Friday, 4 December 2015

Enabling Village: Community space for people with disabilities

Disabled get their own one-stop village
Enabling Village will have facilities and services dedicated to integrating them with others in society
By Priscilla Goy, The Straits Times, 3 Dec 2015

People with disabilities can now conveniently access a range of facilities and services catered to them, all in one site.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong launched the Enabling Village, the first community space here dedicated to integrating people with disabilities in society.

Others too can make use of the facilities and services - some amenities in the Enabling Village are rare in the area and were built to cater to residents nearby.

"In Singapore, we are building a fair and just society which respects every person, especially persons with disabilities... Each of us can contribute in a different way, no matter who he or she is, what he or she is born with or born without," he said.

"As SG50 draws to a close, it is timely to reflect on the kind of society we want to build in the future... We must continue to build a more inclusive society, valuing everyone and promoting active citizenship."

The masterplan for the disability sector aims to make Singapore more accessible for all. Mr Lee said the Enabling Village would bring "new opportunities" for people with disabilities, giving job support while also promoting interaction with the wider community through shared spaces and events.

The 30,000 sq m site, located near the Redhill MRT station, offers the only gym and FairPrice supermarket in Lengkok Bahru. They have universal design features so they can be used by people with and without disabilities. For instance, the supermarket has lower checkout counters for wheelchair users, and magnifying glasses so labels are easily read.

There are also food outlets run by Soul Food and Shatec, which hire people with disabilities, and an art gallery where people can buy artworks and merchandise designed by people with autism.

To help people with disabilities improve their job prospects, the Enabling Village also has an information and career centre, and training facilities like a mock hotel room to learn housekeeping. A range of training courses is also offered.

The village cost $25 million to build and was developed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and SG Enable, a government-established agency which helps people with disabilities.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin said the Enabling Village was another step towards building a more inclusive society. "We also hope to help (people with disabilities) live more independent lives and be more engaged in the wider community."

SG Enable chief executive Ku Geok Boon said residents in the mature estate of Lengkok Bahru, especially if they are older with mobility issues, can also use the new space.

Ms Nur Madiah Hidayah Lim, 34, who uses a wheelchair, completed a course at a training call centre there. "There is a sheltered path all the way from the MRT station," said the Jurong resident. "We have easy access to the food outlets and supermarket, and it's good to have them all at one spot."

Opened the Enabling Village yesterday, a purpose-built Village for persons with disabilities. It is an inviting hangout...
Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

SG Enable is proud to have PM Lee Hsien Loong as our Guest of Honour at the official launch of the Enabling Village last...
Posted by SG Enable on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

And... our website is up! Through this platform, we hope to tell stories about individuals with different abilities...
Posted by Enabling Village on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

More support for people with disabilities in Singapore now: Tan Chuan-Jin
In a Facebook post marking the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin says people with disabilities have more options in Singapore today in various areas, including education and employment.
Channel NewsAsia, 3 Dec 2015

Support for people with disabilities has grown in Singapore since the Republic first commemorated the International Day of Disability in 1992, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin said on Thursday (Dec 3).

In a Facebook post marking the day, Mr Tan said today, people with disabilities have more options in Singapore - be it in education, employment, transport or living arrangements within the community.

However, Mr Tan also noted that while there has been progress on several fronts, more needs to be done.

"In 2012, we launched our second Enabling Masterplan, a blueprint of policies, programmes and services to foster greater inclusion for persons with disabilities. Many of the recommendations in the plan have been implemented. In 2013, we ratified the United Nation convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities," he wrote.

Support for Persons with Disabilities in Singapore has grown since we first commemorated the International Day of...
Posted by Tan Chuan-Jin on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mr Tan added that this year saw the opening of the Enabling Village, a community facility providing employment opportunities and space for persons with disabilities to interact with others in the community.

The minister also noted that this year's United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities coincides with the opening of the ASEAN Para Games in Singapore.

"The spirit of the Games embodies the empowerment of people of all abilities via sports. It resonates with the theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities - ‘Inclusion matters: Access and empowerment of people of all abilities’," said Mr Tan.

He also thanked the caregivers, voluntary welfare organisations, corporate partners and individuals who have been part of the journey.

"With your continued support, I am confident that we will build a more inclusive Singapore, where persons with disabilities can lead meaningful lives and participate fully as members of our society," Mr Tan said.

It began with the APG Torch Parade, and ended off with a spectacular bang at the official 8th ASEAN Para Games Opening...
Posted by ASEAN Para Games 2015 on Thursday, December 3, 2015

Disabled to get more sporting facilities
Centres in Jurong West, Toa Payoh part of a wide strategy to boost suitable infrastructure
By Chua Siang Yee, The Straits Times, 3 Dec 2015

The disabled will soon enjoy greater access to sporting facilities as the Government follows through on its vision of building a more inclusive society through sport.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu announced yesterday that Centres of Expertise in disability sports will be set up at five ActiveSG sports centres - starting with one each in Jurong West and Toa Payoh next year.

These centres will provide "enhanced barrier-free access", while each of them will pilot programmes in one disability sport.

Inclusive gyms, with equipment conducive to users of all abilities, will also be built within these centres.

Said Ms Fu in her welcome address at the inaugural ASEAN Para Games Symposium on Sport for Inclusion: "Overall, these centres will provide persons with disabilities with the supporting infrastructure to develop motor skills and improve their fitness.

"They will be able to do this within an environment where persons with or without disabilities can exercise and participate in sports together."

The plans reflect the recommendations of the Committee for Disability Sports, which was formed earlier this year. The full list of recommendations will be announced early next year.

Ms Fu said that another recommendation of the Committee is to strengthen the disability sports eco-system and improve capabilities.

One way, she said, is to work with voluntary welfare organisations, hospitals and rehabilitation centres to introduce sports as part of the rehabilitation and recovery process for patients.

Workshops will also be held to equip teachers to run adapted and inclusive physical education lessons, so that more students with disabilities in both mainstream and special education schools can take part in sports.

Raja Singh, Team Singapore's chef de mission at the Games, called these plans a "game-changer" for the local disability sports scene.

He said: "This will bring (disability sports) to the next level. But more than just helping athletes get into the competitive world, the message is that sports will improve your quality of life, whether it is your family life or your career.

"It is an option and we should encourage more to pick it up."

Ms Fu is confident the ASEAN Para Games, which Singapore is hosting for the first time, will provide the platform for these plans to take off.

She said: "We want to use disability sport to improve society's awareness and understanding of persons with special needs, and through this, foster a more inclusive and caring society in Singapore.

"This is the legacy that we want to build for the ASEAN Para Games. Everyone, regardless of age, gender or ability should have the chance to realise their potential through sport."

Yesterday's symposium, held at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, was attended by about 160 officials and athletes.

Among the guest speakers was United States para-athlete Scout Bassett, an amputee and three-time US 100m champion.

Bassett will hold a clinic tomorrow for, among others, youth from the SportCares CareRunners programme.

No comments:

Post a Comment