A Voice of Our Own

Issue 8, Jan - Mar 2015

Dear Friends & Supporters 

Greetings from Disabled People's Association!

What's New

Cheaper Monthly Concession Pass

On 21 January 2015, the Ministry of Transport announced a new Off-Peak Monthly Travel Pass (OMTP) scheme. 

Commuters can use the OMTP for unlimited travel on the bus and train anytime outside the weekday morning peak period of 6.30am to 9am and evening peak period of 5pm to 7.30pm. Commuters can also use it all day on weekends and public holidays. 

The pass will cost S$40 each month for persons with disabilities.

The scheme will start on July 5 this year and end on July 4 2017. 

For more information on the scheme, please click here. 

Coming Up

DPA Feedback Session on Transport and Employment

DPA will be holding a feedback session on Saturday, 14 February 2015 to gather as much insight as possible concerning the issues faced by persons with disabilities while commuting on trains, buses and/or taxis, as well as barriers faced in seeking and maintaining employment.

At the group forum, DPA staff will ask a series of questions concerning the accessibility of public transportation and employment. Participants can then respond with their experiences.

There are two sessions and you are welcome to attend both or choose one. Please indicate your preferred session. If you have no preference and wish to attend both, indicate that as well. Each session will last two hours.

•    10 am – 12 pm: Feedback session on transport

•    12 pm – 1 pm: Lunch break

•    1 pm – 3 pm: Feedback session on employment

Both sessions will be held at DPA’s office, 1 Jurong West Central 2, #04-01 Jurong Point Shopping Centre, Singapore 648886. Lunch will be provided.

If you would like to attend, kindly RSVP by 6 February 2015 to info@dpa.org.sg or contact DPA at 6791 1134 with your name, contact details and the session you wish to attend. Anyone can participate.

Advanced Soap Making Class

DPA is holding an advanced soap making class on Saturday, 21 March 2015. The duration of the class will be three hours, from 3pm to 6pm. It will be held at DPA’s office, 1 Jurong West Central 2 #04-01, Jurong Point Shopping Centre, Singapore 648886.

The class will be run by SOHO Nature, a social enterprise that aims to empower individuals with the ability to run their own home based businesses. At the class, participants will learn and receive a layered and coloured lollipop, cupcakes (scrub), and a customised friendship gift.

The class costs $48.00 per pax. Light refreshments will be provided.

For those interested in attending, kindly RSVP by 13 March 2015 to info@dpa.org.sg or contact DPA at 6791 1134.

Events

Wishing Spheres Project

Between 10 to 25 November 2014, the Disabled People’s Association (DPA) participated in the Wishing Spheres Project. This initiative was organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, producers of the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2015.

The Wishing Spheres Project is an integral part of the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2015. Through the project, people can write down their wishes of hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. The written spheres are then placed in the bay where a visual art installation of these spheres will light up the bay, signifying the collective of hopes and dreams of those who make their wishes.

DPA members, friends, families as well as volunteers were invited to pop in and write down their wishes on the spheres.

DPA’s wishing spheres joined many other spheres and they were displayed at the Esplanade up until 31 December 2014. The spectacular visual installation carried thousands of wishes from the public made for Singapore’s future.

For more information about the event, please visit here.

DPA Meet & Greet Lunch 

On 6 December 2014, the Disabled People’s Association (DPA) held a Meet and Greet Lunch at DPA’s office. 31 people attended the event, including DPA members, families, staff and volunteers. This event was held to mark the International Day of People with Disabilities, and also for DPA members and volunteers to interact and enjoy the spirit of togetherness.

From 12 pm to 1 pm, everyone enjoyed a buffet lunch and mingling session. Afterwards DPA’s Advocacy Consultant, Ms Asha Karen, conducted a short presentation for volunteers. Volunteers were briefed on DPA’s advocacy initiatives, as well as how they can get involved in DPA’s current and future projects.They were invited to contact DPA if they are interested in working with the team.

