2018 Updates | SPD - Singapore

2018 Updates

Enhancing Communication with Caregivers through Smart Solutions

Enhancing Communication with Caregivers through Smart Solutions

17 August 2018

In May 2018, SPD introduced the pre-school management system to strengthen communications between professionals and caregivers in the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC). Littlelives was developed to help streamline administrative processes and facilitate parent-school communication through technology. Here's a look at what the system can do to aid both the professionals and caregivers of SPD.

Bonding over National Day Celebrations

Bonding over National Day Celebrations

17 August 2018

Red and white buntings, images of Singapore icons and the national flag were put up in our centres in recent weeks for National Day - the nation’s biggest event of the year. Every year, we come together to celebrate this joyous occasion as a community. Check out what we did this year!

His Time as a Volunteer  – John Harris

His Time as a Volunteer – John Harris

17 August 2018

Mr John Harris was one of our long-serving volunteers. He first stumbled upon SPD because he lived in the neighbourhood and decided to sign up as a volunteer. John started out volunteering with us on an ad-hoc basis but later volunteered regularly at the Day Activity Centre (DAC). Over the span of two years, the 62-year-old American clocked over 150 hours of voluntary work and made a difference in the lives of the DAC clients.

Tips on Handling Manual Wheelchairs

Tips on Handling Manual Wheelchairs

03 August 2018

People often get afraid or awkward around wheelchair users because they do not know how to react or help them when the situation arises. With some handy tips, we hope to help minimise such uncomfortable situations and promote a more caring and gracious community. SPD’s occupational therapist, Teng Mei Ling, shares some tips on things to take note when we assist manual wheelchair users.

Education for our Future – Parliamentary Speech by SPD President

Education for our Future – Parliamentary Speech by SPD President

03 August 2018

Ms Chia Yong Yong, SPD’s president, delivered a speech in Parliament on 11 July 2018 to support the motion calling the Government to partner with the people to ensure accessible, inclusive and lifelong education for all learners. Here is a copy of her full speech.

Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph – Haikal Johari

Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph – Haikal Johari

03 August 2018

Mr Muhammad Haikal Johari was riding high in a career in Thailand’s culinary scene when a motorcycle accident in 2015 changed it all. Doctors said that he would be paralysed for life from the spinal cord injuries that he sustained. Two and a half years on, Haikal defied doctors’ prognosis and could walk again with some assistance. A chef by profession, he also went on to start his own restaurant. He shares more of his story with SPD’s senior advocacy analyst Poh Sho Siam.

SPD Clients Try Out Hands-free Fare Gates at Four MRT Stations

SPD Clients Try Out Hands-free Fare Gates at Four MRT Stations

20 July 2018

Tan Kim Kee, a Sheltered Workshop trainee was among a handful of trainees from SPD who was invited to participate in a trial launched by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to allow persons with disabilities to enter and exit MRT stations without tapping their fare cards. During the six-month trial starting from June 2018, participants are able to access the wide hands-free gantries at Redhill, Tiong Bahru, Kembangan and Bedok MRT stations without tapping in or out. The hands-free fare gates work with Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices with an application or a radio-frequency identification (RFID) test card.

Using Visual Supports to Improve Your Child’s Language and Communication

Using Visual Supports to Improve Your Child’s Language and Communication

20 July 2018

Research has shown that visual supports work well as a way to improve understanding and communication. Visual supports such as a picture helps children with language delays understand what is being said to them. Lucia Kuah, assistant senior EIPIC teacher of SPD explains and shares a few tips on what visual supports are and how they can help, especially for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

How Augmentative and Alternative Communication Changes Their Lives: Beth and Liz Moulam

How Augmentative and Alternative Communication Changes Their Lives: Beth and Liz Moulam

20 July 2018

Beth Moulam is a social policy student at York University, Toronto, Canada. Beth has been using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) all her life due to cerebral palsy. On 25 June, Beth met up with more than 10 therapists 15,000 km away from home. Over Skype, she shared her AAC experience with the group, situated at SPD, to attend a full-day AAC training facilitated by SPD’s Sarah Yong, Head of Clinical Services for Specialised Assistive Technology Centre and Mariam Mohd, Assistive Technology Specialist.

Knowing Dementia: What are the Risks Factors?

Knowing Dementia: What are the Risks Factors?

06 July 2018

Recent statistics show that currently there are over 45,000 people with dementia in Singapore, doubling figures just a decade ago. This number is set to hit 187,000 by 2050. Let’s look at what are the risk factors and what we can do to help delay the onset of dementia.

