Accepting people with disabilities as a part of the community, workplace and everyday life
The Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) is furthering its advocacy for equal opportunities for people with disabilities with the launch of an online survey to gather the nation’s perception towards people with disabilities. This initiative forms an integral part of the SPD’s on-going
‘I Accept’ campaign, which aims to encourage members of the public to accept people with disabilities as equal members of the community, workplace and everyday life.
This nationwide survey, which runs from 1 till 28 December 2011, mirrors an earlier survey conducted in 2009. The 2009 polls showed that acceptance of people with disabilities had improved marginally since 2004, but remained low due largely to the lack of knowledge on possible means to assist them. For instance, results that year found that 6 out of 10 people thought that people with disabilities had difficulties in dealing with day to day activities and that they were dependent on others, while 4 out of 10 felt it was difficult to interact with people with disabilities.
Nonetheless, there were strong indications that Singaporeans were attitudinally ready to include people with disabilities into mainstream community. Besides knowing how Singaporeans’ feel towards people with disabilities, this year’s study will help the SPD make meaningful comparisons to the results from the past, and to see if sentiments have improved over the last two years.
Ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, the SPD has also placed a series of three posters in SMRT stations, to encourage commuters to demonstrate their acceptance of people with disabilities through simple acts such as giving way and extending support to them on public transport, in the workplace and within the community. These prints will be up from 1 to 28 December, courtesy of the generous sponsorship from SMRT Corporation Ltd.
The SPD’s drive to level the playing field for people with disabilities extends to the Infocomm Accessibility Centre (IAC), a centre managed by SPD, which provides IT training across disability types. As the only such centre in Singapore, the IAC offered more than 4,300 training places since its inception in July 2008 comprising IT training sessions, apprenticeship training sessions and assistive technology training sessions. So far more than 1,200 persons with disabilities have received IT training at the Centre.
Ms Chia Yong Yong, President of the SPD, says: “While we continue to push for greater independence through our various programmes for people with disabilities, the support from the public is no doubt a fundamental part of the equation. We hope all Singaporeans can join us in this effort and volunteer their time to take part in this survey and help us understand and work towards making Singapore a more accepting society for people with disabilities.”
The survey page was designed by IAC trainees on internship with Tribal DDB, an international digital marketing agency in Singapore. Thanks to this unique partnership, they were given the opportunity to leverage on their IT and design skills, and contribute to this online survey.
The IAC, managed by the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD), was formed through a People-Public-Private initiative between Microsoft, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, National Council of Social Service and the Tote Board.