A Voice of Our Own

Issue 3, Oct - Dec 2013

Dear Friends & Supporters 

Greetings from Disabled People's Association!

What's New

Now You Can Learn Sign Language at DPA!

Calling all westerners! Have you ever wanted to learn to talk with your hands? Now you can! 

In this course, you will be introduced to the world of the Deaf and understand their unique non-verbal communication – by learning how to listen with your eyes and talk with your hands, face and body. Besides picking up basic sign language, you will get to know more about the local Deaf culture and community too. For those who live in the western part of Singapore, learning sign language is now more convenient with our classes held at the Disabled People’s Association (DPA) premises at Jurong Point. 

Dates:     Every Wednesday, 23 Oct to 11 Dec 2013 (8 lessons)
Time:      7 pm – 10 pm
Fee:         $77 per person
Venue:   Disabled People’s Association
               1 Jurong West Central 2, #04-01 Jurong Point Shopping Centre
Contact: For queries, please email Alan Wong at dasa@sadeaf.org.sg or DPA at advocacy@dpa.org.sg

Note this course is open to DPA members as well as members of the public. (If you live in the eastern part of Singapore, you may wish to sign up for the same course held at SADeaf’s Mountbatten premises instead – it will be more convenient and accessible for you.)

For more details on the course content and dates, please refer to the brochure-cum-application form. 

To sign up for the course, please fill up the application form.

Coming Up

International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPD) 2013 Celebration: Let’s Talk About Disability!

DPA will be celebrating the International Day of Person with Disabilities (IDPD) from 15 to 16 November 2013 at The Atrium at Jurong Point Shopping Centre.

The annual observance of IDPD was sparked by the proclamation of the International Year for Disabled Persons in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. The IDPD aims to raise awareness and understanding of disability issues among the general public, as well as promote the full participation and equality of persons with disabilities in society. 

Our theme for this year's celebration is "Let's Talk About Disability!" - which is especially apt in view of the Government's recent ratification of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. For the disability community in Singapore, this marks an important milestone and significant step towards an inclusive society in which they can enjoy equal rights and access in all aspects of life.  

"Let's Talk About Disability!" at Jurong Point will feature exhibition booths by disability VWOs, stage performances and games, talks on disability issues as well as a screening of DPA's recent nationwide public education campaign on the issues persons with disabilities face in getting around Singapore. 

We hope you can join us at DPA’s IDPD celebrations. We believe this event is an ideal opportunity for you, your family and friends to enjoy an exciting and fun afternoon, whilst promoting a very worthy cause. 

If you have any queries or are interest in sponsoring the event, please feel free to contact Ms Anusiah at events@dpa.org.sg or 6791 1134.

Inclusion Workshop 

DPA has recently partnered up with Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP) to hold a special session of Inclusion Fundamentals Workshop for those companies who have signed  the Employers’ Pledge of Fair Employment Practices.   This session was held on Thursday 26 September 2013 at TAFEP’s training room.   

Eight people from the following organisations attended this session: 

  • AETOS Guard Services Pte Ltd
  • AETOS Security Management Pte Ltd
  • Society for the Physically Disabled
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Global Maritime & Port Services Pte Ltd
  • National University Hospital
  • Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices  

We are pleased that the pledge signers felt the workshop was useful.  86% of the participants rated their overall assessment of the workshop as ‘good’ and 14% rated ‘very good’.

 The elements that the participants most enjoyed were:  

“Gain a better understanding of the challenges/barriers faced by persons with disabilities.”

“Useful contacts, sharing of experiences/examples.”

“Awareness of the rights of disabled people.”

“Interactive session.”

Since May 2013, 27 people from 18 different organisations have attended Inclusion Fundamentals workshop.  The responses from participants have been positively encouraging.  This workshop provides participants a deeper understanding of inclusion in our society, home life and at work places.  We hope to share this learning journey with as many individuals and organisations as possible.  

The next workshop is scheduled for Tuesday 22 October 2013 at DPA’s office.  If you are interested in finding out more about Inclusion Fundamentals, please contact Nina Munday by email nina@dpa.org.sg or telephone 6791 1134.

