Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
WHO estimates 15 in 100 people globally have some form of disabilities with millions of them living in Asia Pacific. This is the single largest marginalised community globally.
While the Biwako Millennium Framework calls for an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for PWDs in Asia Pacific, the biggest obstacle remains negative stereotyping and attitudinal misconception.
Many Asian cultures perceive disability as karma or paying for past lives misdeeds.
Mainstream media portrayals of persons with disabilities perpetuate negative perceptions that disability is a fearful condition or sensationalised based on the 3Ps of Prevention (Disability is a tragedy and disabled is a condition that must be cured) Pity (that Disabled People are charity cases) Pedestal (Highlighting mainly disabled overachievers who triumph over tragedy).
Locally,fear of stigmatisation and lack of awareness, results in only 300,000 Malaysians with disabilities registered. Such actions deprive many children born with disabilities of early intervention and habilitation.About 20,000 children are born with some form of disabilities annually.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
Challenges is Malaysia’s 1st cross-disability national magazine targeting persons with disabilities (whether congenital or acquired, from trauma, chronic diseases and ageing), parents, families, carers, NGOs, youth, educators, practitioners in Human Resource, CSR , healthcare and medical sectors, providers of hospitality, tourism and related services, proponents of universal design of built environment, products and facilties.
At Challenges, we see ‘Disability’ as a ‘Diamond’. An uncut priceless gem, that we will polish with care, revealing in subsequent issues, the various facets of this ‘D’ that is so close to our hearts. Like the diamond cutter, our aim is not to attack, but to selectively bring forth the inherent brilliance that lies within.
As the media platform for knowledge and empowering experiences in disability, we seek to change mindsets; to redefine perceptions of disability and its issues, not only amongst the public but also within the disability community as well.
We believe there is no better advocate than a self advocate.
Challenges mentors persons with disabilities to be independent, skilled media professionals, self-advocates creating a positive Voice of Disability,
Starting with a glossy full colour English national magazine, targeted at policy makers in public and corporate sectors, our eventual goal is to build an Asian disability media network for Asians with disabilities in various languages, with our own online internet radio/tv channel, offering information, connectivity and employment to persons with disabilities.