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle in Our Children

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle in Our Children

06 July 2018

Recognising the need to cultivate healthy lifestyles in children, SPD’s physiotherapist Barry Faulkner highlights ways in which parents can help their young grow up happy and healthy.

Celebrating Youths: What Does Youth Day Means to Me?

Celebrating Youths: What Does Youth Day Means to Me?

06 July 2018

This week, students in Singapore celebrated Youth Day which fell on Sunday, 1 July. It is often a day when we rejoice in the dreams, passions and talents of youths everywhere. We caught up with Lin Hetao, a 19-year-old who was diagnosed with epilepsy and hemiparesis, a condition which weakens an entire side of his body. In this short interview, Hetao shares his thoughts on what Youth Day means to him.

I Want My ‘Me Time’!

I Want My ‘Me Time’!

22 June 2018

In the second run of the parent support group conducted at SPD@Bedok, 11 caregivers registered for the five weekly sessions which started in February this year. The sessions, conducted by SPD’s senior social worker Junaidah Baharawi, and co-facilitated by social work assistant Michelle Tham as well as social work associate Gloria Thong, covered areas such as understanding emotions, identifying challenges, coping strategies, recognising strengths and moving on.

O.W.L – A Strategy to Engage Your Child in Play

O.W.L – A Strategy to Engage Your Child in Play

22 June 2018

“My son, Andrew, is almost 4 years old. At preschool, while his classmates are playing happily with one another, Andrew would stay in a corner on his own. He ignores others when they try to talk to him. It’s the same at home! He would walk away the moment I try to play with him. How do I get him to play with me?” Mrs Tan asked. Are you, as a parent, facing similar challenges with your children? SPD’s speech therapist, Sharon Charmaine Dickman, offers a useful strategy to help parents engage their child in play with others and ways they can enhance their growth through play.

People with Disabilities Are An Untapped Source of Manpower

People with Disabilities Are An Untapped Source of Manpower

22 June 2018

A recent survey found that inclusion of people with disabilities was the biggest issue in the workplace. SPD's Director of Adult and Elderly Services division, Ms Han May Ching responds in this letter that was published in The Straits Times Forum on 11 May.

In Memory of Mr K V Veloo

In Memory of Mr K V Veloo

08 June 2018

SPD is deeply saddened by the passing of Mr K V Veloo on 1 June 2018. Mr Veloo was an honoured member of SPD’s Management Committee from 1996 to 2004.

Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph: Alan Gwee Swee Phin

Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph: Alan Gwee Swee Phin

08 June 2018

49-year-old Alan Gwee had a successful career in the F&B sector. He was passionate about good food and great service, and rose up the ranks to become an operation supervisor at the Michelin-starred Hong Kong Mak’s Noodle - its first franchise in Singapore. All that came to an abrupt halt when he collapsed in his home. At the hospital, Alan was told that he had stroke. A brain haemorrhage also resulted in losing the use of his left hand. Heading back to the job he loved seem no longer possible. Read how things turned around for him in this story of determination and perseverance.

SPD Provides Home Therapy for Seniors with Low Vision

SPD Provides Home Therapy for Seniors with Low Vision

08 June 2018

SPD has started providing home therapy for seniors with low vision under the Senior Eye Rehabilitation (SEER) Programme since January this year. The SEER pilot programme is a partnership by Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) and Temasek Foundation Cares to build community capability in low vision rehabilitation for seniors. Two occupational therapists (OTs) from SPD were trained to provide home rehabilitation for seniors with low vision.

These are the people whose lives you have touched

These are the people whose lives you have touched

30 May 2018

Your support has enabled many persons with special needs or disabilities at SPD to imagine a future filled with hopes and possibilities. 

 

Here are stories of three whose lives you have touched.

Meet Our First Service Excellence STAR Awards Winners

Meet Our First Service Excellence STAR Awards Winners

25 May 2018

Lena Ang, administrative executive, Pauline Koh, senior physiotherapist, and Sheena Astilla, occupational therapist, earned the title of being our first Service Excellence STAR Awards recipients recently. They were the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners respectively. We had the opportunity to sit down with the three of them to hear what motivates them to go above and beyond their duties to deliver the best service to our clients every day.

Youths with Disabilities Promote Inclusion in Schools

Youths with Disabilities Promote Inclusion in Schools

25 May 2018

Started by Joshua and Zi Lin in 2016, Team Alluvial looks to bring experiential learning to the public by allowing them to experience daily life as a person with visual impairment, through the use of simulated activities using blindfolds and specially-modified glasses, and to understand the proper etiquette when interacting with a person with disabilities. This is the story behind how the idea was conceived.

