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.

Advocacy Programmes

DPA Member Training and Educational/Information Programme

The DPA runs regular member events that have two aims:
1. DPA provides free training on self-advocacy and how best to navigate the disability support sector in Singapore. These trainings raise the capability of DPA members to live more independently and participate fully in society. The main way we do this is through the DPA Inclusion Ambassador Programme (see below).
2. Through member social events, DPA offers invaluable opportunities for people in the disability community to socialise and share their opinions on a number of issues. These events are an opportunity to raise DPA member confidence in interacting in Singapore society and building relationships across disability groups. The events are open to DPA members and Institutional members. To find out more about how to apply for membership please click here.

DPA’s Inclusion Ambassador Programme:
Advocacy has been an essential strategy for promoting the rights and participation of people with disabilities. Are you interested to advocate for inclusion for people with disabilities? If so, apply to be an Inclusion Ambassador and contribute to making society more inclusive.

What is an Inclusion Ambassador?
Inclusion Ambassadors are our members with disabilities who are trained by DPA to effectively engage with public to raise awareness and promote inclusion of people with disabilities at various outreach events. Our Inclusion Ambassadors uphold the mission of DPA and promote self-advocacy.

What does an Inclusion Ambassador do?
Inclusion Ambassadors engage participants from different walks of life. These ambassadors interact with participants and share their powerful insights / personal experiences in an interesting and constructive way. Through the experiential activities and interaction, Inclusion Ambassadors help the participants to gain confidence in interacting with persons with disabilities and to be more proactive in promoting inclusion.

What are the benefits of being an Inclusion Ambassador?
This is a paid opportunity where you can raise awareness whilst getting compensated for efforts. DPA trains and mentors our Inclusion Ambassadors. You will get exposure to different engagement methods including discussions, meetings, forums and interviews. Inclusion Ambassadors also learn to work as a team.

How do I apply to be an Inclusion Ambassador?
You need to be a DPA member to apply for Inclusion Ambassadors programme. Selected candidates will undergo training to develop necessary skills to be an Inclusion Ambassador. We encourage individuals with disabilities to become Inclusion Ambassadors. Please click here to apply for DPA membership.

For more information, please email training@dpa.org.sg or call 6791 1134.

Round-Table Meetings

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.

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.

Please click here to view DPA’s brochure.