Finally at 1:30 pm, DPA members and volunteers were entertained by magician Thomas DeVoe who had kindly volunteered his time. Audience members were invited to participate in Thomas’ magic performance such as bending metal spoons with their minds and mind reading a string of numbers Thomas had picked.

At 2:15 pm, the event ended with a lucky dip and two happy members walked away with Royal Sporting House vouchers.

Aromatherapy Class

On 20 December 2014, Disabled People’s Association (DPA) held an aromatherapy class at DPA’s premises from 1 to 3pm. The class was run by a social enterprise, SOHO Nature, which was set up to empower individuals with the ability to run their own home based businesses, and to assist marginalised communities in society to have better lives. A total of 25 people attended the event, including DPA members, volunteers, one sign-language interpreter and two SOHO Nature trainers.

During the class, SOHO Nature trainers, Keith Ong and Ken Ong, gave participants an introduction to essential oils, its uses, and the many benefits of aromatherapy. Participants were also invited to smell and appreciate various essential oils such as cedarwood, lemon, jasmine, peppermint and lavender. The class then ended with a question and answer session. After the class, everyone enjoyed light snacks and a mingling session.

This is the second time SOHO Nature has collaborated with DPA, the first of which was a soap-making demonstration class held on 1st November 2014. DPA thanks SOHO Nature for running these educational, fun and interactive classes, and looks forward to future collaborations.

The success of this aromatherapy class encouraged SOHO Nature to run an advanced soap-making demonstration class for DPA. DPA will keep you posted on the date and time of the class in the near future. Keep a lookout for updates about the event on DPA’s website and Facebook.

Deaf Dialogue 2015

On 17 January 2015, Disabled People’s Association (DPA) attended the Deaf Dialogue 2015 organised by the Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf). Held at the LifeLong Learning Institute, the dialogue was an interactive session between SADeaf clients, members and various government ministries and agencies. The event was also graced by Ms Denise Phua Lay Peng, Mayor of Central Singapore District.

From 3 pm to 6:30 pm, individuals from the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), Building and Construction Authority, SG Enable, Ministry of Health, Singapore Management of University, and Ministry of Social and Family Development shared their knowledge on topics such as Communication, Accessibility, Employment, Health Care, Education and Early Intervention for persons with hearing impairments. They presented on their current initiatives as well as the future developments for people with hearing impairment. The audience was also invited to air their opinions or ask any pressing questions during the Question and Answer session.

DPA gleaned important insight into the issues faced by persons with hearing impairments and how the ministries and agencies are working on resolving them. Also interesting to note is the way in which NCSS staff communicated with the audience. In their presentations and all other communications of the day, the NCSS staff used sign language whilst delivering her oral presentation. DPA was impressed by this inclusive effort.

DPA has learned a lot from this dialogue session and would like to commend SADeaf, who is an institutional member of DPA, for organising such an educational and insightful event.

DPA Outing to S.E.A. Aquarium

On 23 January 2015, the Disabled People’s Association (DPA) went to S.E.A. Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa to enjoy the aquarium as well as give feedback on how the experience was for visitors with disabilities. DPA partnered with the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) to organise this event, with ANZ kindly volunteering manpower on the day and covering the tickets costs of all participants.

A total of 130 people participated in the event, including DPA members, ANZ staff members, and DPA’s institutional members – the Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf) and Down Syndrome Association (DSA).

At 2:15 pm, DPA organised all participants into teams, with each team comprising of at least eight persons with disabilities and four to five ANZ members to encourage social interaction between the two groups. DPA also appointed a team captain for each team to lead the teams safely and smoothly in and out of the large aquarium. After the teams were formed, everyone entered the aquarium to enjoy the marine world.

At 5 pm, after all groups had finished exploring the aquarium, DPA conducted an informal feedback session on the members’ experience. DPA will write up the responses for S.E.A Aquarium and share the findings on the blog in the near future.

DPA would like to thank ANZ for their support, without which the outing could not have happened. DPA would also like to thank SADeaf and DSA for their cooperation on that day which enabled the event to run smoothly and without a hitch.

For more photos of the event, please visit our facebook page.

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