Deputy minister wants Northern Region to have its own OSEIC

Rosey (seated front centre) with participants of the programme.

By Brad Rantayy

MIRI, Aug 22: Deputy Minister for Women, Childhood, and Community Development Datuk Rosey Yunus has called for the setting up of a rehabilitation centre in the Northern Region similar to the One-Stop Early Intervention Centre (OSEIC) in Kuching to prevent children with special needs from being left out of the education system and upskilling programmes.

“It is important that the Northern Region have its own OSEIC so that children with special needs, especially those with hearing impairment and speech difficulties, in Miri, Bekenu, Marudi, Bintulu, Limbang, and Lawas can access its services,” she said on today during the closing of a two-day sign language course in Miri.

She added that 611 children with hearing impairment and speech difficulties had been identified in the Northern Region from last year to this year.

Out of that figure, Miri has 371 children with hearing impairment and 20 with speech difficulties; Bintulu has 186 with hearing impairment and 20 with speech difficulties; and Limbang and Lawas have 94 with hearing impairment and 14 with speech difficulties.

“Hearing loss in children can lead to speech and language delay. Thus, early intervention is critical to make sure that their hearing loss is treated appropriately to reduce the impact that hearing loss has on her or his education,” Rosey pointed out.

She also emphasised the role of parents in early intervention to help their children reach their full potential.

“Early identification of developmental issues and a strong support system can help these children to excel and overcome their difficulties,” Rosey said.

Parents with children with hearing impairment, she said, should not hesitate to learn sign language as it helps them to communicate better with their children.

“It’s a good idea to learn sign language to understand your children so that they don’t feel alone or left behind,” she said.

A total of 55 participants from the welfare departments from Miri, Bintulu, Limbang, and Lawas took part in the course held at a leading hotel here since August 21. — DayakDaily