She was feeling the jitters as she made her way to the front, her eyes scanning the familiar faces among the audience, friends she met every day at the centre. She had on a white blouse and grey skinnies - they matched her black and white wheelchair perfectly. She had ditched her spectacles for the day, preferring instead to allow her smokey eye shadow, delicately applied by her training officers, to glitter in the spotlight. It reflected her assumed persona as a strong and sassy songstress, giving her that extra confidence.
She got into position beside her duet partner and locked the brakes on her wheelchair. She readied herself as the training officers put the portable microphone on her. It was the moment that she had been training for over the past few months. The introductory music came on and as it hit the 20-second mark, she sang out the first words of Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’. She had a slight smile on her face as she paused for her next line. She knew she would do well for the song. And she did.
30-year-old Overee Stephanie Fawcet was glowing with pride after her performance at the last Day Activity Centre (DAC) The Voice Fiesta.
Diagnosed with hypotonic cerebral palsy with developmental delay when she was young, Stephanie, an only child, has always been loved and protected by her parents. They took pains to ensure she received a good education through two special schools during her growing up years so that she would be well-equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to help her through life.
As Stephanie transited into adulthood, she enrolled in SPD’s DAC to not only continue learning, but also allow her parents to carry on working. Stephanie enjoys her time at the DAC where training officers help her to improve on her social communication and psycho-motor skills.
Stephanie was slightly reserved when she first joined the DAC in 2005. Lacking in confidence, she would turn to her training officers for support in social situations. Over time, the daily interactions with the training officers and her peers, along with structured activities at the DAC, helped her improve in many aspects of her life, including her self-confidence. She also discovered her love for music when the training officers used songs to help her memorise words faster. Stephanie’s training officer, Shahidah Lam, is proud of how far she has come since she first enrolled in the DAC.
“Stephanie is now more confident. She is pro-active and is taking on simple responsibilities like helping to organise the food trays for her peers who sit at the same table during lunch,” said Shahidah.