41-year-old Ng Mei Ching was working in a global financial services company as an assistant vice-president when a motor vehicle incident in 2011 robbed her of her motor functions from the chest down. Initially reliant on her caregiver for all her activities of daily living, the soft-spoken mother of two enrolled in SPD’s Transitional Programme for Employment (TPE) in September 2014 with the goal of getting back to work and becoming physically stronger to care for her two young children.
At the TPE, Mei Ching underwent vocational rehabilitation where she built strength and endurance - physically and emotionally. She also explored different assistive technology devices and applications with her occupational therapist to find what suited her best.
When Mei Ching learned that there were work trials within SPD to help TPE clients like herself transit back into open employment, she saw it as an opportunity to assess her readiness in returning to the workforce. She applied for a news monitoring position that was available within the Communications Department, went for the interview in March 2016 and took up the position in a heartbeat when she was offered the role.
These days, Mei Ching gets up early every morning to scour the various news portals for news and issues relating to SPD and the social service sector. Then she organises them before e-mailing them to the team, all by 10.30am.
There were initial trepidations as Mei Ching had to familiarise herself with subject matters foreign to her. Learning to be efficient on the computer again was another huge hurdle because of her physical limitations. Nevertheless, her fears were unfounded. She rose to the challenge from the get-go and has delivered every time.
Senior manager of SPD’s communication department Geraldine Lai was all praise for Mei Ching, “Mei Ching has an excellent work attitude and has been a great help to the team for the last two months. Other than being punctual and meticulous in her work, Mei Ching’s willingness to learn and contribute will see her do well when she goes back to open employment,” she said.
For now, Mei Ching looks forward to going back to the mainstream workforce. “Participating in this job trial at SPD has given me the confidence to overcome my fears and doubts on my ability to have gainful employment. I also hope I can do more travelling with my family soon,” she said.