A Voice of Our Own

Issue 1, April - June 2013

Dear Friends & Supporters 

Greetings from Disabled People's Association!

What's New

Staff Update

On April the 18th 2013 Disabled People’s Association welcomed a new member of staff, Mr Alvan Yap. Alvan joined DPA to take on the role of Advocacy Executive and will be working with the Executive Director to pursue new advocacy initiatives this year, including a public education campaign on transport issues for persons with disability and an event to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and bring together other disability organisations. It is a good indication of DPA’s growing advocacy agenda that the team has had to expand. Alvan will also be handling DPA’s new Facebook page, blog and letters to the media. Alvan has many years of experience writing articles about the social services sector and has volunteered with SADeaf, the Singapore International Foundation as well as other VWOs and NPOs. 

Diversity and Inclusion Training Workshops

DPA runs training workshops for corporate, voluntary welfare and government organisations that are looking to make their workplace, programmes and services more inclusive. This training workshop is also relevant for organisations that have adopted inclusive policies and want to ensure that they are on the right track. The session will cover a broad range of topics from understanding what the relevance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is to your organisation to how to make your existing services more accessible to employees or clients with disabilities. This workshop is especially relevant to those looking to or have hired people with disabilities. The full day sessions are run by an experienced trainer either at DPA’s office or at the organisation’s office if there are at least 15 people who are interested in the workshop. 

The first session of the workshop will be held on Tuesday 21st May 2013 at DPA’s office, from 10.00 am - 4.00 pm. 

For more information, please click here.

Coming Up

Public Education Campaign and Roundtable on Transport

Later this year DPA will be launching a Public Education Campaign to raise awareness about the issues people with disabilities face getting around/using public transport in Singapore. DPA would like to gather your views on this topic.Look out for the survey on DPA's website.

Launch of the Accessibility of Banking Services in Singapore Survey Report

The Disabled People’s Association (DPA) advises local banks that their services should accommodate the needs of customers who have disabilities. 

In early 2013, DPA conducted a survey on accessibility of banking services for people with disabilities.  On 25th April 2013, DPA shared the findings of the survey at a seminar with its members and representatives from banking services. 

65% of the survey participants told DPA that they have experienced barriers/difficulties when using banking services.  However only 26% of them told their banks about their problems.  The barriers they experienced include using ATMs, authenticating their transactions using bank tokens or telephones, or visiting their local bank branches. 

The survey participants are looking for improvements in accessibility and service delivery.  They suggested that ATMs need to be made more accessible for visually impaired and wheelchair users.  For those with hearing impairments, they want text, email or other methods of communication and authentication to be used instead of telephone calls.  More importantly, the participants told us they would like bank staff to be trained in handling the needs of those with disabilities. They also hope that bank staff are better informed about disability issues and more patient and helpful to customers with disabilities. 

At Banking Survey Seminar, Marissa Lee Medjeral, Executive Director of DPA, said: 

“The right of a person with disabilities to manage their own finances is not only integral to living as independent a life as possible, it is also a right guaranteed to them when Singapore signed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in November 2012. DPA understands that it will take time to realise this right, but hopes that banks take up the challenge sooner, rather than later.” 

A copy of the report can be download here

For further information or clarification, please contact Nina Munday, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, on nina@dpa.org.sg or 6791 1134.

DPA Members Event

Gardens by the Bay have invited Disabled People’s Association (DPA) for a half-day trip to the Gardens on Wednesday, 29 May from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.  Gardens by the Bay are inviting DPA members and their caregiver to see the Gardens free of charge. They will be providing a guided tour around the venue. Members can choose to join the guided tour or can be on their own.  The guided tour is only for the Cooled Conservatories (Flower Dome & Cloud Forest).  After the tour, members can visit other parts of the Gardens on their own. 

 DPA will provide a packed lunch for all attendees. 

If any family members or friends (other than the 1 caregiver) can purchase additional tickets for the discounted price of $10 (usual price is $20 per ticket) and can only be used on 29 May. 

If you would like to attend this member’s day out, please email info@dpa.org.sg.  Please confirm your attendance by 10 am on 15 May. If you would like to purchase the additional tickets you will also need to pay DPA by 15 May. You can either drop money or a cheque off at DPA’s office or post the cheque to DPA’s office. The deadline of 15 May is set by Gardens by the Bay and they will not allow us to change the attendance list after that so if you would like to attend make sure you let us know by that date. 

DPA's Media Presence

This year DPA has written to various newspapers commenting on accessibility issues for persons with disabilities. In an article by Today newspaper on the 26th January 2013, DPA Vice-President, Ms Judy Wee, made suggestions for improvements to walkways between MRT stations and bus tops and nearby residential blocks as well as asking for more wheelchair accessible feeder buses. To read more, click here.

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