OKP to hand over reins to hearing impaired members

National 1 minute, 48 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE National Association of the Deaf (OKP) will allow their hearing-impaired members to run the association this year.

This is to train the members to be more independent.

OKP Deputy President Hjh Ja’aranah Hj Talip told The Brunei Times recently that the association will conduct a general meeting in May to choose their new administrative members of the OKP.

“The suitable members to run the association are those affected by the disabilities as they know their needs more than we (individuals without hearing loss) do. We will be their backbone after the election,” said Hjh Ja’aranah.

She said many of the administrative members have been in the OKP for more than seven years and they believed that this year will be the right time for them to run the association and not rely on anyone to lead them.

She said most of the hearing-impaired associations in ASEAN countries are run by the members with disabilities.

She said the association made the decision to reshuffle the positions recently as many of its administrative members are among elderly.

“Many of us have been in the OKP since 1998. We have been fighting for the association for so many years until it was officially established in 2010,” she said, adding that more than 100 hearing-impaired members have registered under the association.

She also expressed confidence in the hearing-impaired members as they have already undergone training in the past few years.

“We believe they know what is the best for the association,” she said.

She added that OKP doesn’t get much funding from the government but they received more from the public during events and gatherings such as during deaf awareness programmes, road shows and book fairs.

“During the events, we were able to sell items such as books, t-shirts and stationery,” she said, adding that the association usually collects more than $2000 in every event.

She said some of the money are kept aside for OKP and some are given to the hearing-impaired members.

“We hope that the chosen president and its members will able to run the association and help its members stand up for their right,” she said.

The Brunei Times