KOTA BHARU – Awareness of parents and guardians in Kelantan to register their children or family members with special needs with the Social Welfare Department to obtain the Persons with Disabilities (OKU) card is still low.
State SWD director Said Sidup said parents often feel shy to register their children as disabled, as well as lack understanding about the privileges of registering. Thesewere among the main reasons why most parents were reluctant to register.
“This will indirectly deny children with disabilities the right to privileges and assistance that should have been available to them,” he told reporters when met at the 2019 Aidiladha sacrificial slaughter programme organised by Yayasan Kaseh Kanser dan Kronik and the Down Syndrome Association of Kelantan.
Also present was Kota Bharu People’s Association (POKB) president Datuk Sheikh Ahmad Dusuki Sheikh Mohamad.
According to Said, to date, only 39,733 people with disabilities were registered in Kelantan. Of these, 14,398 individuals were categorised as having learning difficulties, followed by physical disability (12,816), mental disability (4,404), visual impairment (3,424), hearing loss (2,450), others (1,944) and speech impairment (297).
“Parents must not let shyness stop them from registering their special needs children with the Welfare Department. At least, these children can be taught to learn and be independent according to their abilities,” he said.