Milestones | SPD - Singapore
- SPD received the Charity Council's Charity Transparency Award 2017 on 15 November 2017. This is the second year that SPD was receiving the award since it was introduced in 2016. The Charity Transparency Awards recognises charities that have shown good disclosure and transparency practices.
- SPD was awarded the Team Merit Award (Service Initiative Improvement Category) under the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards (SHQSA) on 17 January 2017. Launched in 2011, the SHQSA was organised by the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre to award healthcare professionals who have delivered quality care and outstanding service to their patients.
- Dr Tony Tan, President of Singapore, conferred SPD the President's Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards (Non-Profit Organisation) on 9 November 2016. The annual President's Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards honour those who have set benchmarks of excellence in encouraging the spirit of giving in Singapore.
- SPD received the Charity Governance Award 2016 for Large Charities/IPCs category for the second time on 28 September 2016, having clinched the same in 2012 when the award was first introduced, and was also recognised as one of the inaugural Charity Transparency Award recipients. The Charity Governance Award 2016 is given in recognition of a charity’s exemplary governance standards and dedication to improvement, while the Charity Transparency Awards recognises charities that have shown good disclosure and transparency practices.
- SPD was awarded the Team Award for Service Quality Improvement (Merit) under the Intermediate and Long Term Care (ILTC) Awards on 28 September 2016. The ILTC Team Awards recognises outstanding quality improvement projects and initiatives implemented in community care organisations, and was given to SPD for the cross-divisional staff and Board collaboration in ensuring a smooth transition when merging the operations of SPD and SPD@Toa Payoh without compromising clients’ interests and welfare.
- SPD was appointed as operator of two new Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC). The centres located in Bedok and Tampines commenced operations in August 2016.
- In August, SPD opened its fifth satellite centre in Bedok.
- SPD was awarded a three-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International in June. The accreditation, for SPD's Continuing Therapy Programme and Rehabilitation Centres, makes SPD Singapore's first outpatient medical rehabilitation centre for children and adults to receive the accreditation.
- Together with SG Enable, SPD officially launched Tech Able at the Enabling Village in October where assistive technology services are sited.
- Over $5 million was raised through the SPD Charity Show 2015 in March which was the finale for SPD's jubilee celebrations. This is the highest amount raised from any SPD Charity Show.
- SPD introduced the Pre-Vocational Training in January to help people with disabilities build a foundation for higher computer skills learning and, at the same time, increase their employability.
- SPD commemorated its 50th anniversary over a series of events, among which is the SPD 50th anniversary gala dinner which took place on 27 November at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. Four hundred guests comprising staff, clients, caregivers, and corporate and individual supporters gathered to mark the occasion with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as the Guest-of-Honour.
- Society for the Physically Disabled announced on 30 July that it would operate under the name ‘SPD’. By dropping ‘physically disabled’ from its name, SPD sought to reposition itself as an organisation that serves people of other disabilities as well, and not just those with physical disabilities. This also removes the stigma of disabilities for those receiving care and support from SPD.
- The Transition Programme for Employment (TPE) was launched in June to help prepare stroke survivors and those with spinal-cord-related injuries to return to mainstream workforce. The programme encompasses active rehabilitation, work readiness training and employment support.
- SPD@Jurong was officially opened by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam on 10 May. The centre serves children with special needs in the western region of Singapore through its Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) and Development Support Programme (DSP).
- SPD took over the management of TP Healthcare with effect from 1 April and the centre was renamed SPD@Toa Payoh. It remains a non-profit day rehabilitation centre providing therapy, nursing care, day care, meals and transport services. With SPD@Toa Payoh, SPD is able to consolidate resources to serve a wider demographic which included the elderly and people with disabilities.
- SPD and the Singapore Management University (SMU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 7 February 2014 to collaborate in developing and promoting best practices for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Institutes of Higher Learning in Singapore.
- Efforts at improving work safety have resulted in SPD obtaining the bizSAFE Level 3 status awarded by the Workplace Safety and Health Council in February 2014. The organisation-wide exercise generated greater awareness among staff on the different aspects of workplace safety and empowered them with the knowledge to help them mitigate any potential risks while discharging their duties at work.
- SPD President Ms Chia Yong Yong was awarded the Public Service Medal at the 2013 National Day Awards held on 16 August 2013.
