Disability

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An audio description device used on the set of Not In My Lifetime? which allow blind or vision-impaired audience members to fully enjoy the experience of a live theatre performance.

Contents

The Disability Community Network

Definitions and Scope

People with Disabilities

Persons with disabilities refer to “those whose prospects of securing, retaining places and advancing in education and training institutions, employment and recreation as equal members of the community are substantially reduced as a result of physical, sensory, intellectual and developmental impairments.” Enabling Masterplan, MSF

[Point to note: Lien Centre for Social Innovation adopts this definition in their recent publication titled People with Physical Disabilities in Singapore: Understanding Disabling Factors in Caregiving, Education, Employment and Finances.]

There is no standard definition of disability which is accepted by all stakeholders. For example, NCSS/SSI lists a SSI course on mental illness under disability category, but in practice persons with chronic mental illness are not eligible for disability policies and programmes. This group is also not covered by Public Transport Concession Scheme for Persons with Disabilities, for which only those with "Physical Disability, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability" qualify.

"But this differs from that of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, because those with mental health impairments - such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders - are left out. When asked about this, the MSF says not all mental illnesses result in disabilities, and with medication and treatment, patients are able to function well on their own." (ST 8 May 2016)

Client Segments

Page to Adults with Autism

Page to Visual Impairment

Page to Hearing Impairment

Page to Arts and Disability

Page to Intellectual Disability

Statistics

No definite data of the total number of people with disability exists, because no official central registry or comprehensive disability study has been done. According to 2013 data from SG Enable, Singapore has about 100,000 people with disabilities. In view of Singapore’s ageing population, this number will increase by 2030 as more people acquire a disability through the ageing process. According to Singapore’s population index, “the number of elderly citizens will triple to 900,000 by 2030.” Population.sg

In Singapore, those with disabilities are estimated to make up 3 per cent of the population or well over 100,000 people.(ST 27 Sep 2016)

Some disability prevalence rates of Singapore citizens with disabilities are available from the Enabling Masterplan 2017-2021. According to the foreword of the Enabling Masterplan 2017-2021, 2.1% of the student population have disabilities. (Source: Ministry of Education. This is based on the number of reported cases of students with sensory impairment, physical impairment, autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. The total student population is put at approximately 460,000). Of the resident population aged 18 – 49 years, 3.4% have disabilities (Source: National Council of Social Service. Based on a random sampling of 2,000 Singapore residents and permanent residents aged 18 and above done by NCSS in 2015, the self-reported disability prevalence rate was 3.4% for those aged 18 – 49 years old. This includes those who acquired disabilities due to accidents and illness.) Of the resident population aged 50 years and above, 13.3% have disabilities (Source: National Council of Social Service. Based on a random sampling of 2,000 Singapore residents and permanent residents aged 18 and above done by NCSS in 2015, the self-reported disability prevalence rate was 13.3% for those aged 50 years and above. This includes those who acquired disabilities due to accidents, illness and older age).

To view and download the Enabling Masterplan 2017-2021, go to the Ministry of Social and Family Development's Disabilities and Special Needs page: (Enabling Masterplan 2017-2021)

Yomex-owo-634531-unsplash.jpg

Desired Outcomes & Objectives

Sources

EARLY INTERVENTION


Timely and effective early intervention

  • While EIPIC serves around 3,200 children with mod-severe special needs, waitlists can extend from 6 months to 1 year. Further, early intervention professionals tend to have high turnover and quick burnout, due to unattractive remuneration compared to the private sector.

STATISTICS

  • 7,000 children aged 6 and below have developmental difficulties as of 2015[1]
  • Between 2010 and 2014, KKH and NUS screenings show a 76% increase in children 6 and below with developmental issues such as development delays, speech and language delays, learning difficulties and autism spectrum disorders (ASD)[2]
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Post-Diagnostic Touchpoints

[need information]

  • For caregivers of children with ASD, touchpoints are poorly equipped in advising parents on where to obtain reliable help during the post-diagnostic phase
  • Recommendations from EM3 that MSF will consider[3]
    • Recommendation 3, Strategic Direction 1: Improve transition management
      • For newly-diagnosed cases, to set up an agency to provide case referral, care planning and advisory services, and to facilitate smooth handover of information to other agencies
      • Includes developing a standardised case management tool between primary support agency and other service providers
    • Recommendation 4, Strategic Direction 4: Enhance network of touchpoints to ensure timely and effective detection of developmental needs
      • To make information and training more available to touchpoints (e.g., family, hospitals, polyclinics, family medicine practitioners, community partners) such as using electronic platforms, training primary care practitioners
Development Support (DS) & Learning Support (LS)
  • For pre-school children with mild developmental needs [total number of such children?]
  • Support and intervention in areas such as speech and language, social skills, motor skills, behaviour and literacy
  • Rolled out to > 300 preschools, > 2,000 children and families, caa December 2015[4]
  • [outcomes information on how DS/LS has fared?]
Early Intervention Programme for Infants & Children (EIPIC)
  • Therapy and educational support services for children below 6 years with special needs at risk of moderate to severe developmental delays [total number of such children?]
  • 21 EIPIC Centres, caa July 2018[5]
  • Currently serving about 2,600 children[6], projected to grow to 3,200 places by 2018[7][8]
  • Enhanced Pilot for Private Intervention Providers to subsidise selected Private Intervention Centres
  • SPD - Building Bridges @ EIPIC Centres are at Tiong Bahru, Jurong, Tampines & Bedok served a total of 465 children in FY16/17[9] - 41 graduated, 27 progressing to mainstream primary and the rest to SPED
  • EIPIC Centres have long waiting lists (up to six months[10] or a year[11])
  • Early Intervention Professionals face quick burnout, unattractive salaries/benefits relative to the private sector and shortage of manpower[12][13]
  • Long waiting lists at EIPIC Centres - (1) If disproportionately high at certain EIPIC Centres, to educate and counsel parents on their choice of centre or (2) scale up vacancies
Community Educational Support Services

EDUCATION

  • OVERARCHING GAP : Ambiguity over what ‘inclusive education’ means.
    • UNCRPD Article 24 gives an idea , but there is no coordinating or national policy about inclusion from which mainstream and SPED schools can develop their inclusive programmes and practice
    • Some tend to describe inclusion as only placement in a mainstream classroom, while others mistakenly assume it is a one-size-fits-all approach
    • EI professionals describe it as “special needs children being accepted for who they are and given opportunities to learn, grow, develop their full potentials and live meaningfully”[12] 

Accessible and quality pre-school options

  • Many mainstream preschools are reluctant to take in children with special needs because their facilities and their teachers are not equipped, and there are only a handful of inclusive preschools & ICCPs.
  • While private pre-schools are better in quality and accessibility, they may not be affordable to all parents.
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Inclusive Preschools
  • Lack of affordable pre-school options. Inclusive learning environments pose higher costs which can prohibit those from low/middle-income families. Private operators are costly and limited as well.[16] Kindle Garden raised fees fees from $980 to $1,880 a month for full-day childcare from January 2018 (Median fee for full-day childcare is $867 caa 30 June 2017[17])
  • Parents report difficulties enrolling children with preschools[18]:
    • Estimated that 70% of EIPIC students do not attend preschool due to severity of their needs and lack of readiness of preschools to take child in
    • Many parents feel their kids inadequately supported by inexperienced staff, an unsuitable curriculum and inadequate school facilities 
Integrated Child Care Programme (ICCP)
  • Select childcare centres that allow children with mild special needs to learn, play and socialise alongside their mainstream peers
  • 14 ICCP Centres caa 18 May 2018[19]

Trained educators in both special education (SPED) and mainstream settings

There are certification pathways for educators in SPED and mainstream settings in the area of SEN; however, the issue is whether certifications are adequate, and attracting people to take on this training and career in the first place.

  • For mainstream teachers, the compulsory 12-hour module on special needs does not offer in-depth learning, and there is no follow-up subsequently to ensure that teachers know how to manage practically.
  • SPED teachers face unattractive salaries and burnout.
  • The 500 allied educators hired by MOE are not adequately trained in terms of behavioural management and lack clarity on their roles and expectations vis-a-vis the teachers.
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Mainstream Teachers
  • NIE Pre-Service Training on Special Needs features a compulsory 12-hour module on special needs for all beginning teachers
  • NIE training does not offer depth of learning, particularly the practical learning and hands-on experience needed to prepare teachers to manage a class with students with disabilities[20]
    • Anecdotal: "The lesson is really only 4-6 hours, across 1-2 lessons"
  • TSNs in St. Anthony's Canossian Secondary School developed an in-house training module
Formal Education Certification
  • Low remuneration and occupational prestige, and high course fees deter many from entering the field of special education[21][22][23][24][25]
    • Entry requirements differ - becoming a SPED teacher does not require a degree[26]
    • Dispute: "Salaries of SPED teachers and MOE teachers are equal at the start, but diverge as MOE teachers have better progression pathways (hence higher pay)" - Social Service Sector Salary Guidelines[27]
    • Dispute: "There are salary adjustments every three years."
  • High turnover of SPED teachers[28]
    • Dispute: [What is the actual data? Vs. mainstream schools?]
    • Lack of adequate training in the area of student behavioural management
    • SPED teachers do not have have the same progression opportunities as mainstream teachers[29]
    • [Are there enough/trained SPED Teachers to manage increase intake of students due to Revised Compulsory Education Act?]
  • Establish provisions for self-care for SPED professionals
  • Some professionals enter the field in pursuit of a perceived calling (rather than purely monetary aspects); can they be supported in realising their calling/aims? [30]
Allied Educators (Learning and Behavioural Support)
  • Provides support to students to meet their needs and behavioural challenges
  • All 190 primary schools and 69 secondary schools (40% of the total number of secondary schools) have at least one AED(LBS)[31]
  • Currently around 500 AED(LBS), set to rise[32]
  • [Need outcome information as to whether AED(LBS):SEN student ratio is sufficient]
  • High turnover of Allied Educators[33]
    • [What is the actual data?]
    • Due to unclear job scope, low remuneration and lack of career progression, as well as perceived lower work status relative to MOE teachers[34]
    • Lack of adequate training in the area of student behavioural management
    • [Are there enough/trained Allied Educators to manage increase intake of students due to Revised Compulsory Education Act?]
  • For students with disabilities who have experienced trauma, financial stress and who come from broken/dysfunctional families, they require intensive help. In addition to allied professionals, what of family, art and music therapists?
    • Only two SPED schools under Rainbow Centre have art and music therapists
Teachers Trained in Special Needs (TSN) Scheme
  • Certificate course for mainstream teachers to receive 108 hours of further training in learning disabilities and strategies to support SEN pupils in classroom teaching and learning
  • Comprise 10% of teachers in mainstream primary schools and 20% in secondary schools[35]
Gaps
  1. . High turnover of SPED teachers .
    • Lack of adequate training in the area of student behavioural management
    • SPED teachers do not come under MOE’s purview and cannot access the same salaries and opportunities 
    • Dispute: [What is the actual data? Vs. mainstream schools?]
  2. Concerns about the implications of the revised Compulsory Education Act :
    • Are there enough teachers trained in special needs? Are allied educators being adequately supported?

