Letter From The Executive Director: Helping Young Stroke Patients Get Back To Work | SPD - Singapore

Letter From The Executive Director: Helping Young Stroke Patients Get Back To Work


SPD's rehabilitation gym catering to persons with disabilities

Executive director of SPD Mr Abhimanyau Pal shares his views on the relevance of our new Transition Programme for Employment (TPE) in a letter to The Straits Times which was published in its forum page on 22 July 2014.

WE APPLAUD Ms Debra Lam and Mr Ryan Ng for planning to set up a disabled-friendly gym ("Making it easy for the disabled to keep fit"; last Thursday). Enhancing the accessibility of facilities and amenities would certainly encourage more persons with disabilities to participate in community activities and integrate into society.

We see improvements being made to facilities such as public buses, cinemas, shopping mall toilets, food centres and playgrounds to make them more accessible. Nevertheless, there are older buildings, pedestrian pathways and bus stops that are currently still inaccessible to persons with disabilities.
While the universal design concept emerged primarily to address the needs of people with disabilities, designing products and the built environment to be usable by everyone, including the elderly, people with strollers, children and pregnant women, and not only persons with disabilities and temporary disabilities, will remove physical barriers and help create a more inclusive environment for all.

SPD recently set up a rehabilitation gym catering to persons with disabilities. The equipment allow for easy access by wheelchair users with their open U-shaped design, as well as easy transfers with adjustable parts and grab-handles to act as supports and braces when users transfer from their wheelchairs to the equipment.

The equipment also uses an air resistance technology that is adjustable to suit people with different limb strengths.

This gym is part of the SPD's Transition Programme for Employment to help young stroke survivors and people with spinal cord injuries return to the workforce. Under this programme, a team of professionals, including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and employment support specialists, assists them with rehabilitation, psychological readiness preparation, work readiness training and finding employment.

Through the programme, we hope to help people with disabilities become independent and economically active again. Outside of the programme, we hope persons with disabilities can continue to be physically and socially active as the Government, city planners and service providers progressively improve the accessibility of facilities and amenities.