- The IAC Certificate in Office Skills (ICOS) programme is a vocational training programme that equips people with disabilities with the necessary skills for administrative positions first offered in July 2013. It is tailored to help people with disabilities find gainful employment, many of whom have never worked in an office environment before. They undergo the necessary job skills and soft skills training to better equip them to integrate into the mainstream workforce.
- In June 2013, following Singapore's signing of the United Nations Conventions for the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in November 2012, NCSS appointed 25 leaders across the disability sector to serve as champions for the different needs of persons with disabilities in the areas of accessibility, assistive technology, education, health and employment. Two of the 25 champions are senior management staff from SPD appointed to advocate health-care needs of persons with disabilities and the need for assistive technology and accessibility.
- The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) announced on May 2013 the roll-out of the Development Support Programme (DSP) which provides children with mild learning disabilities with learning support and therapy intervention. The rationale and concept of DSP was not new to SPD that had, in the last decade, pioneered several early intervention initiatives, previously known as PACES then TOPPS. SPD eventually adopted DSP as its official programme name with funding from MSF and is one of the three service partners appointed by MSF to run this early intervention programme in the Eastern and Western parts of Singapore.
- SPD received accreditation from the Ministry of Health in January 2013 to provide rehabilitation services to the community for two more years under the SPD Rehabilitation Centre and SPD@Tampines.
- On 6 November 2012, SPD was awarded the inaugural Charity Governance Award (CGA) 2012 for Category 2 (large charities/IPCs). The award was an initiative of the Charity Council aimed at promoting good governance in the charity sector by recognising charities that have adopted the highest standards of governance.
- The Building Bridges EIPIC Centre (Jurong) began operations in June 2012, fulfilling a long-standing dream of SPD to operate from three centres islandwide and to bring our services closer to people with disabilities in the community.
- The Infocomm Accessibility Centre (IAC) and IT Apprenticeship Programme (ITAP) successfully secured accreditation as an Approved Training Organization (ATO) with the Workforce Development Agency. As an ATO, IAC and ITAP will be able to conduct Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) courses and award our trainees WSQ Statements of Attainment for the courses they complete.
- On 3 October 2011, the Building Bridges EIPIC Centre began providing educational and therapy services for children aged 6 and below diagnosed to be at risk of having disabling conditions or special needs that will affect their development. EIPIC, which stands for Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children, is a centre-based programme which aims to facilitate development and improvement in gross and fine motor skills, cognitive skills, speech, language and communication skills, social skills and self-help skills. This is SPD’s first such centre appointed by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and National Council of Social Service to cater to children in the west and central areas.
- SPD's third TV fundraising event, The SPD Charity Show 2011 <<真情无障爱>>, was held on 13 March 2011. Broadcast 'live' on Channel 8, the three-hour show based on the theme 'Music for Love' comprised a string of performances put up by local and international artistes. The Guest-of-Honour was Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. The show, hosted by Guo Liang and Michelle Chia, included an outdoor segment hosted by Dasmond Koh at NEX Shopping Mall where local celebrities such as Bryan Wong and Elvin Ng led other supporters in taking turns to clock the longest distance run on treadmill for three hours. $4.45 million was raised through the show.
- To augment SPD’s vocational training services, the Employment Support Programme (ESP) was launched on 1 March 2010 to provide job placement and job support services for trainees undergoing SPD’s vocational training programmes. In addition, the ESP also serves people with physical disabilities, hearing impairment and visual impairment who require direct job placement and support services. ESP will provide job matching and up to six months of job support upon successful placement, so as to ensure that the trainees will be able to adapt and sustain in the open employment.
- The SPD Youth Aspiration Award was launched during the SPD Education Programme Awards Presentation Ceremony on 30 January 2010 to inspire talented youths with physical disabilities to pursue their interests outside of the academic arena. It was the only one of its kind that was exclusive to youths with physical disabilities. The award provided a grant of up to $5,000 per recipient to be used in the year to develop a talent, and covered such expenses as training sessions and equipment purchase. The award was offered to those from secondary to university levels who wish wished to further their interests/talents in visual and performing arts, sports and community service. It was also open to those looking for funds to perform community service or projects.