Questions

  1. Are there enough/trained Allied Educators to manage increase intake of students due to Revised Compulsory Education Act?
  2. Are there statistics on SPED teacher/AED turnover rates?
  3. For some professionals who enter the field of special education in pursuit of a perceived calling, rather than purely monetary aspects, how can they be supported in realising their calling/aims? There is an increasing body of work on the idea of a calling work orientation .
  4. What are provisions for self-care for educational professionals?
  5. For students with disabilities who have experienced trauma, financial stress and who come from broken/dysfunctional families, they require intensive help. In addition to allied professionals, what of family, art and music therapists? Only two SPED schools under Rainbow Centre have art and music therapists.

Gain access to an adequate education (mainstream school, homeschooling, alternative education etc.)

  • The Revised Compulsory Education Act will ensure that most children with special needs aged 6-15 attend school; however there are concerns about its implementation (e.g. affordability of SPED schools, caregiving and transport arrangements, readiness of schools and special needs educators to accept a higher intake).
  • There is a plethora of financial assistance and transport support from SG Enable, but the affordability of education remains a challenge to families more affected by costs involved in schooling a special needs child, especially those with severe conditions.

STATISTICS

  • 2.1% of the student population has disabilities, based on the number of reported cases of students with sensory impairment, physical impairment, autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. The total student population is put at approximately 460,000[3]
  • There are 31,000 students with special needs (80% mainstream school, 20% SPED)[36] ; 20,000 children with SEN have enrolled in mainstream schools[37]
  • A third of Singaporeans do not have a disabled person in their social circles [38]
  • About 1% of students across publicly-funded universities, polytechnics and ITEs have some form of disability[39]

The Revised Compulsory Education Act — concerns about implications:

  • Are there enough teachers trained in special needs?
  • Are allied educators being adequately supported?
  • While primary school education is nearly free, SPED schooling can cost more – appears to go against UNCRPD Article 24, which call for “free and compulsory primary education”
  • Increased costs in schooling a special needs child—transporting a child needing a wheelchair to school, to other needs such as speech and occupational therapy, high fees for those with severe conditions 
  • Opportunity costs can be high for children with autism, such as forgoing Applied Behaviour Analysis therapy which would have better equipped children with behavioural and learning capabilities necessary for school in the first place 
  • SPED schools already have long waiting lists. Can they cope?
  • How would this implicate SPED school funding?
  • Will special needs students be assessed at the same level as mainstream students in certain areas?
  • Are there adequate caregiving and transport provisions availed?
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Mainstream Primary Schools
  • Deaf/Hearing Impairment
    • Mayflower Primary School (Signing)
  • Physical Disabilities
    • 57 primary schools have barrier-free accessibility (e.g., ramp and lifts for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility, wheelchair accessible toilets)
  • Learning Disabilities
    • DAS’ Main Literacy Programme
    • School-based Dyslexia Remediation (SDR) Programme
  • Teachers Trained in Special Needs (TSN)
    • 108-hour certificate course that equips teachers with a deeper understanding of learning disabilities and strategies to support SEN pupils in classroom teaching and learning 
  • Not all mainstream primary schools are fully accessible to all disability types. Few mainstream schools offer facilities for students with sensory impairments (VI/HI).
  • Recommendations from EM3 that MSF will consider[3]
    • Recommendation 5, Strategic Direction 3
      • To enhance capability of professional staff in mainstream schools to support students with SEN
      • To implement AT and resources for SEN students
Mainstream Secondary Schools
  • Deaf/Hearing Impairment
    • Beatty Secondary School (Signing)
    • Outram Secondary School (Oral)
    • St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School (Oral)
  • Visual Impairment
    • Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School
    • Bedok South Secondary School
    • Dunearn Secondary School
  • Physical Disabilities
    • 34 secondary schools have barrier free accessibility (e.g., ramp and lifts for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility, wheelchair accessible toilets)
  • Learning Disabilities
    • DAS’ Main Literacy Programme
    • School-based Dyslexia Remediation (SDR) Programme
  • Teachers Trained in Special Needs (TSN)
    • 108-hour certificate course that equips teachers with a deeper understanding of learning disabilities and strategies to support SEN pupils in classroom teaching and learning 
  • Not all mainstream secondary schools are fully accessible to all disability types
  • Recommendations from EM3 that MSF will consider[3]
    • Recommendation 5, Strategic Direction 3
      • To enhance capability of professional staff in mainstream schools to support students with SEN
      • To implement AT and resources for SEN students
Special Education (SPED) Schools
  • Serve students from 7-21 years of age
  • 19 SPED Schools funded by the government as of January 2018[40] , by APSN, Metta, PCS, MINDS, AWWA, Rainbow Centre, CPAS, ARC, AA, SAMH, Canossian Daughters and SAVH
  • Guided by the SPED Curriculum Framework
  • Limited number of SPED schools, with long waiting lists up to two years[41].
    • MOE has said that parents contribute to longer wait lists and waiting times for admission by fixating on a single school
  • Lack of pathways for SPED students to enter/re-enter the mainstream education system, or to access the mainstream curricula (e.g., Physical Education, Home Economics).
    • Some argue that the divergence of the SPED curricula right from the start makes it impractical to re-join the mainstream education format
Tertiary Institutions (Polys/ITEs/JCs/CI/Universities & Lasalle/NAFA)
  • Raffles Institution, ACS(I) and Milliennia Institute have barrier free accessibility (e.g., ramp and lifts for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility, wheelchair accessible toilets)[42]
  • Disability Support Officers @ Special Education Needs (SEN) Support Offices
    • Available at each publicly-funded university, polytechnic and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College
    • Provides holistic support for students with special educational needs, including in-class learning assistance and access arrangements.
  • There are also more than 1,500 polytechnic and ITE staff trained in basic SEN awareness and support. All polytechnic and ITE academic staff will be trained similarly over the next five years.[43]
Special Student Care Centres
  • Provides subsidised before and after school care services for students with special needs aged 7 to 18
  • MINDS' First Special Student Care Centre to open in 2019
Community Educational Support Services
Financial & Transport Support
  • High transport costs[45]
    • Some students with disabilities have physical impairments which make independent utilisation of public transport problematic for them
    • Parent availability to transport students is not always possible, particularly where both parents work
    • Costs still high for lower-income people with disabilities

For schools to provide reasonable accommodations to students with special educational needs

  • A handful of specialised mainstream primary and secondary schools have facilities and support for those with sensory, physical and learning disabilities; however, educators in mainstream schools generally lack the ability to engage meaningfully with students with special needs, their students might discriminate or even engage in bullying, and their parents may even resent having a special needs child in proximity
  • Tertiary institutions have special education needs units, disability support offices or equivalent, though these services tend to be unstructured and unsystematic