SPD Plays Host to Overseas Policymakers

SPD Plays Host to Overseas Policymakers

25 May 2018

Early this month on 9 May, SPD hosted close to 30 senior government officials from countries such as Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mauritius, Timor Leste and Togo, who are involved in their country’s social policy planning and development. They were in Singapore to attend the five-day Singapore Cooperation Programme titled “Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs” co-organised by the Civil Service College and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In Conversation with an EIPIC Teacher: Hasliah Binte Hashim

In Conversation with an EIPIC Teacher: Hasliah Binte Hashim

11 May 2018

Senior teacher Hasliah Binte Hashim sat down for a chat with UPDATES in between her lessons. Having been working as an EIPIC teacher for seven years, she has had her fair shares of experiences to recount. Hasliah sheds some light on what it takes to be an early intervention teacher, and how the job is as fulfilling as it gets.

A Closer Look: Building Bridges EIPIC Centres

A Closer Look: Building Bridges EIPIC Centres

11 May 2018

SPD is one of the 10 service providers in Singapore offering the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children, or EIPIC, which supports children with special needs. The programme is offered at SPD Ability Centre (Tiong Bahru), SPD@Jurong, SPD@Bedok and SPD@Tampines. In this edition of “A Closer Look”, we take you to our Building Bridges EIPIC Centres and introduce you to the work that we do there.

Run the Night: Ng May Chan – Preparations for the Big Day

Run the Night: Ng May Chan – Preparations for the Big Day

11 May 2018

Dozens of marathons and running events are packed in Singapore’s running calendar every year. Race packs and what go in there are highlights for some participants. But have you wondered who are the people behind putting these race packs, thousands of them, together for a marathon? 60-year-old Ng May Chan is one such individual working behind-the-scenes. She and her fellow trainees at the SPD Sheltered Workshop have assembled countless race packs for major events.

Golfers Raise Close to $350,000 for People with Disabilities at SPD’s Third Charity Golf Outing

Golfers Raise Close to $350,000 for People with Disabilities at SPD’s Third Charity Golf Outing

27 April 2018

The SPD Charity Golf kicked off at the Raffles Country Club on 13 April 2018 for the third year running. More than 120 golfers gathered at the golf course, competing with one another through a series of 18 holes. The event raised close to $400,000 for people with disabilities. We take you through a series of photos that captured the day out at Raffles Country Club.

Uncovering the Strength of Youths: Beyond the “Me! Me! Me!” Facades

Uncovering the Strength of Youths: Beyond the “Me! Me! Me!” Facades

27 April 2018

There is a lot of spotlight on the young generation these days. As each generation takes over the ‘youth’ baton, people are often quick to snap judgements on them based on existing preconceived notions. Chia Xin Yi, a youth worker in SPD's Community and Social Support (CSSD) Department shares her professional views.

Organisational Excellence Day 2018 – Strengthening Quality Service through People, Productivity and Innovation

Organisational Excellence Day 2018 – Strengthening Quality Service through People, Productivity and Innovation

27 April 2018

This year’s Organisational Excellence Day, which was held at the MDIS campus on 12 April, focused on the theme of “Strengthening Quality Service through People, Productivity and Innovation.” In alignment with the theme, employees were introduced to productive and innovative work tools such as QR code for registration, and the online Pigeonhole platform to facilitate the Q&A session during the panel discussion.

Inaugural SPD Charity Dinner Raises Close to $285,000 for People with Disabilities

Inaugural SPD Charity Dinner Raises Close to $285,000 for People with Disabilities

12 April 2018

The inaugural SPD Charity Dinner held at PARKROYAL on Beach Road on 23 March took 350 guests down memory lane and included a gastronomical experience to boot. The event also raised close to $285,000. UPDATES bring you the highlights of the evening.

Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph Together – Philip Ang

Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph Together – Philip Ang

12 April 2018

“Having a disability doesn’t mean it is all bad. Life sets you this challenge because we have the strength to live it.” These were words that helped Mr Philip Ang overcome the many hurdles that surfaced in his life. The senior finance executive with SPD shares his story and his attitude towards life with senior advocacy analyst Poh Sho Siam.

How Caregivers in Singapore Are Embracing the Internet of Things to Improve Lives

How Caregivers in Singapore Are Embracing the Internet of Things to Improve Lives

12 April 2018

Caring for people with disabilities requires joined up thinking. People with disabilities have different needs, which might pose a challenge for caregivers, but the Internet is playing a significant part in helping to improve lives for caregivers in Singapore. Murray LeClair, a freelance finance writer, contributes his thoughts on the subject.