- SPD was one of 5 Special Merit Award winners in the Singapore Prestige Brand Award (SPBA) 2009. Jointly organised by the Association of Small & Medium Enterprises and Lianhe Zaobao, the SPBA recognises and honours Singapore brands that have successfully developed and managed their brands. It offered the winners the platform to become sterling names in Singapore and make a foray into the international market. The Special Merit Category was newly introduced to acknowledge good brand building practices among Non-Profit Organisations.
- In conjunction with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities which takes place on 3 December every year, the SPD Charity Show 2009 <<真情无障爱>> was staged to meet the twin objectives of increasing understanding and awareness of people with disabilities and raising funds for SPD. SPD’s second televised fundraising show was broadcast 'live' on Channel U on 6 December with a repeat telecast on 13 December. A total amount of $3.3 million was raised from the show, surpassing the target of $2.8 million.
- Seeing the growing popularity of social networking site Facebook among people who seek information of organisations, SPD started its own Facebook account in October 2009. The aim of using this informal medium was to allow more people to know about SPD’s programmes and services and build a bridge to people with disabilities, caregivers, our clients, volunteers and supporters.
- Launched in October 2009, the Dysphagia Management Programme (DMP) is the first community-based swallowing management programme providing the elderly and people with disabilities with affordable professional speech therapy services in community-based organisations to help them with their swallowing problems.
- SPD’s Specialised Assistive Technology Centre (ATC) was appointed the Centre of Specialisation for assistive technology (AT) by the National Council of Social Service on 19 August. With this appointment, the Specialised ATC was recognised as an AT expert that would conduct practice-related training to build capability in AT and provide advice, consultations and coaching sessions to mentor other agencies providing similar services or new agencies wanting to provide similar services. The Specialised ATC would also develop a guide, manual or set of doctrines on the use of AT and document evidence-based practices.
- Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of the Kingdom of Thailand, visited the SPD Ability Centre on 24 April. The purpose of the visit was to further understand how SPD used technology to enable people with disabilities. Accompanying Her Royal Highness in touring the technology related facilities within SPD was Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.
- The Disability Resource Handbook for Teachers was launched at the SPD Education Programme Awards Presentation Ceremony 2009 on 31 January. Produced with sponsorship from Wearnes and South East CDC, the contents include information on different types of physical disabilities, tips on how to interact with the students and the challenges they and their families face because of their special needs, as well as information on how the curriculum and environment can be modified to integrate disabled students in a mainstream classroom. Practical advice such as wheelchair handling techniques and even a checklist for physical access are also included in the handbook aimed at addressing the fears and apprehensions of teachers who are assigned a student with disabilities in their classroom for the first time. Also launched at the ceremony was the SPD Service Card.
- ITAP serves to bridge the gap between training and employment for people with disabilities by providing on-the-job training and structured courses to equip trainees with the necessary skills set for employment.
- Along with this was the opening of the Assistive Technology (AT) Loan Library and IT Apprenticeship Programme (ITAP). The AT Loan Library allows people with disabilities to borrow computer accessibility tools and AT devices for trial before purchase, and for replacement use when their personal sets have been sent for repair or servicing. The Library is the first in Asia catering to people with disabilities.
- The Infocomm Accessibility Centre (IAC) was launched on 3 July in an event graced by Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. The IAC was Singapore’s first centre set up to provide training in infocomm technology across disability types, including physical disabilities, sensory impairments and developmental disabilities, to enhance their employment opportunities.
- The first official SPD Volunteer Handbook was launched on 1 December to guide new volunteers and help them adapt to working with people with physical disabilities. The Handbook was launched at SPD’s annual Volunteer Day by Guest-of-Honour Mrs Tan Chee Koon, Chief Executive Officer of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre.
- The launch of the Multimedia Centre Social Enterprise (MMC-SE) on 2 Aug 2007 meant better prospects for trainees under the programme, who can look forward to enjoying better terms such as fixed wages, medical benefits and leave.
- SPD’s first TV fundraising event, The SPD Charity Show (真情无障爱), was met with much fanfare when it was broadcast ‘live’ on Channel 8 on 15 July 2007. Local artistes such as Christopher Lee, Fann Wong, Project Superstar winner Darren Tan and local disabled artiste Lee Soo Chee performed with much sincerity, alongside international artistes Alan Tam, Angus Tong An Ge, Steve Zhou Zhi Ping, ‘Liu San Jie’ Huang Wan Qiu and Taiwanese disabled artist Yang En Dian, to touch the hearts of millions in Singapore. The 3-hour show, graced by Mr Abdullah Tarmugi and hosted by Quan Yi Feng and Mickey Huang, raised $3.86 million.