STATISTICS

  • 7 in 10 Singaporeans support the idea of inclusive education , but only 1 in 10 Singaporeans is sure about how to interact with a child with special needs[46]
  • 64% of Singaporeans are willing to share public spaces with disabled children, but not interact with them[46]
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Mainstream Primary Schools
  • Deaf/Hearing Impairment
    • Mayflower Primary School
  • Physical Disabilities
    • 57 primary schools have barrier-free accessibility (e.g., ramp and lifts for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility, wheelchair accessible toilets)
  • Learning Disabilities
    • DAS’ Main Literacy Programme
    • School-based Dyslexia Remediation (SDR) Programme
  • Not all mainstream primary schools are fully accessible. Few mainstream schools offer facilities for students with sensory impairments (VI/HI).
  • Primary school teachers often feel overwhelmed and ill-prepared to handle too many children with special needs and/or disabilities in a large class.[47]
  • Mainstream educators and students lack understanding of how to engage with people with disabilities without ignorance, pity or aggression[48] 
    • Especially those without prior contact with PWDs or training in special needs [49]
Mainstream Secondary Schools
  • Deaf/Hearing Impairment
    • Beatty Secondary School (Signing)
    • Outram Secondary School (Oral)
    • St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School (Oral)
  • Visual Impairment
    • Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School
    • Bedok South Secondary School
    • Dunearn Secondary School
  • Physical Disabilities
    • 34 secondary schools have barrier free accessibility (e.g., ramp and lifts for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility, wheelchair accessible toilets)
  • Learning Disabilities
    • DAS’ Main Literacy Programme
    • School-based Dyslexia Remediation (SDR) Programme
  • Not all mainstream secondary schools are fully accessible to all disability types
  • Mainstream educators and students lack understanding of how to engage with people with disabilities without ignorance, pity or aggression[48] 
Shadow Teachers
  • Provides shadow support to a student with special education needs in mainstream school settings (kindergartens and primary, secondary and international schools)[50]
  • Inclusion Therapy
Special Education (SPED) Schools
  • Serve students from 7-21 years of age
  • 19 SPED Schools funded by the government as of January 2018[40] , by APSN, Metta, PCS, MINDS, AWWA, Rainbow Centre, CPAS, ARC, AA, SAMH, Canossian Daughters and SAVH
  • Guided by the SPED Curriculum Framework
  • Limited number of SPED schools, with long waiting lists up to two years[41].
    • MOE has said that parents contribute to longer wait lists and waiting times for admission by fixating on a single school
  • Lack of pathways for SPED students to enter/re-enter the mainstream education system, or to access the mainstream curricula (e.g., Physical Education, Home Economics).
    • Some argue that the divergence of the SPED curricula right from the start makes it impractical to re-join the mainstream education format
Satellite Partnerships
  • Provide opportunities for integration between SPED and mainstream school students (e.g., learn together in mainstream classrooms for selected academic subjects, and co-organising joint activities such as CCAs and camps) [51]
  • 16 SPED schools have been involved as of 2014[52]
  • MSF is considerning Recommendation 6 of EM3: To enhance opportunities for interaction between mainstream and SPED students in Recommendation 6, with satellite partnerships as a good model[3]
Tertiary Institutions (Polys/ITEs/JCs/CI/Universities & Lasalle/NAFA)
  • Disability Support Officers @ Special Education Needs (SEN) Support Offices
    • Available at each publicly-funded university, polytechnic and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College
    • Provides holistic support for students with special educational needs, including in-class learning assistance and access arrangements.
  • Raffles Institution, ACS(I) and Milliennia Institute have barrier free accessibility (e.g., ramp and lifts for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility, wheelchair accessible toilets)[42]
  • There are also more than 1,500 polytechnic and ITE staff trained in basic SEN awareness and support. All polytechnic and ITE academic staff will be trained similarly over the next five years.[43]
  • Satelite Loan Libraries
    • Allows students to borrow assistive technologies at a library at Temasek Polytechnic, soon to be implemented at Singapore Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic too
  • Disability services in Singapore’s Higher Education sector tend to vary in terms of structure and consistency, and is in need of alignment across IHLs
ITE's Buddy’IN
  • Co-curricular activity which brings students of different abilities together[53]
Gaps
  1. Ambiguity over what ‘inclusive education’ means. 
    • UNCRPD Article 24 gives an idea , but there is no coordinating or national policy about inclusion from which mainstream and SPED schools can develop their inclusive programmes and practice
    • Some tend to describe inclusion as only placement in a mainstream classroom, while others mistakenly assume it is a one-size-fits-all approach
    • EI professionals describe it as “special needs children being accepted for who they are and given opportunities to learn, grow, develop their full potentials and live meaningfully”  
  2. Bullying of students with special needs
    • Children with SEN are more vulnerable 
    • 2 in 3 Singaporeans worry that children with special needs are at risk of being bullied  

For students to be prepared for work and independent living

  • Vocational training in SPED is structured with a Framework for Vocational Education in place, but it tends to under-emphasise soft skills required for employment, and has not kept up to date with automation and other market developments.
  • While SPED graduates typically learn how to be independent, those with developmental disabilities have a harder time retaining ADL skills upon exiting school. Newer living skills are also increasingly pertinent in a digital age, such as digital literacy and cyber-wellness.
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Special Education (SPED) Schools
  • Serve students from 7-21 years of age
  • 19 SPED Schools funded by the government as of January 2018[40] , by APSN, Metta, PCS, MINDS, AWWA, Rainbow Centre, CPAS, ARC, AA, SAMH, Canossian Daughters and SAVH
  • Pathlight School is the first local special needs school that has started to teach students how to code
  • Guided by the SPED Curriculum Framework
  • Level of vocational skill training across SPED schools is uneven[3]
  • The SPED curriculum over-emphasises the acquisition of hard skills as opposed to soft, employability skills, e.g., attending an interview, anger management, effective communication with co-workers
  • The SPED curriculum has not sufficiently incorporated topics on digital media literacy (e.g., Facebook, Whatsapp, cyberwellness) necessary for daily living
    • Dispute: "Cyberwellness is addressed among the SPED schools, and MOE Special Education Division has been working on this for the past 2 years."
  • Need to help daily living skills and activities of daily living be retained even after exiting school
    • This is more applicable to people with developmental disabilities who are in DACs, to help increase independence and possibly reduce demand for disability homes in the future.
  • MSF is considering Recommendation 5 of EM3: To place greater focus on life skills in the SPED curriculum[3]
  • Society Staples is working on a digital literacy course for people with developmental disabilities, funded by the LearnSG Seed Fund
  • Cyber Wellness Toolkit for Special Needs Students[54]
  • IMDA is working on a pilot programme, to be introduced in special education schools, for students with disabilities on how to stay safe online
School-to-Work (S2W) Transition Programme
  • Jointly launched by MSF, MOE and SG Enable in 2014
  • Students with the potential to work are referred by SPED schools to SG Enable, who matches them to job training; students receive on-site job training from job coaches for up to one year after graduation leading to employment
  • EM3 = plans to scale the programme up
Vocational Certification Programmes
  • Metta School
    • Students who successfully complete the programme will receive the Institute of Technical Education Skills Certificate (ISC).
  • APSN Delta Senior School
    • Students who successfully complete the programme will receive the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ).
  • Students who successfully attain the ISC or WSQ may apply for jobs in the open market or attend further advanced training (e.g., at ITEs to pursue the National ITE Certificate (NITEC) as long as they meet course pre-requisites)
  • Vocational training provided by SPED schools has not kept up with changing job market. Along with automation and digitalisation there is an increasing emphasis on specialist skills such as accounting, graphic design, teaching and administrative work, crowding out simple manual jobs[55]
    • SPD book binding orders and restoration services plunged by about 40% since 2010[56]
    • Bizlink lost contracts for printing and packing of red packets because businesses are outsourcing jobs to other countries in the region[56]
  • Review vocational training to ensure that skills and knowledge taught meet the changing needs of the job market

EMPLOYMENT

Aspire to an “Inclusive workplace”, which should include:

- Fair recruitment and procurement practices

- Policies concerning equality and human rights, working conditions, dignity at work, employee welfare are in place

- Reasonable accommodation made by employers: “an accommodation is defined as any change in work environment or processes to allow an employee with disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. As such, accommodations can be broadly categorised into either job or workplace accommodation. Examples of job accommodation include job trial, part time employment, flexible working hours and telecommuting. Workplace accommodation addresses the accessibility of the compound or facility. These accommodations are relevant not only to persons with disabilities, but also to other employees as well. Amongst other benefits, reasonable accommodations can lead to employee retention.”[file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/SG-Enable-Online-HRM-Series-Recruitment-and-Hiring.pdf SG Enable Online HRM Series]

- A welcoming workplace culture: “Inclusion goes beyond merely having a mix of employees with different demographics and backgrounds in the workplace. It is about appreciating employees for the unique value they bring to the workplace, and leveraging on those differences to add value to the organisation so that both the person and the organisation can flourish.” (TAFEP’s Creating an Inclusive Workplace toolkit


"Inclusive workplaces are rare in Singapore, where persons with disabilities (PWDs) comprise just 0.55 per cent of the resident labour force. They are mainly employed in the hospitality, food and beverage, wholesale and retail, and administrative support sectors" (ST 1 Oct 2017)


Be job ready

How 'job ready' is understood

  • To obtain vocational/technical, soft and employability skills
  • To be aware of their own strengths and preferences
  • For those with acquired disabilities: To be in good psychosocial health, mindset and adjusted expectations
  • To be proactive in searching for jobs
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
SkillsFuture
  • All Singaporeans aged 25 and above have S$500 in credit to take courses[57]
Vocational Training in SPED Schools
School-to-Work Transition Programme (S2W)
  • Begins in the year of graduation and lasts for up to a year after
  • Students with the potential to work identified by SG Enable and schools and matched to job training 
  • 24 in 30 students who joined S2W found a job, with 20 remaining employed for at least 6 months[58]
  • EM3 has taken note of this: To scale up S2W programme so that more SPED school students can participate[3]
Framework for Vocational Education

To guide the 19 SPED schools in designing a structured vocational education programme that includes vocational guidance, an assessment of students’ interests, preferences and strengths, and opportunities for structured and authentic work experiences to support development of work habits and skills.

Enabling Masterplan 3[59] 

  • MOE to work more closely with SPED schools to further strengthen vocational preparation for SPED students
  • SG Enable, MSF and MOE to work with the community to strengthen and expand opportunities for vocational training and job placements
Some SPED students have difficulty mastering job skills training even when approaching graduation/18 years old. Can they continue learning even after graduation?  Allow SPED students to attend courses ad-hoc, even after graduation.
SPED school graduates lack internship opportunities during their school-going years and a foothold in permanent employment. SPED schools and VWOs typically do this through their own contacts. Have a central coordinator that facilitates the internship process. What are the possible alternatives for students who are unsuccessful in an internship placement?  
Content taught in WSQ- and WPLN- certified courses may not always be understood, and skills learnt not retained and applied. 
Transition Planning Guide

(entitled Transition Planning For Living, Learning And Working - Making It Happen)

  • Received by all SPED schools in 2017 
  • For SPED schools to help students with setting post-school goals; provides suggestions and templates on how schools and parents can prepare students for the transition process[60]
Question: Are there channels available for teachers and parents to provide feedback on the transition planning process?
Metta School’s Vocational Certification Programme

Institute of Technical Education Skills Certificate (ISC)

  • For eligible students 17 years old and above
  • Offers ITE Skills Certification (ISC) upon completion, e.g., in Baking, Food Preparation and Housekeeping Operation (Accommodation)
Metta School’s Employment Pathway Programme (EPP)
  • For MID and ASD programme students not on the Vocational Certification track
  • Students will undergo vocational skills training, such as WSQ modules, Food and Hygiene courses, etc. and  job trials and on-the-job training
  • Upon graduation, SG Enable will support these students with vocational training and support in identified suitable pathways such as supported employment, customized employment and internships.
Metta School’s C (Career) Programme
  • For MID students between 13 and 16, preparing them for vocational skills training and/or employment
APSN Delta Senior School’s Vocational Certification Programme - Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ)
  • For students aged 17 to 21, in four areas: (1) Food Services; (2) Hotel and Accommodation Services; (3) Landscape Operations and (4) Retail Operations.
Students in Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) – Universities or Polytechnics
IHL Internship Programme 
  • Provides internship opportunities for IH students with ASD, ID, PI and SI
Rise Mentorship Programme   
  • 12-week programme where students are matched with business managers who provide mentoring in job interviews, resume writing skills etc. 
Non-Students/Adults with Disabilities
Vocational Training

