On September 10 Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer (ACAO) Michael Cavey introduced a special program at the Lincoln Corner in KL in honor of disabled persons in the U.S. and around the world. Guests included the Honorable Senator Bhathmavathi Krishnan (a wheel chair user herself) and about 50 disabled persons in Kuala Lumpur representing wheel chair users, the blind, the deaf, spinal injury persons, their care givers, and activitsts. The audience watched a 30- minute documentary film, “The Great Fight for Disability Rights” about the disability rights movement in the United States which finally led to the adoption of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 1990.
Following the screening of the film, a panel comprising disabled persons: Senator Bhathmavathi, Dr Ruzita Mohd Amin (an academic from the International Islamic University) and Mr. V Murugeswaran (President, Damai Disabled Persons Association of Malaysia) engaged the audience in a discussion about the film and shared their individual experiences as disabled persons living primarily in Malaysia but also having lived a part of their lives in the U.S. The entire audience applauded the documentary film. An activist emphasized that the film “should go viral” as it sent a very “powerful message” about treating the disabled as persons with “equal and inalienable rights as every other citizen.” Another activist added, “the film has many examples we should incorporate here in our struggle for equal rights for the disabled.” Following the program, the audience browsed the Corner collections which included titles in braille, Playaway audio books, iPads and Kindle e-readers. All of them were granted free membership to the Corner and the host library.