A Voice of Our Own

Issue 15, Oct - Dec 2016

Dear Friends & Supporters 

Greetings from Disabled People's Association!


Invitation to Interviews/Focus Group on Workplace Discrimination

The Disabled People’s Association (DPA) is currently conducting a research study titled, “Discrimination faced by persons with disabilities in the workplace.”

What is the research about

The aim is to understand the full range of potentially unknown or invisible forms of discrimination through interviews, journaling and focus group discussions with persons with disabilities and their caregivers. This is a collaborative project with the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. The findings will contribute to the Enabling Masterplan 2017-201, DPA’s Public Education Campaign 2017, and anti-discrimination legislation proposal. 

For this study, DPA hopes to recruit people with disabilities, as well as their caregivers/parents, who are currently or formerly employed.

Focus Group Discussions

DPA would like to invite you to participate in a Focus Group Discussion (FGD). The FGD will last no more than 2 hours. Prior to the FGD, a short questionnaire will be sent to you as preparation and to collect relevant information. All participants will receive a $50 NTUC voucher. (more…)

Disability Awareness Talks

Contact DPA to organise Disability Awareness Talks at your workplace to raise awareness about disabilities and the abilities of persons with disabilities. The talks (approximately 1 – 2 hours) can be customised based on your needs to help you develop a more inclusive environment in your workplace and familiarise your staff in serving customers with disabilities.  For more information, please call 6791 1284 or email answers@dpa.org.sg.

DPA's Blog

Check out our recent blog articles:



Music Gives Back! Dawn, Students and Friends in Concert

Passionate and accomplished music teacher Dawn Toh, her students and a group of close friends will be putting together an afternoon of enchanting musical pieces for a very special concert this year.

In line with the theme of the concert “Music Gives Back!” The Disabled People’s Association Singapore (DPA) has been nominated as the beneficiary for the concert. The organisers have invited 20 DPA members to be their guests at the event and share in this night of music and get to know the students better. If you are a DPA member and interested to attend, please e-mail info@dpa.org.sg by November 28th 2016.

The Music Gives Back! Dawn, Students and Friends in Concert will be held on:

       Date  : Sunday, 4 December 2016
       Time  : 4.30 – 6.00 pm
       Venue   : Goodman Arts Centre
       Guest of Honour: Mr Desmond Choo, Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC

They aim to raise $10,000 from their concert for DPA to further its cause.  If you are interested to donate, please make crossed cheque payable to “Disabled People’s Association” or “DPA” and indicate “Music Gives Back!” on reverse side of the cheque and mail it to 1 Jurong West Central 2, #04-01 Jurong Point Shopping Centre, Singapore 648886.

For those of you who are not a DPA member and are interested in enjoying an enchanting afternoon of popular music by extremely talented musicians and a Christmas Choir, please contact marietoh@gmail.com / (65) 9665 0748. You may also contact Stephanie at stsy_26@yahoo.com.sg / (65) 9730 3606.

DPA Events

DPA's 30th Anniversary Dinner

On Saturday 24th September, the Disabled People’s Association (DPA) celebrated 30 years of advocating alongside persons with disabilities in Singapore. DPA was in fact the first advocacy organisation officially registered in Singapore, gazetted on 28th April 1986. 

159 members, supporters, donors and disability sector partners came together at the Royal Palm Ballroom at The Central to mark this milestone: It was an evening of reflection and celebration. The guest of honour for the evening was Ms Low Yen Ling, DPA’s new patron. Ms Low is Mayor of South West District and Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Education & Ministry of Trade and Industry. 

The event started with a tribute to DPA’s late founding President, Mr Ron Chandran-Dudley read by Master of Ceremonies, Mr Terrence Yang. There would never be enough time in one evening to go through Mr Chandran-Dudley’s life story in all its richness: Instead the tribute highlighted some of his personal journey from acquiring a disability to becoming an advocacy champion. The tribute touched on Mr Chandran-Dudley’s significant role in lobbying for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It also focused on his family life, for example, the central role in his life and legacy played by his wife, Ms Rena Chandran-Dudley. DPA is collaborating with Ethos Publishing to raise funds to publish ‘The Man With A Mission: A Life Well Lived’. Ron Chandran-Dudley was working on this book about his life when he passed away. It was finished with the help of his wife, Rena. Dinner attendees were given a copy of a chapter of this book. DPA and Ethos Publishing hope to release the book on 14 January 2017.     (more…)

DPA Annual General Meeting 2016

On Saturday 24th September, the Disabled People’s Association (DPA) held its 29th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Royal Palm Ballroom at the Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street. This year DPA offered door prizes for the first five members to come for the AGM and ended up giving out five more presents to members who had volunteered at the most DPA events. The presents given out were donated by the Management of Jurong Point Shopping Centre, where DPA’s office is located, and Aigner Singapore.

Mrs. Chang-Tang Siew Ngoh, Hon. Secretary of DPA called the meeting to order at 5.30 pm. Of the 69 people present, 56 were voting members who had paid their membership fees, meeting the required quorum. The rest comprised six Associate Members who are not eligible to vote, five members of staff, one volunteer and one sign-language interpreter.

Mr. Nicholas Aw Wee Chong, DPA’s President, welcomed everyone to the meeting and projected the Annual Report on the wall, giving everyone a quick summary of DPA achievements over the last financial year. He also outlined the focus for DPA in the future.  (more…)

Advancing Inclusive Practices: Inclusive Communication Workshop

On 20 September 2016, DPA hosted this one-day Inclusive Communication Workshop, which aimed to expand participants’ understanding of inclusive communication as well as to help participants develop strategies in tackling communication barriers. The workshop was delivered by Nina Munday, former DPA Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Founder and Director of Embody Global Consultancy and Manager of Fife Centre for Equalities in Scotland.

