Self-Advocacy Society of Persons with Learning Disabilities Selangor & Kuala Lumpur


"Given the Right and Opportunity, persons with Learning Disabilities can be empowered & enabled to contribute in an inclusive society"


About United Voice
United Voice (UV) is the first society in Malaysia that is led by persons with learning disabilities which was registered in July 2005.

The members of UV include persons with Down Syndrome, Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Global Developmental Delay and other specific learning disabilities.

Since UV became a registered society, it has grown rapidly. More parents are beginning to realize the need to expose their children with learning disabilities to the self-advocacy movement activities so that they learn to be more independent and develop skills to voice up for themselves.

Through the years, UV has been an advocate to ensure persons with learning disabilities are given the right to be part of the community, to work, to socialise, to contribute and to be respected as individuals.

We participated in awareness programs for the public, government officials, corporate sector, NGOs, schools and universities to foster better understanding and acceptance by our community.

Recognition and Self-Advocacy Promotion
United Voice pioneered the self-advocacy movement in Malaysia to reduce the isolation of people with learning disabilities and give them the tools and experience to take greater control over their own lives and be integrated in the community. UV has been actively collaborating with Malaysia Welfare Department, Malaysia Special Education Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), local universities and NGOs to organize awareness events on the importance of self-advocacy.

United Voice’s effort in developing the self-advocacy movement in Malaysia has been commended by UNESCAP, UNDP, APCD and JICA Malaysia.

United Nations Economic and Social Commission Asia Pacific (UNESCAP) invited two leaders of United Voice to participate in a workshop on empowering people with learning disabilities held in Shanghai in 2007. 

Asia Pacific Development Centre on Disabilities (APCD) invited the President of United Voice to share about self-advocacy movement in Malaysia and employment for people with learning disabilities at a workshop held in Bangkok in February 2008.

United Voice collaborated with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA Malaysia) in April 2008 to organize training seminars on self-advocacy and employment held in Special Education Department Putrajaya, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Bahru, Ipoh, Seremban, Penang and Melaka.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malaysia and Malaysia Economy Planning Unit (EPU) engaged United Voice to conduct an awareness training on People with Learning Disabilities and Employment in Johor for Management of Carrefour Malaysia and Majlis Bandaraya Johor Bahru in September 2008.

We actively participate in events to promote the needs of persons with learning disabilities. UV participates in national forums and dialogues that are related to policy-making and legislations for persons with learning disabilities.

Our society is also involved with other disability groups in advocating for persons with disabilities in Malaysia. We are a member of BEAT (Barrier-free Environment and Transport) Advocacy Group and Malaysia Confederation of the Disabled (MCD). We collaborate with BEAT members to conduct Disability Equality Training Programme for Air Asia Academy, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTM), Attorney General’s Chambers Malaysia and others.


Objectives
  • To provide a meeting place for persons with learning disabilities where they help and support each other to learn more about their rights and become more responsible in the community.
  • To develop leadership, independent skills and confidence among members so that they can speak for themselves and make their own decision.
  • To speak and act on behalf of other persons with learning disabilities.
  • To provide training on Self-advocacy for persons with learning disabilities all over Malaysia.
  • To make the community more aware of the rights, needs and abilities of persons with learning disabilities.
  • To create employment for members.
  • To provide an example to the community of a quality service run by persons with learning disabilities.

History of United Voice

11 May 1995:
A Self-Advocacy Group (SAG) was formed with only 4 members. This Self-Advocacy Group was sponsored by Dignity and Services, an NGO who advocates for persons with learning disabilities.

By early 1996
  • There were 8 members in this self-advocacy group.
  • A committee was formed to allow the members to learn to take leadership roles during meetings.
  • The group members learned to plan meetings, chair meetings and take minutes.
  • Their organisational skills began with simple tea parties.
January 2000:
  • The Self-Advocacy Group was re-named United Voice.
  • By then, United Voice had 10 members
  • The name was chosen because we believe it is important to unite the voice of persons with learning disabilities.
       Club House      Eating in the Clubhouse      EP-2003
July 2002:
United Voice moved office from Dignity & Services to the UV Clubhouse in Shah Alam – a rent free terrace house given by a kind couple.
  • By then, we had about 25 members.
  • It was here that UV began to learn to be more independent from Dignity & Services
November 2002:
  • An Employment Project was set up in Shah Alam.
  • This income-generating project began by employing 7 UV members.
July 2003
  • UV co-organized with Dignity & Services a three day workshop on Self-Advocacy.2003 Self-advocacy training
  • 15 self-advocates representing Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Melaka and Sabah participated in this workshop.
  • One of the action plan at the end of the 3 day workshop was for each delegate to return to their own communities and start their own self-advocacy groups
  • As a result of this event, two self-advocacy groups were formed:
    • Dragon Club sponsored by Pusat Kanak-kanak Istimewa Kajang, Selangor
    • Friendship Club sponsored by Malaysian CARE, Kuala Lumpur.
1stNSAC
Nov 30 – 4 Dec 2004
  • Friendship Club, Dragon Club and United Voice joint effort to organise the 1st National Self-Advocacy Conference
  • 120 people from 8 states participated in the 1st National Self-Advocacy Conference, 20041st NASC Flag bearers
  • At the Conference…
    • We learned about our Rights and our Responsibilities
    • We learned to voice up for ourselves.
    • We discussed about Employment, Relationships and our Future
    • We also learned what it means to be a leader and how to run a self-advocacy group.
  • After the Conference
    • More persons with learning disabilities and their supporting friends became aware of Self-Advocacy.
    • Self-Advocacy groups that were involved in organising this event became more enthusiastic and are more involved in the Self-Advocacy movement
UV office at Section 17 2005 is a significant year…

May 2005
  • UV moved office to Section 17 Petaling Jaya. Another kind couple offered UV a shop-lot rent-free for 3 years.
  • United Voice member and staff visited a group of adults at Asia Community Service in Penang and gave a talk about self-advocacy.
  • A month after that visit, another self-advocacy group, Mutiara Voice Club was formed.
1st July 2005
  • UV Employment Project expanded since moving to section 17. The project is now employs 18 UV members.
12th July 2005
  • UV registered with the Registrar of Societies.
  • UV became the 1st Society in Malaysia run by Persons with Learning Disabilities.
  • The dream of UV members became a reality – a Society of our own!!!
UV members with ROS Cert
United Voice members outside the Registrar of Societies office with the ROS certificate
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© Copyright United Voice. All rights reserved
Address: 603, Jln 17/12, 46400, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: 603-79540701 Email: unitedvoiceinfo@gmail.com