What do you do when you meet someone with a disability? Can you greet them with a handshake? Do you know how to help a person using a white cane?
With SPD’s help, students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) found answers to these questions, enabling them to overcome the initial awkwardness when meeting someone with a disability.
SPD’s Advocacy and Outreach team organised a disability awareness programme for close to 30 students and staff from NUS Enablers and the NUS Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme (CTPCLP).
The half-day programme conducted on 6 and 8 January sought to increase the awareness of the needs and rights of persons with disabilities, correct the students’ misconceptions and misunderstandings of what persons with disabilities can and cannot do, and encourage them to respect people with disabilities as individuals. SPD’s senior social worker Angela Chung also briefed the students on the do’s and don’ts when interacting with persons with disabilities.
The programme included a tour of the SPD Ability Centre where the students were introduced to the services offered here for the special needs community.
The students found the programme informative and practical, citing greater confidence when interacting with and offering help to persons with disabilities in future after having attended it.
“The students were really enthusiastic and earnest in learning more about interacting with persons with disabilities. We hope they will be our advocate and help pass that knowledge to those around them,”
said Ms Sharon Chuo, Advocacy & Outreach manager.
NUS Enablers is a student interest group set up to create equal opportunities for special needs students on campus and eliminate difficulties they face by raising awareness and reducing social stigma. The NUS CTPCLP partners social service organisations to provide their group of undergraduates opportunities to take on projects that expose them to various social issues and challenges in Singapore, thereby nurturing them to become young change-makers.