What We Do
The DPA advocates on behalf of and with persons with disabilities (PWD) to engage with stakeholders, policy makers and other interested parties and ensure PWD are involved in the consultation, implementation and evaluation of policies and programmes that affect PWD.
It is a fundamental principle of the disability movement that nothing is done for people with disabilities without consultation with them and it is for that reason that the DPA engages as many VWOs that provide services to people with disabilities as possible to ensure we are truly representative of all people with disabilities in Singapore.
DPA aims to create awareness about as well as engage people, with or without disabilities, in discussions about disability through public education, training, consultative services, research and advocacy.
The Round-Table Discussion (RTD) is an integral aspect of DPA’s advocacy work. Aside from aiming to raise awareness through this programme, we also hope to strengthen our ties with other organisations as we all work together for policy changes for the benefit of people with disabilities.
Public Education Programmes
Public Education is a DPA programme which strongly focuses on raising awareness. DPA reaches out to the public by visiting schools and corporate bodies and giving informative talks on disabilities free of charge.
The DPA distributes copies of our publications, such as the Glossary of Disability Terminology which is a guide to how to address people with disabilities (PWD) appropriately and refer to disabilities in a non-discriminatory way. In addition, as part of DPA’s role as the voice of people with disabilities, the DPA regularly writes to and is contacted for interviews by national newspapers such as The Straits times, New Paper, Today and My Paper on a number of disability issues.
As part of the DPA’s commitment to accessibility for PWD, the DPA has collaborated with a number of stakeholders as well the Building and Construction Authority to review the Code on Accessibility in the Built Environment 2007. In the past the DPA has also worked with the management of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, ICA and NTUC Club (Downtown East Park) to help improve the accessibility of public spaces for persons with disabilities and who have mobility issues. DPA believes that providing a better understanding of disabilities and how to make the environment more accessible will effectively help in eliminating the barriers, prejudices and stereotypes held by the public on people with disabilities. DPA encourages members of the public to give feedback about accessible and inaccessible buildings in Singapore at the BCA Friendly Built Environment Portal.
Research and Publications
DPA conducts high quality research on disability issues to inform evidence-based policies and programmes. Our upcoming research project focuses on workplace inclusion and discrimination. DPA also works on a series of publications about what it means to be inclusive in Singapore. The publications focus on areas such as transport, employment, health care and education. To gather information for our research study and publications, DPA conducts interviews and focus groups with persons with disabilities and internal stakeholders such as service providers and corporate partners. Through these publications, DPA hopes to raise awareness about the issues faced by persons with disabilities and encourages key decision-makers to adopt inclusive policies and initiatives. Please click here to view DPA’s publications.
Disability Awareness Talks
DPA runs a talk series that aim to spread awareness about disability and teach participants how to be inclusive in their language and behaviour. This talk series is also relevant for organisations that are looking to make their policies and programmes more inclusive. The talk series will cover a broad range of topics from understanding the different types of disabilities to how to make your existing services more accessible to persons with disabilities. The talk series are run by an experienced trainer either at DPA’s office or at the organisation’s office. For more information, please contact us at 67911134.
DPA Member Training and Educational/Information Programme
The DPA runs regular member events that cover a broad range of topics, including amongst others information on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These events not only aim to provide free training, development help, information about disability assistive schemes for people with disabilities, but are also invaluable opportunities for people in the disability community to socialize and share their opinions on a number of issues.
Awareness Raising Events
Every year the DPA engages in and collaborates with Government bodies and VWOs in campaigns aimed at raising awareness about the need for a more inclusive and accessible Singapore. For example, in 2012 the DPA has been involved in focus group discussions with SG Enable and MSF on campaigns to do with the correct use of the disabled car park lots and the social worker recruitment drive. The largest awareness raising event the DPA holds is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is commemorated on 3 December in over 100 countries around the world. DPA also participates in the Purple Parade – a nation-wide movement that supports the inclusion and celebrates the abilities of persons with disabilities – to celebrate IDPD. It is a day set aside to reflect on the challenges faced by persons with disabilities, their triumphs and their goals and is usually marked by DPA through fundraising and awareness raising events for people with and without disabilities.