For post-primary school students, available at:

BizLink Vocational Assessment Service
  • Provides assessment to determine strengths and weaknesses in areas related to work capacity, exploration of job opportunities/training in social enterprises or Bizlink sheltered workshops, and disability-relation counselling/assistance. 
CV Clinics by Singapore Business Network on Disability
  • Business professionals provide CV/resume and interview advice, graduates with disabilities share experiences from their career journeys
Training Programmes
  • Wide selection of courses to develop vocational skills
ABLE Return-to-Work Programme
  • Provides physical rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, social support, training, return-to-work coordination and employment support.
Hospital-to-Work Programme
  • Provides persons with acquired disabilities with support and opportunities to overcome the challenges in gaining sustainable employment. 
SPD Employment Support Programme (ESP)
  • Vocational training and employment planning for persons with permanent disabilities 16 years and above
SPD Transition To Employment Programme (TTE)
  • Aims to reintegrate people with acquired physical disabilities aged 18-60 back into the workforce
Job coaches face difficulties in providing psychosocial support for those with acquired disabilities. Some PWDs have difficulty accepting their disabilities and the job coaches are not trained to provide psychosocial support to address these issues.
Employability & Employment Centre (E2C) Programme
  • Autism-specific pre-assessment, assessment, employability training, job placement and job support
An individual with autism received vocational assistance from ARC; he paid $494 (after subsidy) for the vocational assessment but was deemed unemployable. However, he managed to secure a job later through his & his family’s efforts with Dignity Kitchen.

• ARC has responded to this.

MINDS Employment Development Centres (EDCs)

Provides vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities aged 18 and above:

Sheltered Workshops
  • Offers employment or vocational training to adults with disabilities who do not possess the competencies or skills for open employment, allowing them to practice in jobs or tasks where the processes are either simple or broken down into simpler steps.
  • 8 workshops as of 13 August 2018
Gaps
  1. PWDs’ employability may be at risk in view of increasing automation and technological advancement. Can we equip them to work alongside technologies such as digital media, handheld tech, machines? Is there a group that needs support most? 
    • To consult/learn from Orana, Australia in this respect
  2. There is a lack of information on trends and relevance of industries that SPED schools usually train their students to enter. How are these industries projected to change? Will there be sufficient job opportunities available?

Questions

  1. To study European apprenticeship models to improve on vocational training and transition planning? Other countries?
  2. Are vocational assessments of strengths, job preferences and skills accessible and effective?
  3. Is there available statistical data on the number of SPED students who have:
    • Secured jobs (private / public sector) or 
    • Are enrolled in organisations for further job training (sheltered workshop) immediately after graduation? 
    • Is there data that informs us of how these numbers change over the years?

Existing Resources

-Employment Support Programme Training (SPD - 146 clients. Provides training places to help increase employability of job seekers withd isabilities)

-Sheltered Workshops also provide vocational training

-Minds regularly organises internships in industries as diverse as laundromats, supermarkets, hardware shops and car wash facilities in petrol stations for its clients starting from the age of about 16.By around age 19, some PWDs can be guided towards working in sheltered workshops that cater to them, doing work such as packing, retail, baking and making crafts. Others are placed in the general labour market, where they are mentored and supported by job coaches from Minds who ensure that they are not stressed in their new environment or check that they are able to take public transport to work. (ST 1 Oct 2017).

Gaps and Their Causes


Potential Solutions


Ready supply of jobs

Ready supply of jobs

  • Adequate number of jobs
  • Jobs have varying position levels and required qualifications, skills and work experiences
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Inclusive Business Forum (IBF) and “Fostering Inclusion At The Workplace” Seminar
  • Inaugural IBF held in 2016 , second round on 25 Jul 2018
  • Inaugural seminar held in 2017
  • Inform businesses of the benefits of hiring PWDs and encourage more employers to hire PWDs 
Can there be more opportunities to dialogue with employers or partners such as WSG/MOM, such that the process may be more institutionalised/supported?
Special Employment Credit (SEC)
  • Extended to employers who hire PWDs in 2012 
  • From 2012 to December 2016, $59 million in SEC credit has been disbursed to employers of about 10,000 PWDs.[61]
Government efforts to set up employment centres in residential neighbourhoods  Question: Any updates on the neighbourhood employment centres?
Employment Opportunities
Inclusive Employers in Singapore
Sheltered Workshops
  • Offers employment or vocational training to adults with disabilities who do not possess the competencies or skills for open employment, allowing them to practice in jobs or tasks where the processes are either simple or broken down into simpler steps.
  • 8 workshops as of 13 August 2018
Some PWDs may find sheltered employment too easy/not challenging, yet be unsuited for open employment. What of a supported employment model?
  • Currently there are some PWDs who are not able to gain employment in open market but rejected sheltered employment. This is due to the tasks are too simple for them and the low allowance provided (<$300/month).
Public Service Career Placement (PSCP) Programme
  • Provides job matching services for persons with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, physical impairment, hearing impairment and visual impairment who are interested to pursue a career in the public service sector.
  • After placement, job support services will be provided.
Gaps
  1. There is a lack of commensurable jobs/job-matching when it comes to highly-skilled PWDs. In 2011, a blind individual with a master’s degree in professional counselling was offered an hourly paid telemarketer job when they approached a job placement and support agency in 2011.     

Questions

  1. Do we know how many PWDs are employed in government agencies? Should we build a case for the government to take the lead in employing PWDs?
    • In Singapore, those with disabilities comprise just 0.55 per cent of the resident labour force, according to the MSF in 2017.
    • 8,600 estimated to be employed in the public and private sector in 2017. See https://www.msf.gov.sg/media-room/Pages/Employment-rate-of-Persons-with-Disabilities.aspx
  2. Can we explore the feasibility of more diverse jobs and job tracks (e.g., evergreen sectors such as cleaning – including laundry/waste management, healthcare, infant and childcare, education)? 
    • What of purposeful re-design and job carving – are there people working on this?
    • To what extent do caregiver perceptions of employment opportunities perceived as inferior but which may pay relatively handsomely (e.g. collecting refuse, funeral parlour work) hinder PWDs from gaining employment?
    • What about freelance/cottage industry work?
  3. What are ways to increase the labour force participation rate for PWDs?
    • Purposeful job reservation –  quota hiring system or protected industries (e.g., horticulture/farming at HDB veg plots, postal/mail distribution, food preparation, wholesale veg processing, carwashing, logistics. Can parents be funded to set up viable businesses to train/support their SNCs?
    • Carrots – tax incentives/rebates, educate businesses on schemes (e.g., ODP)

Diverse job offerings that accommodate the different preferences, requirements and circumstances of PWDs and the concerns of their caregivers

[should the need statement include'preference' since most people don't get the luxury of only taking jobs they like?]


Existing Resources

- Employment placement services (SG Enable, SPD, Autism Resource Centre, MINDS)

- Open Door Job Portal by SGEnable

- Job club of IMH

- Sheltered Workshop ( SPD - 126 clients)

-Employment Support Programme ( Job placement and Job Support Programme, SPD - 500 clients)

Gaps and Their Causes

- PWDs pigeonholed into certain job roles: hospitality, food & beverages, customer service; Mostly low-skilled jobs e.g. dish collector, cleaner, somewhat higher skilled jobs in offices are at entry level e.g. receptionist [Need Data]

- Companies and their HR may not be ‘diversity ready’? [Need Evidence]

Possible Solutions

- Job placement and support services can be linked to mainstream job agencies to access larger network of potential employers [Specify how?]

- Use quota system for hiring, but only applicable to large companies or government agencies (ST 6 Aug 2016)

- vayable can allow tours to be provided by people with disabilities


Information on available job opportunities for persons with disabilities

To know about job opportunities

  • Focus is on knowledge and awareness (of job opportunities)
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
SG Enable - Job Advisory
  • Job-readiness assessment by specialists such as occupational therapists/psychologists/employment coaches.
SG Enable —  Disability Employment Jobs Portal
  • Job portal for PwDs to search for opportunities
Jobs listed on most job portals do not reflect if the hiring company is interested to employ PWDs. Career events are not always universally designed as well. Employers can reflect if they are keen to employ PWDs, at career events, on job portals and other avenues. 

Having a “ready-to-hire PWDs” mark would ease PWDs’ job search process.

ABLE Return to Work Programme
  • Provides physical rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, social support, training, return-to-work coordination and employment support
BizLink Vocational Assessment Service
  • Provides assessment for a disabled individual to determine strengths and weaknesses pertaining to work capacity
  • Assist people with disabilities and/or special needs in exploring job opportunities and training
  • Offer assistance and counselling to PWDs and/or their families on issues relating to disabilities or work-related issues
SPD Employment Support Programme (ESP)
  • Vocational training and employment planning for persons with permanent disabilities 16 years and above
SPD Transition To Employment Programme (TTE)
  • Aims to reintegrate people with acquired physical disabilities aged 18-60 back into the workforce
ARC Employability & Employment Centre (E2C) Programme
  • Autism-specific pre-assessment, assessment, employability training, job placement and job support
MINDS Employment Development Centres (EDCs)

Provides vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities aged 18 and above:

Gaps
  1. In helping PWDs find a variety of suitable job opportunities, VWOs and SPED schools still need to take initiative to make connections themselves, or rely on personal contacts. SPED graduates tend to lack information on job opportunities beyond their track – type, pay range, skillsets required etc.
    • An ex-student who worked in Coffee Bean switched to forklift driving after finding out on his own that the latter paid better

Questions

  1. Are there other organisations apart from SPD, ABLE and SG Enable that provides job support and placement services to persons with acquired disabilities (e.g., stroke survivors, traumatic brain injury)? 
  2. For the planned 2020 disability census, can we find out how many people have acquired disabilities, and have the data split by disability types? Related question – do we know why SGE’s definition of disability does not cover temporary disabilities? 

