MILAD is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation run by a group of people with disabilities, to help people with disabilities toward Independent Living, regardless of their background, race and religion.
Initiated by a group of people with disabilities and with the help of Pastor Sia Siew Chin, MILAD was established on 2/11/2017 and registered with the Registry of Societies bearing Registration No. (PPM-005-10-02112017), with its centre located in Petaling Jaya SS3.
With proper training and the required assistance provided, we believe people with disabilities are able to attain independent living. Independent living is essentially living just like everyone else - having opportunities to make decisions that affect one's life, able to pursue activities of one's choice, able to exert control and responsibility over one’s own life; whether at home, at work or as a member of the community - limited only in the same ways that the non-disabled are limited.
Malaysia Independent Living Association for Disabled
We believe that our vision above can become a reality through the principles of Independent Living. Independent Living is a philosophy, a way of looking at society and disability, and a movement of disabled people working for equal opportunities, self-determination, and self-respect and full inclusion and participation in the community. Independent Living movement is evolved through self organisation of the disabled people. By this collective actions, solutions to individually experienced barriers are developed. The movement recognises that many disabled people will not manage to achieve independence on their own as the system we live in puts too many obstacles in the way.
The Independent Living Model sees the problem differently and understands disability as a specific form of social oppression. A distinction is made between “impairment” – the condition of body or mind, and “disability” – the social restrictions experienced. In this Model, the problem lies in the environment, not the individual. Though many people have physical, intellectual, or mental attributes that deviate from the ‘norm,’ disability is manifested in society through purposefully created and maintained physical, environmental, programmatic, and attitudinal barriers.
In understanding the Independent Living philosophy, we recognise that disability must be tackled holistically. All aspects of exclusion must be addressed. Using the Independent Living Model, the following basic needs are identified:
Information – to know what one’s options are
Peer Support – encouragement and guidance from other disabled people
Personal Assistance – human help with everyday tasks
Equipment – technical aids to reduce unnecessary dependence on others
Housing – a suitable place to live
Transport – to get where one needs to be
Access to the Environment – to go where everyone else does
Advocacy – to get public support for or recommendation of their cause
Awareness – to change the perspective on disability and people with disability
The Independent Living approach does not suggest that a person needs rehabilitation in order to exist in an inaccessible world. It says that the world needs adapting in order to accommodate the disabled people. By this approach, with “problems” of disability and the needs identified, it is important for us to play the supportive role in assisting the disabled people to live independently by solving the “problems” and providing for the appropriate basic needs.
Our first Independent Living Centre (ILC), also the first one in Malaysia, provides an infrastructure of support, advice and information which could promote further Independent Living initiatives. Our ILC will also provide, inter alia, Personal Assistant Services which is an essential factor of Independent Living, which itself encompasses the whole area of human activities, eg. housing, transport, access, education, employment, etc.
It is our vision to establish a society that embraces the concept of Independent Living which promotes the disabled peoples full inclusion and participation in the community, wherein the disabled people are given the same life opportunities and the same choices in everyday life that the non-disabled people take for granted.
Our goal is to train, equip and empower the people with disabilities to live independently, and at the same time advocating for equal rights and opportunities for them. We strive toward creating awareness so that the general public will have the right perspective toward disability and people with disabilities, and hence able to help transform the society to allow full inclusion and participation at every possible level by the disabled people.