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Adult with learning disabilities Keat Lai breaks an egg into a frying pan

donors & volunteers

you can Give an adult with learning disabilities like keat lai the life they deserve

Adults with learning disabilities in Malaysia face huge obstacles to living an ordinary life. Dignity & Services gives them the skills and confidence to change that. When you volunteer or donate to our charity, you help level the playfield.

Too many people think adults with learning disabilities are incapable of contributing to society. You know that's not true. But many AwLDs grow up believing it too.

 

So they feel like a burden. And it's almost impossible for them to escape this trap.

Why? Because they don't get the same training or opportunities as others to live a life of their choice. And they're often not treated with dignity or respect.

 

So they retreat to the lonely refuge of their rooms.

Up to 582,000 school children in Malaysia struggle with learning disabilities
Malaysian Ministry of Health

The underlying drivers of stigma and discrimination remain unchallenged
UNICEF Malaysia disabilities survey

AwLDs face more obstacles in getting jobs than other disabled Malaysians
Journal of Economic Info

with your help, we can make Malaysia a more inclusive place

empowerment

D&S has been advocating for special needs adults since 1991. Even better, the charity supports them to find their own voice. So they can fight for their rights themselves. United Voice, registered as the first AwLD self-advocacy society in Malaysia in 1995, was born under the wing of D&S.

independence

Malaysia's education system continues to fail people with special needs. Many grow up dependent on their families for the smallest things. And lack the training to get a job. D&S has given 100s of AwLDs the skills and self-esteem to break free of dependency, isolation and despair.

awareness

People aren't used to seeing AwLDs out and about on their own or doing their bit in the workplace. Because they spend much of their time hiding out at home. Dignity & Services creates opportunities for them to show the world what they're capable of. And so change people's minds.

“Our shared objective remains unwavering - to help create a society where adults with learning disabilities enjoy dignity and respect, equal rights that they deserve, and opportunities to lead an independent and meaningful life within the community”

Chan Chia Lynn

Executive Director of Dignity & Services charity

our programs teach adults with learning disabilities essential life skills

Your generosity helps adults with learning difficulties in Malaysia to help themselves.

 

Our charity's donors and volunteers are the lifeblood of hands-on programs that teach AwLDs all they need to care for themselves at home and to earn a living.
 

So they too can enjoy the pleasures of an ordinary life.

And their families can look to the future with hope.

A group of adults with learning disabilities painting at Options for Supported Living

Supported Living

Our Options house is a weekend home from home for our AwLD members. Here they get to grips with daily living tasks. Like cooking, household chores, grocery shopping and taking public transport. And, perhaps for the first time in their life, they get to make friends, make decisions and make their opinions heard. So they can stop feeling like a hopeless burden and have a new-found sense of agency and belonging.

Bake with Dignity special needs bakers at work in kitchen

Employment Training

Our Baked with Dignity kitchen is a haven of AwLD creativity. This jobs skills training for adults with disabilities gives them all they need to get mainstream work. From fundamental kitchen know-how to team work, from customer service to time management. Our graduates leave with the experience and confidence to take the next step towards a more independent life. And towards feeling valued by society.

"Parents can be overprotective and underestimate what their special children can actually achieve ... My son benefited tremendously. The program made me more confident to believe he is capable of a normal, meaningful and happy life"

- Belinda Ho, mother of Dignity & Services member Ho Wai Ken

Volunteer or donate to D&S. Every little helps

 Discover how our programs can support you or your loved one

meet our inspiring awlds

Bake with Dignity adult with learning disabilities member Keat Lai using large bakery mixer

Chin Keat Lai
 

When Keat Lai joined us, aged 50, she depended on her family for everything. Diagnosed as a slow learner, she’d spent her whole life with no confidence in herself, hating making decisions and often quiet, withdrawn and feeling left out.

She was initially too frightened to spend a night away from home at our supported living house. And she shied away from anything involving fire.

But gradually, through simpler tasks like sweeping the floor and washing dishes, Keat Lai realised she could do things for herself after all. She soon upped her skills to taking responsibility for planning meals and shopping for groceries. 

She even stepped through her fear of fire. That's how she discovered her love for cooking. So, from whipping up dishes in the supported living house, she became part of the core team in our Bake with Dignity kitchen.

But it’s not all been hard work … “I enjoy going on outings with my friends and doing activities,” says Keat Lai.

Whether it’s creative fun at the house, popping to the park or going on adventures in and around KL, Keat Lai’s cheerful energy always lights up the group.

"I've seen her improve a lot,” says her caregiver sister Keat Yue. She reckons Keat Lai's made more progress at D&S than in her first 50 years.

Cheoong Choong Jian
 

Already a painfully shy and introverted teenager, Choong Jian sunk into depression when peripheral neuropathy left him unable to walk. He rarely left his room and avoided contact with others. 

 

Choong Jian was already part of our supported living program at that time. He refused to return once he was in a wheelchair, frightened of what others might think of him.

 

But he eventually came back. And his confidence blossomed once he realised that everyone at Options accepted him for who he was.

He began engaging more with his housemates, expressing his opinions and taking on more responsibility.

Soon he was taking the initiative in planning meals, budgeting and organising outings. And he's a strict taskmaster in making sure his friends do their bit to keep the Options house ship shape.

D&S has been a supportive anchor for Choong Jian through the ups and downs of many years. His Options friends and mentors are there for him whenever he wobbles emotionally or struggles to express his feelings.

"I feel very happy and proud" - Choong Jian's mother, Wendy

Options for Supported Living program member Cheong choong jian in his wheelchair smiling at a horse.jpg

these stories can't happen without you

Adults with learning disabilities have the same hopes and desires as you and me. 

 

They'd like to get an education, earn a living, take the monorail, have their own home, hang out with friends, find a partner, be able to vote ...

They'd like to live a happy and fulfilling ordinary life.
 

Dignity & Services gives AwLDs the tools and self-belief to achieve their dreams.

 

But they continue to battle against social stigma and unfair obstacles every day. And we're barely scratching the surface of the need in this vulnerable community. 

That's why we're developing new programs and initiatives to expand our reach. 

But we can't change more lives without your support.

"Most people with disabilities are trainable and employable. If given jobs, they can contribute to the country’s development and become taxpayers. ... They should not be perceived and treated as a liability to society"

- International Journal of Special Education (citing a World Bank estimate that AwLDs could contribute US$1.68 bn to Malaysia's economy) 

WHEN YOU JOIN D&S, YOU JOIN A COMMUNITY

Together, we make change possible

donors

Your gift fuels our fight for equal rights for all

awlds

Your courage opens new doors for all AwLDs

volunteers

Your support brings AwLD dreams to life

awld families

Your belief in your loved ones allows them to fly

Dignity & Services charity community photo at Christmas party at a mall.jpg

"I come away with so much more than I've given. Spending time with AwLDs and learning from their special qualities is so rewarding"


- Josh Green, Dignity & Services volunteer and charity chairman

we're a small charity with big ambitions

Because everyone deserves equal opportunities in life.

But we need your support. 

getting involved is easy ...

choose your option

Donate, volunteer or ask about our programs

stay in the loop

Read our regular emails for updates and opportunities 

be the change

Keep taking action to move us towards fairness for all

"I wanted to do good and give back to the community. I learned that special needs adults can also do their job like a normal adult - or even better!"

- Ping Hui, Dignity & Services volunteer

Adults with learning disabilities face too many unfair obstacles in life.


Help us level the playing field.

You can make a donation. Or volunteer your time.

 

Every gift makes a difference.

Your generosity goes straight to changing AwLD lives

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