Advocacy Initiatives

DPA Public Education Campaign 2013

“Their Greatest Disability is Our Apathy”

Disabled People’s Association is pleased to announce the launch of our new public education campaign on Monday, 16 September 2013.

This campaign, which will run for six weeks, aims to make people in Singapore aware of the obstacles faced by persons with disabilities as they go about their daily travel. It also hopes to start a conversation among the public about accessibility in public transport for those with disabilities.

Why the Need for This Campaign

Most obstacles faced by persons with disabilities are a result of our apathy and/or ignorance.

For the most part, Singapore is a country that has the infrastructure to enable persons with disabilities to travel to public places, especially via the MRT train network and the slowly expanding accessible bus network. Many persons with disabilities lead independent lives and rely on the public transport system to get to work, meet friends and participate in leisure activities.

However, some people are not aware that their actions can create obstacles for individuals with disabilities as they try to get around. DPA hopes to raise people’s awareness of the various barriers persons with disabilities have to face in their daily routine and travel.

Secondly, most people assume it is natural for people without disabilities to give way to a person with a disability when taking public transport. Yet, there is always the minority who do not do so. DPA aims to tackle this issue by telling people to be conscientious about giving way to persons with disabilities or taking the initiative to request others to do so.  More

Discussion on Disability Awareness Project

Earlier this year, DPA initiated a proposal to MOE to include a Disability Awareness module in the Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) subject for mainstream schools. 

Representatives from various disability VWOs came together at DPA’s conference room on Wednesday, 4 September, to discuss the proposal. Among the organisations present were Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore, Association for People with Special Needs, Singapore Association for the Deaf, Society for the Physically Disabled, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Singapore, Handicaps Welfare Association, and Autism Resource Centre. 

It was a fruitful meeting during which participants give feedback on the proposal and threw up ideas on how to go about raising disability awareness among our students and youth in schools. Although details are not finalised as this is a work in progress, DPA will be looking to move forward with the initiative with the support of NCSS, MOE and fellow disability organisations.

DPA Members Event

DPA's Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2013

This year’s Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday, 12 September. It marked the first time the AGM was held at DPA’s new premises at Jurong Point Shopping Centre. A total of 27 members were in attendance, more than enough for quorum to be achieved. Members enjoyed a pre-AGM buffet dinner and mingling session at 6.15pm. 

At 7pm, the AGM proper started. The members then went through the minutes of the 2012 AGM and had it approved. Then DPA President, Mr Nicholas Aw, and the other office bearers briefed the members on the key events, finances and initiatives of the past year, as well as on the association’s future plans. 

Finally, members were given a preview of the upcoming public awareness campaign ads, which received a warm reception. There were suggestions on providing different languages for the ads (besides English and Mandarin) as well as showcasing other disability groups besides wheelchair users for future campaigns.

One Community Walk @ Pioneer 2013

DPA is very grateful to People’s Association (PA) and Pioneer Community Sports Club (CSC) for choosing us as their beneficiary for the One Community Walk @ Pioneer on Sunday, 25 August 2013.  We especially wish to thank Ms Jacqueline Ang, Chairperson of Pioneer CSC for her help throughout.

After a quick workout at Jurong West Stadium, the 1,000 participants set off on the wheelchair-accessible route at 8am.  DPA’s member Noraini Binte Adnan completed the 2km walk in her motorised wheelchair.  DPA staff Mrs Nina Munday and Ms Halipa Ahmad also attended the event.  The post-walk programme included a Chinese folk dance performance and DPA being presented a cheque, by Mr Cedric Foo (Advisor of Pioneer GROs), which Nina accepted on behalf of DPA.  All the walkers received a goodie bag too. 

It was heart-warming to see so many local residents and volunteers spend their Sunday morning to join this community event and show they care for our cause.  Indeed, they had put into action the event’s slogan: “One SG, Walk with a Heart”.

Once again, we thank Pioneer CSC, the PA and all participants for their support!

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