Note to Students Proposing Research and Community Service Projects

Posted: 16 September 2013

Every month, DPA receives a number of requests from schools and student groups to take part in research projects, surveys and interviews, as well as community service projects.

As far as possible, we try to accommodate these requests – we appreciate your heart and thoughtfulness for the disability community. Thank you very much.

However, because DPA has a small staff count and limited resources, we are unable to participate in every project or agree to every interview request. Instead, we will prioritise such requests.

To improve your chances of being granted an interview, or being accepted by us as a partner in your community or research projects, you may want to take note of the following tips.

  • Make a good impression by showing us you have put in time, thought and effort in checking us out even before writing in. (Of course, this doesn’t apply only to DPA, but also other organisations you are seeking to work with or requesting help from.)

    How? By doing some background research on DPA – our organisation, our mission, our services and even on who to contact. All these information are available on our website.

  • Have a specific, detailed plan or idea in mind. And then state the outline and scope and aims clearly. Vague queries such as “how can we help the disabled?” or project goals such as “we wish to help the blind” are not helpful.

    We are not able to plan your project for you – this is something you have to figure out yourself. (Unless, of course, you wish to  be a volunteer with us and are asking how and in what areas we need help in.)

  • Be aware of using proper terminology as well as the tone of your emails. If you’re using words and  phrases such as “wheelchair bound” or “we wish to improve the quality of life for people suffering from such-and-such disability” or “we want to help the less fortunate”, you’re doing something wrong. Find out what and why at the DPA blog (it shouldn’t take more than half an hour to read every entry).
  • DPA advocates the social model of disability, and your project  should be angled that way or have its basis in the model. Hold on, what’s “social model”? Again, do read the DPA blog – it’s all explained there.

We look forward to working with you.

Once again, thank you.