To secure jobs

Available Information

  • SG Enable has placed more than 1,200 PWDs in jobs within the past three years, in the retail, F&B, IT and other sectors. 
  • PWDs comprise 0.55% of the resident labour force. Median monthly gross wage ranged from $1,000 to $2,800. 
  • According to MOM data, more than 25% of PWDs aged 15 to 64 are employed
    • The sectors employing most of these people are community, social and personal services, food services, administrative and support services, and manufacturing. Together, they account for more than half of workers with disabilities.
    • 27.6 per cent of PWDs are employed, for those aged 15 to 39
    • 37.8 per cent for those between 40 and 49
    • 26.1 per cent for those between 50 and 64
    • 5.9 per cent for those who are 65 and older.
  • The Straits Times has calculated that five in 100 PWDs have job.
  • 8,600 estimated to be employed in the public and private sector in 2017.[62]
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
School-to-work transition programme (S2W) 
  • Jointly launched by MSF, MOE and SG Enable in 2014
  • Begins in the year of graduation and lasts for up to a year after 
  • Students with the potential to work identified by SG Enable and matched to job training  

Enabling Masterplan 3 

  • To scale up S2W programme so that more SPED school students can participate
SPD Employment Support Programme (ESP)
  • Vocational training and employment planning for persons with permanent disabilities 16 years and above
Job retention is a major issue even if people with disabilities are hired. Consider to improve rapport between employers and job support and placement agencies (JPJS), to increase the likelihood of employers approaching JPJS agencies and being more forthcoming whenever they face issues (e.g. behavioural) with PWD employees that are new on-board. SPD provides job coaching support post-employment for up to six months.
SPD Transition To Employment Programme (TTE)
  • Aims to reintegrate people with acquired physical disabilities aged 18-60 back into the workforce
ARC Employability & Employment Centre (E2C) Programme
  • Autism-specific pre-assessment, assessment, employability training, job placement and job support
MINDS Employment Development Centres (EDCs)

Provides vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities aged 18 and above:

ABLE Return-to-Work Programme
  • Provides physical rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, social support, training, return-to-work coordination and employment support.
Public Service Career Placement (PSCP) Programme
  • Provides job matching services for persons with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, physical impairment, hearing impairment and visual impairment who are interested to pursue a career in the public service sector.
  • After placement, job support services will be provided.
Gaps
  1. Cases in vocational assessment and job placement:
    • Inconvenient job placement locations? An individual staying in Bedok was offered placement in Boon Lay, while another staying in Yishun was offered placement at Margaret Drive.
  2. Companies ought to hire employees based on a match between the skills required to perform the job and the applicant's skill sets, qualifications and past work experience. However, as disclosure of one’s disability is mandatory and companies tend to put the disability before the skill/qualification/work experience, this disadvantages PWDs, especially those with visible disabilities, during the hiring process. 
  3. Labour participation/employment rate (0.55%) continues to stand low compared to the prevalence rate of PWDs (17% – 3.4% for 18-49 y/o, 13.3% for 50 y/o and above). 

Questions

  1. As job coaches are salaried staff, is there a reason why job coach fees have to be paid?
  2. Is there available statistical data that informs us of the average amount of time an employee with disability stays in their job?
  3. To promote the securing of jobs through bridging employers’ understanding of potential PWD employees, can we encourage more employers to visit PWD job training centres? 
  4. Would monetary incentives be a feasible way to encourage persons with acquired disabilities to return to the workforce?

An inclusive workplace

Definition

  • Employee is hired, appraised and remunerated fairly
  • Employment rights are upheld 
  • Appropriate and reasonable re-design/modifications/accommodations to workplace and job are made
  • Attitudinal barriers at workplace are absent  
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Open Door Programme  
  • Employers of PWDs eligible for grants and employment support services such as the Job Redesign Grant, Training Grant and other Recruitment and Job Support Services 
  • Enhanced and renamed as ODP from Open Door Fund in 2014  
  • Since 2012, 140 companies have applied for ODP support. The average claim per company is $3000.[63]
Guidelines by Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) for fair employment practices
  • Singapore adopts promotional and educational methods to prevent discrimination of PWDs at the workplace 
  • Job seekers or employees who encounter discrimination due to their disability may approach TAFEP for assistance 
Inclusive Business Forum (IBF) and “Fostering Inclusion At The Workplace” Seminar
  • Attended by business leaders from different sectors 
  • Business leaders share experiences from hiring PWDs and the implementation of inclusive hiring practices
Enabling Employers Network
  • Employers of persons with disabilities who support and champion employment opportunities for PWDs
Singapore Business Network on Disability
  • Community of businesses in Singapore across various industries who work in collaboration to share (as appropriate) expertise, experience, networks and resources to help advance the equitable inclusion of persons with disabilities
  • Started in May 2015 with AIG, Barclays, Dairy Farm, Deutsche Bank, EY, KPMG, Singtel, Standard Chartered
SG Enable employer resources  
  • Resources that assist employers in understanding, communicating and working with PWDs. 
DPA Diversity Inclusion Workshops
Disability education training for employers and co-workers of PWDs
  • Job placement and job support agencies / departments craft their own training or workshop
  • e.g., SPD’s disability education workshop, APSN DSS employer education workshop, Society Staples staff training
Experiences of PWDs in the workplace
  • Disabled People’s Association (DPA) 2015 study “Achieving Inclusion in the Workplace” 
  • DPA-IPS 2016-2017 participatory research “Employment Discrimination Against People with Disabilities”

Questions 

  1. Do official HR curricula (e.g. SHRI) teach on how to support companies to employ PWDs fairly?
  2. Is there a sense/research on how many PWDs lose their jobs because of communication breakdowns in the workplace? 
  3. Do companies face any penalty if they terminate employees who acquired a disability without attempting any job re-design or job modifications? If yes, are PWDs aware of who they can report such situations to?
  4. Will a rotational buddy system help to reduce buddy fatigue and allow other co-workers to understand their PWD colleague better?

Continued opportunities for job growth, career development and skills upgrading

EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
SG Enable  
  • Available training programmes such as IT skills, F&B
  • Funding for skills upgrading is available through the Open Door Programme (for in-employment training) and the SkillsFuture Study Award 

Enabling Masterplan 3 

  • Increase range of training options and inclusive training providers 
  • Expand use of Post-Secondary Edusave Account (PSEA) to cover more training courses to make courses more affordable 
Questions:
  1. Are training opportunities sufficient? How much does training contribute to improving employability?
  2. Is there uptake for the training programmes? If yes, is there available statistical data on the response?
  3. How aware are PWDs and their caregivers of these training opportunities?
Consider availing using HDB void decks or unwanted public buildings as training venues.
Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme 
  • For Singaporean PWDs aged 13 and above and who don’t earn more than $2,000 a month, their employers can qualify for 95% course fee subsidy and absentee payroll funding when they sign employees up for any course approved for WTS-eligible courses
Even with the WTS Scheme, accessing SkillsFuture training courses remain difficult for some. A blind individual with a Master’s degree in counselling called SG Enable asking for help to navigate available subsidies for training such as the WTS, but she was offered Sheltered Workshop training instead.
SkillsFuture
  • All Singaporeans aged 25 and above have S$500 in credit to take courses
The SkillsFuture platform is difficult to navigate for the blind. To facilitate lifelong learning, have additional funds for the SkillsFuture Credit of PWDs.
Gaps
  1. There is a lack of knowledge of which courses (e.g., WSQ courses) are disability-friendly, or which Continuing Education and Training (CET) centres are conducive or accessible to PWDs (e.g. traveling to and within centres, sensory disturbances).
    • POSSIBLE SOLUTION: CET centres can consult relevant organisations to understand the considerations involved in ensuring that a venue is accessible (not just in the centre/building, but also getting there)
  2. For SPED graduates, there is a need to mitigate the loss of personal income incurred in seeking re-training, where necessary.

Financial independence and stability

EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Workfare Income Supplement
  • Singaporean PWDs who earn less than $2,000 a month will receive a certain WIS amount per month, dependent on age — 40% of which is in cash and 60% in CPF contribution
Handicapped Earned Income Relief (EIR)
  • For those with permanent physical or mental disability that severely affects their ability to work — relief amount is $4,000 (< 55 years), $10,000 (55-59) and $12,00 (> 59 years)

For employers to understand the capabilities of PWDs and be willing to hire

- As of December 2015, 4,500 employers received subsidies from the Special Employment Credit scheme for hiring 5,700 disabled workers. ARC president Denise Phua said more employers are willing to employ the disabled due to the tight labour market (ST 19 Apr 2016)

- The Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) had 35 companies hiring its clients last year, up from 25 the year before. The number of companies hiring clients of the Autism Resource Centre (ARC) grew from four in 2012, to nine last year. Uniqlo started hiring intellectually disabled employees in 2012, and has 20 such workers in its 16 outlets here. Starbucks hired six clients from ARC for its 100th store here, which opened at the Fullerton Waterboat House two months ago. It has committed to have ARC clients form at least 25 per cent of the staff at the store.(ST 19 Apr 2016)

Study by Kathy Charmaz on workplace disclosures, for reference

CNA podcast (10 May 2019) on whether Singapore uses Charity lens when supporting employment for people with disabilities

Existing Resources

- Inclusive Business Forum - Jointly organised by SG Enable and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (See also Business Times Article)

- Enabling Employer’s Network

- Periodic public education campaigns such as ‘More Than Dis’ campaign led by a trio of undergraduates from NTU.

