For 30 years, dIGNITY & SERVICES HAS been standing for and with adults with learning disabilities
We invite you to stand with our charity to give AwLDs the tools for a more independent life. And to fight for a fairer Malaysia.
a voice with a right to be heard
When three friends set up Dignity and Services (D&S) as a non-profit organisation supporting AwLDs in 1991, they had a vision of an inclusive Malaysia. Where everyone has a chance to lead a fulfilling and independent life, no matter their capacity for learning, communicating or using motor skills.
Our D&S team has held our founders’ vision as our guiding light ever since.
It keeps us on track in our work with adults with special needs. From advocacy to our supported living and on-the-job training programs.
Like you, we want a society:
Where people with learning disabilities are treated with the same dignity as everyone else. Where their opinions are heard and respected. And where they enjoy the same rights and opportunities.
Where children with special needs receive a full and rounded education. With all the training and support they need to step out into lives of their choice as adults.
Where AwLDs can go about their daily lives, find employment and do their jobs without facing stigma, discrimination and abuse.
Together, we can make our shared vision a reality
what inspired a priest, a doctor and a social activist to found malaysia's first charity for awlds?
Reverend Peter Young felt compelled to take action after a shocking personal experience.
You can watch our video to find out why Peter, then head of Christian NGO Malaysian Care, approached paediatrician Datuk Dr Sam Abraham and social activist Datuk Dr Denison Jaysooria. Why the "innocent trio" set up D&S. And why they soon changed the charity's motto from speaking for AwLDs to standing with them.
You'll hear too from AwLDs and their families about what D&S's pioneering work has meant to them.
why we're still here
With the support of our donors and volunteers, our supported living and employment training programs have transformed hundreds of AwLD lives over the past three decades.
But there’s still a long way to go to achieve our vision.
Many adults with special needs in Malaysia are neglected, marginalised and left poor - because they lack the skills and support for a better life.
Some are even mistreated by strangers, friends and their own family. They may find themselves hidden away as prisoners in their homes.
So we’re still here - standing for and with AwLDs.
We continue to fight against them being stereotyped as defenceless, useless individuals. Because that’s the right thing to do. And because we know nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth? Our director, Chia Lynn, puts it perfectly:
“They possess unique superpowers that can transform those who interact with them into patient, understanding, and compassionate individuals. They have an unparalleled perspective on the world, and they possess hidden talents that are truly awe-inspiring.”
the 3 pillars of d&S
Our programs provide opportunities for AwLDs to challenge themselves and to grow into rounded individuals capable of living as independently as possible. By learning new skills, having a go at new activities and saying yes to new experiences. We also work with AwLD families - and facilitate them forming circles of mutual support.
We stand alongside our AwLDs to advocate for their legal rights to be strengthened and enforced. And for better social policies in education and employment. We want to overturn the common belief that AwLDs always need a representative to speak on their behalf. In our programs, they take the lead in decision-making and learn to communicate effectively so they can speak for themselves.
changing public opinion
All our D&S programs, activities and events are designed to get AwLDs out of their homes and into the wider world. So they can enjoy wide-ranging experiences in their lives like anyone else. But also so the public can get used to seeing them going about their daily lives. And embrace them as active and valuable members of the community.
"My autistic son joined D&S's Options program when he was 18. In the past few years, he has learned a lot of life skills, like the concept of self-care, cleaning and tidying the house and kitchen, learning how to do grocery shopping and taking the LRT for an outing ... He has improved a lot since he joined Options - I hope he has a better future ahead"
- Kelly, Options member Ji Xian's mother
OUR CORE TEAM
Chan Chia Lynn is the big boss of our little charity. Before becoming our executive director, she spent seven years working as a Behavioural Analysis Therapist with autistic children.
She marvelled at their "extraordinary abilities". But was horrified by negative attitudes towards them. So vowed to help smooth their challenging journey into adulthood - by joining D&S.
Chia Lynn's core team helps keep the Options supported living and Bake with Dignity on-the-job training programs running smoothly. And work on expanding our reach. So we can help more AwLDs thrive.
Our D&S team moves mountains to transform lives. But they can't do it all on their own.
Their success depends on hands-on input from our volunteers. And on the fuel provided by our donors.