The image shows the “Make the Right Real in Malaysia” logo of The OKU Rights Matter website and an image of two smiling brothers, the older with his right hand over the right shoulder of the younger one with spinal muscular atrophy and using a wheelchair.

Why Data Matters: Be Counted to Count

Even trees need a friend. We all need friends. It all happens automatically. We want to use a lot pressure while using no pressure at all.

Disability Data – Be Counted to Count

Disability data is more than just numbers. Behind the numbers are the life stories of persons with disabilities: the everyday challenges we face; barriers to participating, in roles and activities that are expected of non-disabled people, within our community; prejudice and discrimination faced in many aspects of life, including education, healthcare, employment, etc. Each story contributes to our understanding of the disability experience and the changes necessary to eliminate all barriers in our society, whether physical or social environment.

Each person with disability(ies) count. And we, whether disabled or not, must collectively and collaboratively change the way we do things to improve the quality of life, eliminate discrimination, and uphold the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.

Statistics: Be Counted to Count

At the same time, disability-inclusive data that reflects the experiences and needs of persons with disabilities are important to help disability activists and disability organisations to advocate for systemic changes necessary to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities.

Disability-inclusive data will help communities and decision-makers such as government agencies, local authorities, non-governmental agencies, corporate bodies to:

  • Understand and meet the diverse needs of persons with disabilities and respect the multiple ways we need to be supported to participate meaningfully in our society.
  • Fulfil accessibility requirements and incorporate Universal Design principles in the built-environment, public transportation, dissemination of information, infrastructure, and services that they offer.
  • Provide meaningful and equitable assistance and accommodations (adjustments) to persons with disabilities.
  • Provide disability-inclusive healthcare to children and families with disabilities that focuses on improving their quality of life.
  • Ensure children and persons with disabilities have equal access to education opportunities and resources, as well as meaningfully and inclusively participate in schools and education programmes.
  • Eliminate discriminatory employment practices and provide supports and accommodations to enable persons with disabilities to work effectively and successfully.
  • Provide equitable access to persons with disabilities in all aspects of living, including housing, banking and finance, legal and justice, community participation, political participation, etc.