Revamped Resource Library Aids Teachers in Their Lesson Preparation

Revamped Resource Library Aids Teachers in Their Lesson Preparation

29 March 2018

It took Ms Ang Pei Lin two months, with the help of volunteers, teachers and staff, to organise and put in order the resource library at the Building Bridges EIPIC Centre at SPD’s headquarters. Her fruits of labour are curently enjoyed by the early intervention teachers who now have an easier and more convenient access to the learning materials that they use in classrooms. We take a look at what are some new additions made to the resource library.

Help from Zhenghua Primary School Teachers

Help from Zhenghua Primary School Teachers

29 March 2018

SPD welcomed a group of more than 30 teachers from Zhenghua Primary School on 9 March who spent a few hours helping out with packing work at our sheltered workshop and developing teaching materials at the Building Bridges EIPIC Centre at the SPD Ability Centre.

Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph Together – Mr Tamil and Mr Lim

Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph Together – Mr Tamil and Mr Lim

29 March 2018

Mr Tamil Selvan and Mr Lim Boon Tiong were clients of our Transition to Employment (TTE) programme. With their perseverance, and assistance from SPD staff, as well as Marina Bay Sands (MBS), an employer who provides job opportunities to persons with disabilities, both Mr Tamil and Mr Lim are now working at MBS. At their last therapy session at SPD in January this year, Mr Tamil and Mr Lim shared their journey at TTE with senior analyst Poh Sho Siam.

In Conversation with a DAC Training Officer – Thamaraivalli Narayanan

In Conversation with a DAC Training Officer – Thamaraivalli Narayanan

16 March 2018

After a hectic day tending to the needs of the Day Activity Centre (DAC) clients, Thamaraivalli Narayanan (Valli), a senior training officer, sat down for a chat. They are our unsung heroes, working in the background to ensure their charges receive the best care every day. One of the seven DAC training officers, Valli shared with UPDATES an overview of the roles of training officers at the DAC, and how she became one.

A Closer Look: SPD’s Day Activity Centre

A Closer Look: SPD’s Day Activity Centre

16 March 2018

Located on the ground floor of SPD’s headquarters, the Day Activity Centre (DAC) and its clients are likely the first to greet visitors to SPD. Set up in 1994, it has provided day care to many persons with multiple disabilities, and in doing so, offered family members and caregivers the peace of mind to go out to work or to receive respite from their caregiving duties. UPDATES bring you a new series “A Closer Look”, and this week, we enter DAC to find out what goes about on a typical day.

Coty Volunteers Support SPD Clients in Their Job Search

Coty Volunteers Support SPD Clients in Their Job Search

16 March 2018

A team of eight volunteers from leading global beauty company Coty consisting of make-up artists, photographers and human resource professionals was at the SPD Ability Centre on 7 March to review the résumés and conduct photoshoots for 10 clients from the SPD Employment Support Programme (ESP). Leveraging on their expertise, they helped the clients improve on their résumés and present their best with a makeover and photoshoot to increase their chances in job searches.

SPD Youth Aspiration Award Recipient – Joshua Tseng

SPD Youth Aspiration Award Recipient – Joshua Tseng

02 March 2018

We wrap up our SPD Youth Aspiration Award Recipients’ series today with the story of Joshua Tseng, a determined 20-year-old with a dream. He was also the recipient of the Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation for Persons with Disabilities scholarship in 2017.

Coping with the Challenges of Raising Children with Special Needs

Coping with the Challenges of Raising Children with Special Needs

02 March 2018

Parenting is a challenging task under any circumstances. However, when a child is born or diagnosed with special needs, parents or the child’s primary caregivers can face unexpected challenges. SPD's senior social worker, Junaidah Baharawi, highlights some of these challenges and suggests ways to overcome them.

Leveraging Technology to Improve Productivity and Quality of Service

Leveraging Technology to Improve Productivity and Quality of Service

02 March 2018

As part of our five-year strategic roadmap, SPD has embarked on initiatives to boost our IT infrastructure and systems to improve our quality of care to clients and enhance organisational productivity. IT manager Ee Boon Siong and Director of Organisational Development, Quek Hong Choon explains more in this article.

In Conversation with an Occupational Therapist – Ciara Hagan

In Conversation with an Occupational Therapist – Ciara Hagan

14 February 2018

Occupational therapy is a health profession that uses activities that are channeled towards specific goals to help people of all ages progress towards daily activities such as self-care, leisure, school and work. Participation in meaningful activities and essential roles help individuals maintain or enhance health and well-being. We sat down with one of our own, Ciara Hagan, who has been with SPD for the last one and a half years, to find out more about the occupation and what is it like working as an OT.