- Special Employment Credit scheme: Government pays up to 16 per cent of the salary of workers with physical or intellectual disabilities, for those earning up to $4,000 a month (ST 19 Apr 2016) See also

Gaps and Their Causes

- Inclusive workplaces are rare in Singapore, where persons with disabilities (PWDs) comprise just 0.55 per cent of the resident labour force. They are mainly employed in the hospitality, food and beverage, wholesale and retail, and administrative support sectors (ST 1 Oct 2017)

- Employer’s misconceptions and false assumptions about the abilities of those with disabilities (only a handful of them are educated in SPED schools and do not have the necessary skills and credentials to obtain high-wage, high-skill jobs) [Need evidence]

- Limited effectiveness because it is hard to change employer attitude: Mr Ong Peng Kai, 24, who has cerebral palsy, felt this sentiment first-hand when he tried to find a job last year. "I studied maths and economics at university so I sent out about 30 resumes to banks, investment and insurance companies but none of them got back to me," said Mr Ong, who was eventually hired by NCSS as an assistant manager. The president of the Disabled People's Association, Mr Nicholas Aw, said the campaign should target the young more. "Such educational campaigns will help but how much they can help is a question mark. Sometimes people are aware but they are just not walking the talk," he said. (ST 3 Jun 2016)


Possible Solutions

- Public education campaigns highlighting the strengths and abilities of those with disabilities and more career fairs for PWDs

An accessible work environment

Existing Resources

Universal Design

Assistive Technology Fund

Open Door Programme


Gaps and Their Causes

Using principles of universal design, the BCA has improved accessibility of our built environment. But Richard Kuppusamy, a wheelchair user, commented that the layout in the BCA code is more conducive to assistants of persons with disabilities, rather than for more independent users who do not need help.

Even with the subsidies, technology aids are costly for persons with disabilities; those from low-middle income households do not qualify for a subsidy after means-testing.

Sometimes the subsidy is not enough to cover a person’s assistive technology needs over a lifetime.


Possible Solutions

increase the means testing of Assistive Technology Fund to cover more persons with disabilities from lower-middle income households

Fair recruitment and procurement practices and opportunities for career progression, including employment rights

Existing Resources

- Employment Act

- TAFEP - Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (made up of SNEF, NTUC, MOM) Provides Resources and Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices

- Signed UNCRPD


- Participatory research project on employment discrimination by DPA (ST 31 Oct 2016)

Gaps and Their Causes

- Employment Act - no legal recourse for offenders

- TAFEP Guidelines is not strictly binding; lack bite; no legal recourse;

- Government favours promotional and educational approach; Laws may adversely affect businesses; Government wants to avoid market rigidity. Government’s view: kindness and compassion cannot be legislated. Nor can they be enforced. It follows, then, that moral suasion, raising public awareness and promoting civic consciousness are more realistic ways to bring about change. (TODAY 3 Dec 2013)

- Legislation is the way to change mindsets and attitudes because people are apathetic (ST 16 Nov 2013)

- Possible that many companies, including government agencies and statutory boards, continue to ask in their application forms if a job candidate has any physical or mental disabilities. (Forum ST 13 Aug 2016)

Possible Solutions

- Anti-discrimination laws and/or ombudsman body together with public education. [Existing legislation we can study, adapt and adopt from are the Americans with Disabilities Act, the United Kingdom’s Equality Act and Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act, which are regarded as being the gold standard. (Alvan Yap)]

- Nicholas Aw: "Mindsets are hard to change so we need to go into the schools and start with the young because they are more open and receptive." (ST 3 Jun 2016)

Work-readiness

Existing Resources

- Career coaching and guidance SG Enable + VWO Vocational assessment (ARC, SPD, MINDS) SG Enable’s iEnable provides emotional support and prepare clients for job interviews.

- SPD’s Transitional Programme for people with acquired disabilities

- Workfare Training Support scheme

- Open Door Programme (Training grants)

- Skillsfuture initiative

- SPED vocational training programmes

Gaps and Their Causes

- As of August 24, 2015, SPD Transitional Programme has taken in 63 clients and matched nine to jobs [source?]

Possible Solutions


Ongoing work support

Existing Resources

Open Door Programme (SGEnable)

Inclusion fundamentals workshop for employers (DPA)

Integrated Community Space (Enabling Village)

Special Employment Credit (See https://www.sec.gov.sg/Pages/More-Information-on-SEC.aspx)

Workfare Income Supplement

Transition Programme for Employment (SPD - 40 clients, stroke or spinal cord injuries to return to mainstream employment)

Gaps and Their Causes

- “140 companies have applied for the fund, with an average claim of $3,000. About 650 persons with disabilities have been placed in jobs, including those supported under the initiative.” There is not a high level of awareness by employers of available schemes or they do not tap onto the schemes because they think it’s complicated and cumbersome

- HR is diversity ready? (e.g. HR side should have a policy to answer such queries and address any issues arising from having a staff with disability)

- low take-up rate? (need statistics)


Possible Solutions

Outreach programs to familiarise public with the schemes



CAREGIVER SUPPORT

Caregivers

  • Those who provide care to a person requiring support due to age, disability, illness or special needs
  • Usually family members, but can also be friends or foreign domestic workers
  • Can be broadly categorised into two groups: (i) Professional caregivers which include doctors, nurses, social workers, and (ii) Family caregivers, which include spouses, children, grandchildren, siblings and foreign domestic workers hired by their families, family caregivers are focused upon here.
  • Special note to two groups of family caregivers: Elderly caregivers caring for disabled adult children, disabled people playing caregiver roles
    • See The Survey on Informal Caregiving by MCYS
      • 20% of family caregivers providing care to elderly persons aged 75 years and above with functional limitations are themselves above the age of 65.
    • See A Profile of Older Family Caregivers by CARE and Duke-NUS
      • Older family caregivers are in declining health themselves but spend long hours (up to 60 hours per week) caring for their family member. More than half of family caregivers up to the age of retirement (55-65 years) are juggling long hours of both formal employment and caregiving.
      • More than half of family caregivers aged 70-74 years do not receive help from anyone else to care for their family member
      • Well beyond the retirement age, family caregivers are spending 50 to 60 hours per week caring for their older family member.

STATISTICS

  • An estimated 210,000 people aged 18 to 69 provide care to a family member or peer[64].
  • Caregivers are ageing and are becoming less and less able to care for their disabled kin; 70% of caregivers in Singapore (including those who care for the elderly and disabled) are above 40; 10% are between 60 and 69 years of age[65].

Refer to Caregiving in Singapore (Sep 2011) for more statistics on the profile of informal caregivers in the Singapore population and the key characteristics of caregivers and care recipients. Some statistics:

  • 37% of caregivers reported that they had been providing care to their care recipients for over a decade. 
  • On average, caregivers provided around 6.8 hours of care per day in a typical week
  • Close to 74% of caregivers were employed.
  • About 80% of caregivers received some form of support, be it from other family members (70%) and/or domestic helpers (14%). 21% of caregivers reported being the sole caregiver

Respite care

  • Caregivers continue to be concerned about the need for respite care[3]
  • Caregivers reported a lack of opportunity for respite, especially when care recipients require round-the-clock care[66]

STATISTICS

  • Over 1,600 people have tapped on respite services offered at selected day care centres and nursing homes. Usage of these respite services has increased by at least 50% between 2015 and 2017. [67]
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Home Based Care Services
  • Provides alternative care support for adults with disabilities, with the aim of keeping them in the community for as long as possible.
  • Delivers services such as therapy, personal hygiene care, housekeeping and medication reminders.
  • 2 service providers as of 01 July 2018 - AWWA and MINDS
  • Caregivers reported a lack of opportunity for respite, especially when care recipients require round-the-clock care[66]
  • To consider commercialising caregiving (e.g. piecemeal/gig caregiving services)
    • In light of an ageing population, decreasing family sizes and caregiver fatigue
    • Can also consider tapping on people who live in the neighbourhood/not working with free pockets of time to provide paid, temporary caregiving services, with financial remunerations and incentives
    • Examples from the eldercare space: Homage, Jaga-Me, Caregiver Asia, Active Global
Drop-in Disability Programme
  • Provides social, recreational and/or therapeutic training activities for persons with disabilities for a few days a week up to 9 hours
  • 4 DDPs provided by Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities as of 01 July 2018
Day Activity Centres
  • Community-based facilities that provide care and skills training to persons with disabilities aged 16 and above.
  • 30 DACs as of 11 Sep 2018
  • Clients: 1,200 | 200 are young adults
  • DAC operating hours are mainly till 4 or 5pm, and caregivers find it difficult to work full-time (till 6 or 7pm), and part-time employment opportunities are limited too - if un-ideal
  • Consider operating DACs on a shift system to complement working hours of caregivers, e.g., 7.30am - 2.30pm | 12 noon - 7pm, or to open till later
Children Disability Homes (Short-Term Respite)
  • Provides long-term residential care, but also short-term respite care for those whose families are unable to provide care temporarily.
  • 3 homes provide respite care services as of 13 August 2018
Adult Disability Homes (Short-Term Respite)
  • Provides long-term residential care, but also short-term respite care for adults with disabilities whose caregivers are temporarily unable to provide care for them.
  • 8 homes provide respite care services as of July 2018
Respite services offered at selected day care centres and nursing homes under the ambit of AIC
  • AIC page and E-Care Locator here.
One Child One Skill
  • A volunteer project that sends pairs of tertiary students to homes to teach autistic children a skill over 8 one or one-and-a-half-hour sessions
  • Parents identify skills that they would like their autistic children to learn and volunteers choose the child they teach based on the stated skills and location.
  • Caregivers also obtain respite
While caregivers welcome the opportunity for respite, some are concerned about students’ abilities to take care of and work with their children without their supervision

Physical health necessary to carry out caregiving

EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
  • Trends[66]
    • Ageing caregivers who need to care for disabled children[68] -
    • Disabled caregivers who perform caregiving, such as for ageing parents with medical issues
    • See also A Profile of Older Family Caregivers by CARE and Duke-NUS
  • Provision of caregiving leave or time-off, to rest or bring care recipients for medical appointments[69]