- 30 June 2007 marked the opening of SPD@Tampines, SPD’s first satellite centre. With the growth in programmes and services and the number of people served, SPDhas branched out to set up a new centre in the east, taking rehabilitation services and social support to people of all ages with varying levels of disabilities living there. The new centre helps to relieve the demand for services at Tiong Bahru, and also shortens the travelling time for clients who live in the east.
- The Microsoft Accessibility & IT Center began offering basic to advanced IT training courses for people with disabilities from April 2007. The centre was set to provide training and certification for people with disabilities, and targeted to benefit 4,000 disabled individuals in 3 years.
- On 21 November 2006, SPD was presented the Non-Profit Organization Award 2006 by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC). The award recognised best practices in the management of volunteers, donors and resources in a non-profit organisation.
- The Specialised Case Management Programme began in October 2006 to help people with an acquired disability and their caregivers nationwide. The programme helps them cope with the challenges of a disability through support and case management.
- In September 2006, the SPD Therapy@Home Service started operations, providing occupational therapy and physiotherapy to people with physical disabilities who are unable to go out of their homes to receive therapy due to the severity of their disabilities. The service aims to train clients in basic living skills in their home environment till they are equipped to receive therapy at a centre.
- In October, the Production Workshop, Multimedia Centre and Sheltered Workshop combined to form the SPD Ability Enterprise, a training and employment centre for people with physical disabilities. The division focuses on employment with progressive learning. For its commitment towards staff training and people development, SPD became the first VWO to be awarded the Certified On-the-Job Training Centre status by ITE.
- StarHub's sponsorship of $200,000 made possible the establishment of the StarHub-SPD Learning & Development Centre which would provide new learning opportunities through enrichment programmes for students with physical disabilities. Launched in September, it would also offer help and support for teachers and parents.
- In September, the ATC staged the 'Best Practices in AT Research' Forum at Global Entrepolis 2005, the first AT Research Forum in Singapore. The Forum promoted the setting of best practices in AT research and involved 120 technology users, caregivers, and foreign and local researchers and practitioners from the fields of rehabilitation medicine, technology and rehabilitation engineering.
- The Paediatric Rehabilitation Unit began operations in September, and offers therapy services for children with special needs below 16 years old. Recognising that intervention at an early age would help children overcome developmental challenges, the Unit provides specific programmes catering to the needs of children in three different age groups.
- Early in 2005, SPD extended its services outside its doors in the setting up of the SPD Therapy Hub, with the aim of providing quality therapy services to VWOs looking to engage rehabilitation services for their clients. Now, the elderly and other people with physical disabilities can enjoy the services of SPD’s therapists at their own day rehabilitation centres, day care centres and nursing homes.
- SPD was presented with the e-Society Excellence Award (People Sector) in March 2005. Jointly organised by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation, the awards recognise organisations that have helped promote infocomm locally, and in making Singapore an e-inclusive society.
- On 1 January 2005, the SPD Assistive Technology Centre (ATC) was appointed by the National Council of Social Service to provide services in assistive technology (AT) for all people with physical disabilities, and was renamed the Specialised ATC. This appointment enabled SPD to further encourage developments in the area of AT and further the cause for people with physical disabilities.
- SPD’s research project with the Institute for Infocomm Research was awarded a grant under the Samsung DigitAll Hope in November 2004. In the project, SPD and I2R collaborate to develop the Brainy Communicator, a device which would allow the user to control the computer via brain activity. If successful, such technology would allow those who have total loss of limbs and speech functions to access the computer and control wheelchairs and home environment devices like TV, lights, telephone and even a robotic arm for feeding.
- In October 2004, SPD became the first VWO to receive TrustSg certification from the National Trust Council for its website. With the seal given only to online merchants with sound e-commerce practices, donors and customers of SPD can be assured that their personal details provided online would be treated with confidence in a secure environment.
- SPD staged Singapore’s first Assistive Technology Invention Competition in September 2004. The objective was to raise awareness of assistive technology, promote the need to include physically disabled people in considerations when designing new products, and encourage local companies to develop affordable and reliable assistive technology devices. Through the Competition, it is hoped that assistive technology devices would be made more accessible to and of better fit for people with physical disabilities.