The Learning Outcomes of this Course were

  • Better understanding of ethos and values of inclusive communication;
  • Increased awareness and ability to identify communication barriers;
  • Better knowledge of different types of inclusive communication;
  • Being confident in applying inclusive communication in the workplace

During the programme, participants looked at why inclusive communication matters, organisational ethos and values, range of communication barriers, personal experience of negative and positive communication; how to develop an inclusive communication practice. (more…)

Goodies for Good

On 2nd September 2016, the DPA had the pleasure of meeting a group of young disability advocates. Ms. Ananya Gaitonde, Mr. Aditya Gaitonde, Ms. Tanvi Mittal and Mr. Amol Mittal spent their summer vacations planning and organising a bake sale in their neighbourhood to raise money for a charitable cause.

With guidance from their parents, the four kids selected a location, decided upon a menu, shopped for the required groceries and adopted various advertising strategies to spread the word about the DPA and their bake sale. Their hard work paid off. Their bake sale received immense support from their friends and neighbours, and raised a total of $255 which was donated to the DPA.

The DPA presented them with a certificate each to recognise their hard work and effort, and spent an enjoyable afternoon sharing about our work with the kids. The DPA would like to thank Ms. Ananya Gaitonde, Mr. Aditya Gaitonde, Ms. Tanvi Mittal and Mr. Amol Mittal, and their parents, Mrs. Kanchan Gaitonde and Mrs. Shruti Mittal, for their support and generosity. It is heartening to hear such stories of altruism which once again reaffirms DPA’s view that the youth are the most passionate advocates for inclusion.

Other Social and Networking Events

Purple Parade 2016

Disabled People’s Association (DPA) was proud once again to participate in the Purple Parade on 5 November 2016. The Purple Parade is the largest movement in Singapore that supports inclusion, and celebrates the abilities of persons with special needs. For the past three years, the event had been held at Hong Lim Park.  This time, Purple Parade made its way to the heart of the city as thousands gathered at Suntec City to celebrate abilities and support inclusion. More than 10,000 people dressed in purple, despite the rain, to show their support.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was the guest of honour at the event. DPA President, Mr Nicholas Aw Wee Chong, and DPA Executive Director, Dr Marissa Lee Medjeral-Mills, and other DPA Board members, members, volunteers and staff came together with Cognizant Technology Solutions Asia Pacific Pte Ltd to enthusiastically take part in the Purple Parade.

DPA’s Patron Ms Low Yen Ling , Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Education & Ministry of Trade and Industry and Mayor of South West CDC, was also  was present to support the Purple Parade. (more…)

TechSociety – SG Enable Education for Livelihood Training

TechSociety – SG Enable Education for Livelihood Training for persons with disabilities was conducted on 7, 8 and 15 October 2016 at Disabled People’s Association. Tech Society is an education and technology organisation based in Singapore that looks to the ideas of tomorrow to solve today’s problems with tech education. 

The training aimed at enhancing employability and encouraging entrepreneurship among people with disabilities.  The main modules of the training focused on communication, personal effectiveness, digital marketing, business and entrepreneurship. 

Participants learned various aspects of communication, personal effectiveness, innovation, enterprise, web design and business pitching fundamentals. The innovative and activity-based approach employed by the trainers encouraged participants to discover transforming ideas and actionable solutions. Most of the participants rated the training as very good. One participant mentioned that the trainers shared interesting perspectives and another participant commented that training was awesome and outstanding.  (more…)

Community-Base Rehabilitation (CBR) World Congress 2016

Disabled People’s Association (DPA) attended the second CBR World Congress, which was held on 27th – 29th September 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The theme for the 2nd World Congress was “CBR: Empowering and Enabling”.

Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) was initiated by the World Health Organisation as a strategy to increase access to rehabilitation services in resource-constrained settings such as rural areas and/or developing countries. Over the years the concept of CBR has expanded to become a much wider approach that has moved beyond rehabilitation alone. These days, CBR initiatives aim at improving access to opportunities and social inclusion of people with disabilities. CBR is now sometimes called Community-based Inclusive Development (CBID) because of this change in the approach.

CBR is also a very interesting approach because it is implemented through the combined efforts of people with disabilities, their families and communities, and relevant government and non-government health, education, vocational, social and other services. CBR or CBID initiatives are grass-root or bottom up programmes that actively involve the community in which they are taking place. In this sense CBR or CBID can be said to be owned and mobilised by local communities with support from a number of other stakeholders. (more…)

Community Chest Heartstrings Walk 2016

On 31st July 2016, the Disabled People’s Association (DPA) participated in the Community Chest Heartstrings Walk 2016. DPA staff, volunteers, friends and families partnered with Cognizant Outreach Team from Cognizant Technology Solutions Asia Pacific Ptd Ltd to take part in the 4km Charity Fun Walk. The Fun Walk signified the concerted effort of partners, volunteers and beneficiaries in creating awareness for people with disabilities.

In addition to the Fun Walk, the event also featured a Vertical Marathon up 57 storeys of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, a carnival activity and other fringe activities such as experiential booths to help promote deeper understanding of the challenges faced by people with disabilities on a daily basis.

DPA had a great time at the Community Chest Heartstrings Walk 2016. We had the opportunity to meet the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean and Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) Minister Tan Chuan Jin. We look forward to participating in more of such events that bring together people from all walks of life to celebrate the strengths and abilities of those with disabilities. DPA would also like to thank Ms Pratibha Kurnool and the Cognizant Outreach team for partnering with DPA in this event.

For more information on the Community Chest Heartstrings Walk, please visithttp://www.comchestheartstringswalk.sg/

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