Psychosocial health

  • Caregivers expressed the concern that they require self-care[3]
  • Stress from caregiving, along with increased time spent on care work affects caregivers' personal health and well-being[3]
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Community Counselling/Emotional Support Services
  • 14 agencies provide these services as of 02 August 2018
Caregivers reported a lack of opportunity for respite, especially when care recipients require round-the-clock care.[70]
  • EM3 (Recommendation 13)
    • To expand the continuum of support and respite options, including the implementation of caregiving leave, and to build trust between caregivers and formal respite services
    • Ease access to counselling services, such as counsellors, social workers or volunteers - be it coming to terms with diagnoses of disabilities or assistance with job placement, social assistance and marriage counselling
    • Create more opportunities for caregivers to meet each other as a source of informal support, such as leveraging existing support networks to reach out further
    • For service providers to take family relationships into consideration, as family dynamics are affected if a member has a disability. This could mean designing
Community Support Groups
  • 13 agencies provide these services as of 02 August 2018
Caregiver Activities in the Community
  • 14 agencies provide these services as of 02 August 2018
Caregiving Welfare Association - Caregiver Counselling Services
  • For family caregivers providing care for a senior with physical or mental disabilities

Financial support

EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Caregivers Training Grant
  • $200 annual subsidy for caregivers, per care recipient, every financial year, to attend training
Foreign Domestic Worker Grant
  • $120 monthly cash payment given to families who need to hire a Foreign Domestic Worker to care for loved ones who require permanent assistance with three or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
  • Even after subsidies, the remaining cost to hire an FDW is still more than many low-income families can afford[66]
  • Employers must be of sufficient mental capacity to hire an FDW, and cannot have a disability that impairs mental capacity to this degree[66][71]
  • EM3 (Recommendation 13): To expand the criteria for the FDW Grant to better cater to disabled people who are physically able to perform ADLs, but who may not have the cognitive ability to perform ADLs or have behavioural challenges that require additional support
Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Concession
  • Lets families pay a monthly foreign domestic worker levy of just $60, instead of $265
Community Long Term Care / Financial Planning Services
  • 4 agencies provide these services as of 02 August 2018
Additional Financial Support for Care Recipients with Disabilities
Handicapped Child Relief (HCR)
  • Eligibility: Child is below the age of 16, and parent earns less than $4,000, which includes income from bank interest, dividends and part-time jobs.
  • $7,500 per child
  • Raise or remove the 16-year old limit cap, in the case of single parents as marital breakdown is more common among parents of special needs children, and single parents from the middle/low income group will face additional stress to raise their children single-handedly

Future care planning

  • Caregivers are worried about their future inability to care for their loved ones with disabilities[3]
  • Caregivers of children with special needs are also concerned about the post-18 trajectory
EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Assisted Deputyship Application Programme (ADAP)
  • Helps parents of graduating cohorts in Special Education (SPED) schools apply to Court to be deputies for their child, so that they can continue to make legal decisions for their child after he or she turns 21
  • Demand for affordable deputyship applications greatly exceeds supply of available help, including NUS Law undergraduates - in MINDS, the waiting list runs to a few hundred parents
  • EM3 (Recommendation 14)
    • To simplify deputyship and Lasting Power of Attorney processes for caregivers
      • MINDS is heading a pilot to simplify deputyship applications for caregivers of graduating SPED students
  • For the government to take up the mantle of facilitating deputyship applications, free-of-charge if possible
Special Needs Trust Company (SNTC) Trust
  • Allows family members to set aside money and assets in SNTC accounts, and aims to safeguard these assets to enhance the beneficiary's financial security and well-being
  • 447 SNTC accounts have been opened, out of 117,000 estimated people who might require it (ST 29 Mar 2017)
  • While caregivers acknowledged that SNTC was a good start, they were worried about the lack of options for future care needs and planning, beyond placing their loved ones in Adult Disability Homes[3]
EM3 (Recommendation 14)
  • To raise awareness of importance of legal, financial and care planning, and services.
    • SNTC to continue expanding outreach to caregivers, and consider partnering agencies providing direct services to disabled people for more integrated and holistic support to caregivers
    • Service providers, including the Office of the Public Guardian and Law Society, to educate caregivers on legal/financial matters such as applying for deputyship
    • To create a system of support at caregivers' natural touchpoints, that would help them in future care planning such as identifying the next caregiver and transitioning of the caregiver role when the time comes, and including documenting and passing on caregiving knowledge.
  • Enable disabled care recipients to make more independent decisions for themselves for the future, something which caregivers tend to do. Depending on the disability type and functioning level, some caregivers can unintentionally prevent their care recipients from learning useful independent living skills through mollycoddling.
Special Needs Savings Scheme
  • Enables parents to set aside CPF savings for the long term care of children with special needs
  • Parents may nominate their loved one with special needs to receive a regular stream of fixed pay-outs upon the parent’s demise.

Skills and information to do caregiving

EXISTING RESOURCES GAPS AND THEIR CAUSES POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Post-Diagnostic Touchpoints

(e.g., hospitals, medical personnel)

  • For caregivers of children diagnosed with disabilities, touchpoints are poorly equipped in advising parents on where to obtain reliable help during the post-diagnostic phase
  • Recommendations from EM3 that MSF will consider[3]
    • Recommendation 3, Strategic Direction 1: Improve transition management
      • For newly-diagnosed cases, to set up an agency to provide case referral, care planning and advisory services, and to facilitate smooth handover of information to other agencies
      • Includes developing a standardised case management tool between primary support agency and other service providers
  • Caregivers need help to understand the trajectory of caring – what to expect, anxieties and challenges, expectations as well as future planning - and to navigate the system of care
NeuroDiverCity
  • Gathers and shares inclusive services and resources that can be reviewed by parents
All In (in development)
  • Aims "to be a one-stop platform where caregivers can find everything they need" on special needs - guides, assessments, e-shop, blog content, events and courses
SG Enable
  • Currently provides the most comprehensive information covering financial assistance, hospital and training support
  • Caregiver Service Matrix caa 02 August 2018
  • Hosts the Caregivers Pod, a space for caregivers of people with disabilities, and stakeholders to organise activities and events
  • Knowledge and level of assistance received by caregivers differ depending on the experience and knowledge of providers they meet[10]
  • Some caregivers deny that children have special needs
  • Some caregivers reject support services for those in their charge.[72]
  • EM3 (Recommendation 13)
    • For social service agencies to have a good understanding of community resources available for advisory and referral; one method is a one-stop portal to provide information on service, caregiving, self-care assistive technology and well-being[3]
    • Hub-and-spoke model for caregiver support, instead of having caregivers be supported through services accessed by care recipients. NCSS to pilot the model together with service providers.
  • To assign one case worker for each PWD, for his/her entire lifetime[10]
  • To integrate various secondary caregivers such as social workers and medical personnel with primary caregivers[10]
  • To consider establishing dedicated Caregiver Spaces as neighbourhood CCs for caregivers' travelling convenience, and have CCs be touchpoints for access to SG Enable's information & advice on caregiver support services - a municipal service system
Caregivers Alliance
  • Provides information, referrals, skills training and other support services
Caregiver Training Courses by VWOs and KKH/NUH
  • Under the Caregiver Service Matrix, caregiver training and education are provided by 17 organisations as of 02 August 2018
  • Some courses that caregivers are interested in attending are only open to social service professionals[3]
  • Especially for low-income families, some programmes are unaffordable due to high costs of service and comparatively low levels of subsidies[10]
  • Training on strengths-based approaches? - Helping parents and caregivers to support their children/wards in building strengths and abilities as opposed to focussing on limitations and disabilities.
  • Ask caregivers themselves how they would like to be supported, in relation to the relevance, usefulness and utilisation of training courses and care services[69]
  • EM3 (Recommendation 13):
    • To provide more and affordable courses (e.g., higher level training), and modes of training that are accessible to caregivers; for NCSS and MSF to work with relevant agencies to improve coordination and outreach to caregivers
    • For service providers to make training options aware to caregivers
Caregivers Training Grant
  • $200 annual subsidy for caregivers, per care recipient, every financial year, to attend training
Handbooks

SOCIAL INCLUSION

For children with special needs to be part of community outside of school

According to a Lien Foundation survey in 2016, of the 835 parents of special needs children who were surveyed, four in 10 think their children spend too little time in the community outside of school.Nearly half of those surveyed said their children do not have friends without disabilities (ST 2 Oct 2017)


For the public to emphatically understand the circumstances PWDs face and know how to support and interact with them

Existing Resources

Society Staples

A social enterprise that uses mass engagement platforms to educate public about experiences of people with disabilities; provides team building services for corporates: eg experiencing blindness, learning sign language etc.

https://www.societystaples.com.sg

Purple Parade

http://www.purpleparade.sg/

See the True Me

http://seethetrueme.sg/

Buddy'IN, a programme aimed at socially integrating graduating students from special education schools with their peers from institutes of higher learning, through semi-structured social activities and sessions.(ST 17 Jun 2016)

December 3rd, 2017, the International Day of People with Disabilities -AbleThrive is hosting meetups around the world for people with disabilities, their families and allies to come together

Lien Centre for Social Innovation Workshop on Inclusion - Allyship 101

https://lcsi.smu.edu.sg/programmes/changelab/allyship-101

Gaps and Their Causes

For 'See the True Me' there is a question about the reach of these campaigns because many at a forum, many from disability sector have not seen or heard about it

Invisible disabilities (learning disorders, hearing impairment) are less obvious, and therefore the public may not understand their behaviors and support may be less forthcoming (ST 28 May 2016)

Mr Andrew Soh, assistant director at Down Syndrome Association, said public attitudes are less favourable towards people with autism and intellectual impairments, compared with those with physical disabilities, because people fear what they cannot see. "People can't tell how serious their disability is and don't know what to say or how to help them," he said.(ST 3 Jun 2016)

Possible Solutions



EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

MIND’s keyword signing as total communication

—�-

For mobility and access to transportation

Existing Resources Transportation subsidies:

Taxi Subsidy Scheme

VWO subsidy scheme

Public Transport Concession Scheme for Persons with Disabilities

Assistive devices for drivers with disabilities (ST 24 Oct 2016)

Accessible public transportation:

UberAssist Channel News Asia report

Wheelchair accessible taxis see taxisingapore.com and LTA accessibility push

Wheelchair Accessible Buses (About 80% of buses are wheelchair accessible, and LTA aims for 100% coverage by 2020).

