Students design campaign to integrate people with disabilities into mainstream society | SPD - Singapore

Students design campaign to integrate people with disabilities into mainstream society

Singapore, 6 August 2010 – Having seen how some wheelchair users are left stranded due to the inaccessibility of office buildings, and how some disabled people are shunned by their peers, four JC 1 students from Dunman High were spurred to do their part to advocate for more acceptance and inclusion of disabled people in Singapore.

The students from Team Accept adopted the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) as their beneficiary under the YMCA-Citibank Youth for Causes Project and developed ‘I Accept’, a fundraising-public education campaign to create awareness of the challenges people with disabilities face and encourage the general public to accept disabled people as equal members at the workplace, in school and in the community.

Team Accept’s team leader Ms Chow Li Ying said: “We wanted to provide a simple platform for everyone to show their support for people with disabilities because we feel that there hasn’t been enough emphasis on their well-being despite having them around us every day. We feel that people with disabilities are just like us except for some physical limitations. They should be given equal opportunities just like us.”

A series of three ‘I Accept’ badges and t-shirts have been specially designed for the campaign. From 1 August, companies and individuals can show their support by making a donation or purchasing and wearing the colourful ‘I Accept’ badges as a pledge to join in the cause of accepting people with disabilities.

The badges will be sold at S$2 each by students from Dunman High at various schools and on the streets in Singapore up to the end of the year. The limited edition t-shirts will be available for sale online at S$15 each at SPD’s website www.spd.org.sg from August 2010. Funds raised will go towards the provision of various programmes and services for people with disabilities at SPD to help them maximise their potential and gain independence.

HTC Corporation, a global designer of smartphones, has pledged S$50,000 in support of this campaign, taking the lead in the corporate sector. Its staff and affiliates will also hit the streets and shopping malls along the prominent shopping belt, Orchard Road on Friday, 6 August, to promote the sale of the ‘I Accept’ badges and t-shirts.

Mr Melvin Chua, Country Manager, HTC Singapore, said: “HTC has been an ardent supporter of charitable causes and pledging to the ‘I Accept’ campaign, led by SPD, puts emphasis to our commitment of not only becoming the leading innovative supplier of mobile information and communication devices but also a passionate sponsor of humanitarian movements.”

‘I Accept’ will be a lead-up to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities which falls on 3 December annually. Said Ms Chia Yong Yong, President of SPD: “We are very happy to see young students like Team Accept and organisations such as HTC stepping up to do something for people with disabilities and garnering support from the community. ‘I Accept’ is a novel way of raising funds while drumming up awareness of people with disabilities in our society, which would bring about greater acceptance. We hope to see more people wearing the ‘I Accept’ badges and t-shirts and openly show their support for people with disabilities. More important, we hope the campaign will help to change attitudes towards people with disabilities.”

Members of the public are encouraged to show their acceptance of people with disabilities by purchasing a badge from the volunteers doing street sales for ‘I Accept’ and wearing it, or by making a one-off donation online at http://www.spd.org.sg/donation/ or by cheque made payable to ‘Society for the Physically Disabled’ and mailed to Society for the Physically Disabled, No. 2 Peng Nguan Street, SPD Ability Centre, Singapore 168955. Those who wish to find out more about the project or are interested in organising a fundraising activity or helping to sell the badges can log on to www.spd.org.sg or contact SPD at 6579 0706, or at e-mail address Helen_TAY@spd.org.sg.