Abilympics (coined from the phrase “Olympics of Abilities”), a skills competition for persons with disabilities (PWDs) have helped to overturn traditional views in regard to the skills, potentials and abilities of PWDs, resulting in increased employment opportunities and vocational stability.
The concept of International Abilympics (IA) competition is similar to ‘Skills Competition’ which is coordinated by the Ministry of Human Resources through the Department of Skills Development, whereby qualified non-disabled representatives will be selected to compete at the international level (WorldSkills competition).
The first IA was held in Tokyo, Japan in 1981 to commemorate the United Nations’ International Year of Disabled Persons. It was then held on a regular basis every four years.
The objectives of the Abilympics competition are:
1. To elevate the desire of PWDs for vocational independence and improve their vocational skills;
2. To enhance public understanding on the vocational abilities of PWDs and their participation in socio-economic activities;
3. To support full participation of PWDs in society, with special focus on their employment promotion;
4. To promote international exchange and friendship among participants;
5. To ensure the involvement of the respective governments in the improvement of vocational skills and promotion of employment of PWDs.
Malaysian Council for Rehabilitation (MCR) is the national and international coordinator for Abilympics, responsible for selecting qualified Malaysia PWDs to compete in the international Abilympics. On the other hand, Sabah Council of Social Services (MPMS) is the regional coordinator for Abilympics in Sabah. As a member of MPMS, C.H.I.L.D. Sabah has been appointed to run the Outdoor Photography category.
The Abilympics Sabah 2018 has seven categories, which are (1) Floral Arrangement; (2) Dressmaking – Basic Course; (3) Dressmaking – Advance Course; (4) Photography – Outdoor; (5) Painting; (6) Silk Hand Painting; and (7) Computer Assembly.