Breaking Barriers to a Productive Life | SPD - Singapore

Breaking Barriers to a Productive Life

May Chan, a trainee at the Sheltered Workshop.

With or without disabilities, every individual deserves to live to the fullest and have a productive and enriching life. And every individual can.

Ng May Chan is one such individual. Despite living with cerebral palsy from a young age, May Chan remains undeterred and is determined to overcome the challenges brought about by her disabilities.

A trainee with SPD’s Sheltered Workshop programme since 2002, May Chan believes in continuous learning and is constantly upgrading by taking computer-related courses. May Chan comes to the workshop every day and hopes to find employment in the open market. She is an inspiration to us all with her resolve towards self-improvement.

The SPD Sheltered Workshop is a supervised environment filled with optimism and community spirit. Here, May Chan and many other persons with disabilities receive training and achieve some measure of self-reliance engaging in contract work secured from commercial organisations, while at the same time contributing to the society in small but important ways.

“Working at the Sheltered Workshop allows me to learn new work skills. I become more confident. My life also became more meaningful,” said May Chan.

Trainees at the Sheltered Workshop working on a project.

More than a workplace, the workshop is really a vocational training ground for people with disabilities to prepare them for possible open employment. The projects and small contract jobs that it secures provide opportunities for trainees to experience real work in a safe environment. Here, they pick up work skills and learn to work together and give their best.

The Sheltered Workshop becomes a place filled with vibrancy and life when the trainees, volunteers and staff come together to complete a project.

Supervisors at the Sheltered Workshop are heartened by the trainees’ progress.

“I see improvements and development in some of our trainees, such as acquiring soft and hard skills. They become more self-reliant, independent and confident. My favorite memory was when a trainee left the Sheltered Workshop for open employment, and when the caregivers expressed their appreciation, we could see that it meant a lot to the family. Seeing them trying hard to overcome challenges and improve themselves is always a joy to behold,” said senior workshop supervisor Tan Lee Huan.

Living with a disability is challenging. However, a supportive community and purposeful engagement can add colour to the life of a person with disabilities.

If you have any contract work, such as packaging, letter-shopping, tagging of products and data entry that can be outsourced, do contact us at information@spd.org.sg or call 6579 0700 to provide training and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.