visually impaired, Nancy said their number in inclusive schools was low but hoped it would increase in the future.

At the ceremony, 19 PWDs received awards in recognition of their outstanding efforts in the education, entrepreneurship and sports fields.-Bernama

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