Friday, 19 April 2013

SG Enable: Renamed centre to focus on disabled

By Priscilla Goy, The Straits Times, 18 Apr 2013

THE Centre for Enabled Living will no longer serve the elderly but focus solely on supporting the needs of the disabled.

It will also be given a new name - SG Enable.

At the moment, the centre helps the elderly, disabled and their caregivers. But its eldercare services are to be hived off to another government body - the Agency for Integrated Care.

One of SG Enable's priorities will be to provide more job options for the disabled by working with employers, training providers and voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs).

Other key elements of its new role - which will begin in the third quarter of this year - include strengthening information and referral services, and administering government grants to disabled people and their caregivers.

Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing said the collaboration between the Autism Resource Centre (ARC) and NTUC FairPrice was a good example of how to provide jobs for the disabled.

"While VWOs such as the ARC provide structured job training and coaching services, they also need the partnership of enlightened employers like NTUC FairPrice to hire and support persons with disabilities at the workplace.

"Going forward, we're not just talking about education for people with special needs, but we need to provide adult employment opportunities for them."

Mr Chan was speaking on the sidelines of a visit to NTUC FairPrice hypermarket at nex shopping mall yesterday.

Five clients from the ARC have been sent to the store for work experience. Most started their job attachment last November.

They pack vegetables, fruit and bakery items, guided by a job coach from the ARC.

If they are assessed to be suitable for the job, they will be given job placements and be paid on the same terms as other employees.

ARC president Denise Phua, who is also MP for Moulmein-Kallang GRC, said: "SG Enable can take on a more strategic role to coordinate solutions in areas such as employment models.

"It can match VWOs that have the disability expertise to enlightened employers for projects such as that by ARC and NTUC FairPrice."

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