SPD Wins at Singapore Health Quality Service Awards 2018

SPD Wins at Singapore Health Quality Service Awards 2018

14 February 2018

Staff who constantly deliver their best to serve our clients, whether directly or indirectly in their work, were honoured at the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards (SHQSA) Ceremony on 30 January 2018. The 12 staff received the award for Service Excellence in the “Silver” category from Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong.

SPD Youth Aspiration Award Recipient – Shahrul Izwan

SPD Youth Aspiration Award Recipient – Shahrul Izwan

14 February 2018

This week, we chatted with another SPD Youth Aspiration Award recipient, Shahrul Izwan. Acquiring the disability at 16, Shahrul had to go through a painful restart. He tells us how he motivated himself, and with the support of the people around him, he is determined to live his life to the fullest.

Orientation for Caregivers at the Building Bridges EIPIC Centres

Orientation for Caregivers at the Building Bridges EIPIC Centres

02 February 2018

The SPD Building Bridges EIPIC Centres conduct orientation for parents and caregivers of newly enrolled children to the programme to help ease them into the learning journey while they are on the programme. At the orientation, the participants will get to know more about the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) and meet the EIPIC team that will be working with them and their child. The latest session was held at the centres at SPD@Bedok and SPD@Jurong in December 2017.

Students with Disabilities Get Boost to Reach for Bigger Dreams

Students with Disabilities Get Boost to Reach for Bigger Dreams

02 February 2018

The SPD Education Programme (EP) Award Ceremony 2018 was held at the SPD Ability Centre on 20 January and graced by Guest-of-Honour, Mdm Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore. Bursaries amounting to $117,550 were awarded to 95 students with disabilities and students whose parents have disabilities, and from low-income families. It was one of the highest disbursements in recent years as more students in institutes of higher learning are supported. Three youths also received a grant through the SPD Youth Aspiration Awards (YAA) to pursue their interests.

SPD Youth Aspiration Award 2018 Recipient – Justin Kueh’s Story

SPD Youth Aspiration Award 2018 Recipient – Justin Kueh’s Story

02 February 2018

Justin Kueh is one of the three SPD Youth Aspiration Award (YAA) recipients this year. Having battled through incredible odds to be where he is today, his story is one filled with encouragements and hope. Currently a student in his first year at Singapore Management University (SMU), we recount his story and how far he has come.

SPD Celebrates Occupational Therapy Day 2018

SPD Celebrates Occupational Therapy Day 2018

19 January 2018

Every year during Occupational Therapy Day, SPD’s occupational therapists (OT) work hard to come up with fresh ideas to allow participants to understand more about the difficulties faced by clients going for occupational therapy, and to give everyone a glimpse into what OTs do day in and day out. Read on to find out what exactly happened!

63 Children Progressed to SPED and Mainstream Schools

63 Children Progressed to SPED and Mainstream Schools

19 January 2018

63 children graduated from EIPIC late last year. The annual event was held at Methodist Girls’ School to celebrate the completion of their EIPIC journey. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours!

Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph Together – Renee Abigail Soh

Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph Together – Renee Abigail Soh

19 January 2018

Ms Renee Abigail Soh, 22, was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears. Now a full-time assistant human resource officer at multi-national construction company, Dragages Singapore, Renee shared with senior advocacy analyst Poh Sho Siam the joy and satisfaction she gets in her job and encourages others to pursue their goals and find their own happiness.

My NoNNa’s Wheelchair-friendly Workplace

My NoNNa’s Wheelchair-friendly Workplace

05 January 2018

The option of being employed may seem far-fetched for some individuals with disabilities, and they may choose to remain home. Lack of social interaction outside their homes may also affect these individuals’ mental wellbeing. After witnessing a close family friend regressing in this manner, Ms Geraldine Tan decided to set up My NoNNa's to help offer a solution. My NoNNa’s is a café that is also a social enterprise that gives people with disabilities meaningful employment and trains them to prepare and serve Italian food at schools.

In Conversation with Chan Yi Ren, Speech Therapist

In Conversation with Chan Yi Ren, Speech Therapist

05 January 2018

Few may be aware of the work done by speech therapists. Here, we speak to SPD speech therapist Chan Yi Ren about the occupation.

SPD’s Corporate Social Responsibility Efforts

SPD’s Corporate Social Responsibility Efforts

05 January 2018

Giving back to the society is important. Between October and December every year, SPD’s staff take part in many different activities to reach out to, spread love and care and to make a difference in various communities around Singapore. This year, over 300 staff contributed close to 2,400 hours to help out at places such as the soup kitchen, hospice, animal shelter and homes and centres for children and the elderly. Here are some of the notable efforts by a few of the departments.