Disabled facilities at MRT stations and in trains (More than 80% of MRT stations have at least two barrier free access routes).


Accommodation for drivers with disabilities:

Car Park Label Scheme for Persons with Physical Disabilities

SPD provides training for Tower Transit bus drivers how to help commuters with disabilities (ST 28 Apr 2016)

Gaps and Their Causes

Transportation costs, while subsidised, are still high for lower income PWDs

Cheaper transport options such as buses and trains are either too crowded for wheelchair users or other persons with disabilities OR there are service issues, such as some unprofessional or even discriminatory drivers or passengers.

Open prams used by caregivers now allowed on public buses, but not all bus drivers realise this yet (ST 2 Oct 2016)

Possible Solutions



Access to digital media

Existing Resources


Gaps and Their Causes


Potential Solutions

-Web Accessibility Guidelines https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

-Accessibility reviews of the web https://www.abilitynet.org.uk/

---

Access to leisure and recreational activities

Existing Resources

ActiveSG is promoting disability sports. Various sports have been adapted for them. In Singapore, the range of sports for people with disabilities includes handcyling, swimming, table tennis and boccia, a ball game that can be played by wheelchair-users with motor-skill impairment (ST 27 Sep 2016)

The inclusive playgrounds in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Ghim Moh and the complementary Children in Action programme (ST 17 Jun 2016)

Running Hour A sports co-operative that promotes integration of persons with special needs through running. We have members who are mildly intellectually challenged, physically challenged and visually challenged joining us to keep fit. We welcome anyone passionate about running to join us as running guides.

"Inclusive" art workshop to encourage interaction between children with and without special needs. Run by Superhero Me, a non-governmental organisation that runs art programmes for children (ST 2 Oct 2017).

Free entry for people with disabilities and caregivers to (special exhibitions of) NHB museums (ST 15 April 2018 “Free entry for people with disabilities”)


Gaps and Their Causes

Sports take-up rate among people with disabilities remains low, though they stand to benefit more than able-bodied people by being active(ST 27 Sep 2016)

Reasons why people with disabilities may shun sports:(ST 27 Sep 2016) •Difficulty in getting transport to the sports facilities. •Cost of specialised equipment and transporting them. •Struggles with the basics of daily life that push the thought of exercise into the background. •Depending on volunteers to help out, such as transferring the person with disability from a normal wheelchair to a racing wheelchair. •A tendency to withdraw from society and an unwillingness to leave the house for various reasons. •Logistics. For instance, when a wheelchair racer travels overseas for races, he has to take along a special racing wheelchair, a regular wheelchair for moving around and a commode chair. •There may also be psychological factors such as confidence, self image issues and a self-perceived inability to do sports.

Lack of opportunities to prove themselves ;being overprotective could limit their exposure, hindering their ability to lead a fulfilling and independent life (CNA 21 Sep 2017)

Possible Solutions

There should be regular disability sports sessions in all special education schools and organisations for the disabled (ST 27 Sep 2016)

Collectively refrain from assuming what PWDs can or cannot do, never mind their condition. (CNA 21 Sep 2017)


Opportunities to give back to society

Existing Resources SPD Youth Development Programme - Trained and mentored youths with disabilities to enable them to champion social causes and give back to the society.


Resource Directory

A good index of weblinks and resources for families with special needs kids in Singapore can be found here

Voluntary Welfare Organisations

APSN

http://www.apsn.org.sg/

Down Syndrome Association (Singapore)

http://www.downsyndrome-singapore.org/

founded in 1995 by parents, has close to 1000 members, of which over 300 are persons with Down syndrome Operates a DSA Thriftshop at Telok Blangah Crescent

MINDS

http://www.minds.org.sg/

Muscular Dystrophy Association of Singapore (MDAS)

http://www.mdas.org.sg/

SPD

http://www.spd.org.sg/

Bizlink

http://www.bizlink.org.sg/ training and employment for people with disabilities One of Bizlink's biggest businesses is providing cleaning teams to other companies. These teams are made up of able-bodied workers and those with disabilities (ST 1 Oct 2017).

Special education schools SPED

Rainbow Centre

Social Enterprises that provide services for people with disabilities

Olive Tree Development Centre

http://olive-tree.sg/

Social Enterprises or Businesses that hire people with disability

Dignity Kitchen

http://dignitykitchen.sg/

Personalised Love

https://www.personalisedlove.com/

SEOciety

http://www.ourseociety.com/

Social Food Inc

https://www.facebook.com/pg/socialfoodinc/about/

Incorporated in 2013, Social Food Inc. Pte Ltd is an established Halal-certified food caterer that provide people with disabilities with employment training

Started by Sim Sin Sin. See Case Study of Social Food Inc

WISE Enterprise

https://www.wise-enterprise.sg/

Adrenalin

http://adrenalin.com.sg/

Six of the 25 workers at Adrenalin have disabilities and other special needs. Staff members include two deaf persons, an employee who uses a wheelchair and people recovering from mental illness (ST 1 Oct 2017).

Holiday Inn Singapore

Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre hotel in Cavenagh Road - 12 per cent of the more than 200 staff are PWDs, staff adjust to the different ways of communication of some PWD employees, some of whom have intellectual disabilities or autism (ST 1 Oct 2017). .

Han's Group

Han's Group, about 50 employees, or 10 per cent of its workforce, are persons with disabilities (ST 1 Oct 2017).

Disabled People's Organisations

Disabled People's Association

http://www.dpa.org.sg/

Friends of the Disabled Society

https://www.fds.org.sg/

Initiatives

NUS Makerthon organised by Computing, Engineering, Design & Environment.

Tikkun Olam Makers - Israel based maker movement that has done makerthons for disability sector in Singapore.

Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards

Government Agencies

MSF Disability Division

https://app.msf.gov.sg/About-MSF/Our-People/Divisions-at-MSF/Social-Development-and-Support/Disability-Division

NCSS Disability Services

SGEnable

https://www.sgenable.sg

Scholarships and Bursaries

Dare to Dream

The scholarship provides special needs persons, who are successful in gaining entry into a diploma programme at the LaSalle College of the Arts, with funding of fees for the full duration of the diploma programme at the College. Dare To Dream

International

World institute on Disability https://wid.org/


Disability Conferences

CONFERENCE LOCATION REMARKS
Having a Say Conference Geelong, Australia Organised by and for people with intellectual disabilities. While the programme isn’t jam packed with information, it’s definitely interesting to learn more about how people with ID raise issues of concerns, and really take part in setting the agenda. Seems fairly prominent within Australia, but not much international reach. Down Syndrome Association brought some of its advocates there last year to share their advocacy programme
Zero Project Vienna, Austria Packed chock-a-block with presentations, sharings, and booths. The theme changes year to year. 2018 was on Accessibility and saw representatives from a whole host of countries sharing more about accessibility (challenges of accessibility). Most interesting were the South American presentations that pretty much shared about how people took issues into their own hands and made spaces in their cities more accessible. The conference is accompanied by innovation booths that feature innovations from all over the world (e.g., a group of people in India who set up a form of landline service for people with disabilities to post and apply for jobs). Really cool stuff. 2019’s theme is on Political Participation.
Global Disability Summit London, UK (2018) Organised by International Disability Alliance. Seems to be the place to meet the who's who in the disability sector globally.
Inclusion International World Congress Birmingham, UK (2018)
Harkin Summit Washington DC, USA (2018) 2018 - Rather US-centric. But great information on employment and employability practices by large organisations.
ASEAN Disability Forums Thailand (2019) Moves around the ASEAN region depending on who the Chairman is.

References

  1. https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/big-read-special-needs-children-pre-school-not-given-0
  2. https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/more-preschoolers-diagnosed-developmental-issues
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 https://www.msf.gov.sg/policies/Disabilities-and-Special-Needs/Documents/Enabling%20Masterplan%203%20(revised%2013%20Jan%202017).pdf
  4. https://www.msf.gov.sg/policies/International-Conventions/Documents/Singapore%20CRPD%20Report%20-%20final.pdf
  5. https://www.sgenable.sg/uploads/EIPIC%20Service%20Matrix.pdf
  6. http://lienfoundation.org/sites/default/files/Inclusive%20Survey%20Part%202%20-%20Press%20Release%20Lien%20Fdn%20Final%5B1%5D.pdf
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  11. https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/big-read-special-needs-children-pre-school-not-given-0
  12. 12.0 12.1 Lien Foundation Study on Early Intervention Professionals. http://www.lienfoundation.org/sites/default/files/LF%20Early%20Intervention%20Survey%20Findings.pdf
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  31. https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/big-read-mainstream-schools-children-learning-disabilities-still-face-challenges
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  53. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/subsidies-raised-for-poly-ite-students-with-severe-disabilities-9233082
  54. http://www.apsn.org.sg/singtel-introduces-cyber-wellness-toolkit-for-special-needs-students/
  55. http://www.dpa.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Incusion-in-Education2.pdf
  56. 56.0 56.1 https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/people-with-disabilities-losing-jobs-to-technology
  57. https://www.skillsfuture.sg/Credit
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  61. http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/cooped-up-at-home-no-more-adults-with-disabilities-get-better-access-to-support 
  62. https://www.msf.gov.sg/media-room/Pages/Employment-rate-of-Persons-with-Disabilities.aspx
  63. https://www.msf.gov.sg/media-room/Pages/Disbursements-from-Open-Door-Fund.aspx 
  64. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapores-caregiver-crunch
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  71. https://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/work-permit-for-foreign-domestic-worker/eligibility-and-requirements/employer-requirements
  72. http://www.asiaone.com/health/plight-caregivers-disabled-children