- SPD’s first batch of scholars received their awards in August 2004 from Mr Chan Soo Sen, then Minister of State for Education. Due to their exceptional qualifications, the award was given to three Scholars instead of two. The trio fronted SPD's public education drives and also became role models for other students with physical disabilities.
- A scholarship scheme was launched in March 2004 with the sponsorship of Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation. Two students are selected each year and offered $11,000 for their studies at a local university. This is given to award students with physical disabilities for their outstanding academic achievements to encourage them to aspire to higher levels of educational attainment.
- To serve the growing need for step-down rehabilitation services in Singapore, the SPD-Singapore Power Rehabilitation Centre was officially opened in August 2003. Patients were offered affordable day rehabilitation services after acute care treatment at hospitals. They could also look forward to personalised care by experienced professional staff. SPD's dedicated transport service ferries patients to and from the Centre and their homes.
- A new web design team made up of people with physical disabilities was formed and began working from April 2003 from SPD's Multimedia Centre. The team provides services in web page designing, website maintenance, web hosting, registration of domain names as well as creation of electronic greeting cards. The members were selected based on their aptitude and interest in IT and underwent appropriate training at the Computer Lab to prepare them to offer their services commercially.
- The Computer Lab opened its doors in November 2002 with 13 donated PCs. With support from the ATC, the Lab became an ideal IT training ground for people with physical disabilities. In April 2004, SPD began collaborating with authorised training service providers to provide certifiable basic to advanced IT courses for people with physical disabilities.
- One of the key achievements following the building expansion was the establishment of the Assistive Technology Centre (ATC). The Society recognised the potential of Assistive Technology (AT) in improving the work, study and daily lives of people with physical disabilities and began from August 2001 to provide advice, consultation and training on assistive technology devices.
- The second phase of the building construction began. A new floor was added which allowed SPD to expand to other areas of services to people with physical disabilities.
- SPD joined the ranks of other organisations in starting its first website offering information online. The avenue allowed it to reach out to even more people with physical disabilities as well as potential supporters.
- The name and logo of the Society was changed to better reflect those who were benefiting from the Society's services. From May 1998, it became known as The Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD).
- A new day activity centre was opened on November 1994 to provide training to low-functioning people with physical disabilities so that they can be independent and self-sufficient. Enrolling their child/ward with physical disabilities at the SAP-SOKA Day Activity Centre offered the family members some respite and enabled them the freedom to continue working.
- SAP became a member of Community Chest and received its first allocation of $275,000 on 16 January 1991 . This was the result of having expanded its services and taking on more responsibilities to help some 600 disabled beneficiaries. The acceptance enabled the Society to maximise its resources on the management of programmes and services and free itself from having to raise funds to meet operating costs and start new programmes. Following this, it went on to lay the groundwork for vocational rehabilitation programmes.
- The ground breaking ceremony of the new SAP Vocational Rehabilitation Centre was held on 30 December 1990 over the site of the original building. The new Centre completed in June 1994 was the first purpose-built service centre set up by a VWO to meet the rehabilitation needs of people with disabilities. It was subsequently renamed the SPD Ability Centre after the Society changed its name.
- A bequest from the Estate of the Late Mr Lee Boon Huat, the Society's past President, enabled the implementation of the first SAP Scholarship Awards. In the first year, a total of $9,100 was presented to 25 successful candidates. The programme grew from strength to strength and by 2004, had awarded over $1 million to almost 1,500 students with physical disabilities and students whose parents have physical disabilities. By this time, it had also grown to provide other services including tuition support, holiday enrichment programmes, befriending, counselling and family support.
- The Society for Aid to the Paralysed (SAP) was officially registered with the Registry of Societies on 27 November 1964. Groundwork on the establishment of the Society was started by Mr Leslie Rayner and a few other Rotarians following a moving speech given by Ms Paulette Leaning, a New Zealander with physical disabilities, to the members of the Singapore Rotary Club in 1956. The Leslie Rayner Sheltered Workshop was started in 1967 to provide employment opportunities for those who have difficulties seeking employment in the open market. The workshop started with carpentry work and flourished. By June 1970, a new building had to be opened to accommodate the growing number of disabled workers and jobs. By 1979, it became self-supporting and profitable.