“I just want to keep moving and working”

Hussain was diagnosed with polio when he was two years old. Though the disease caused him to lose strength in his lower limbs, he strives not to let his condition [...]

There was once when Mohamed Hussain was out in the community when he overheard comments made by some strangers.  

“They were talking [among themselves] and one of them said: “Like that also can go to work?”  

When I hear things like this, I try to [take it in stride]. Let them say what they want,” Hussain recalled. 

Diagnosed with polio after a high fever when he was just two years old, Hussain relies on a wheelchair to move around. 

Though the disease caused Hussain to lose strength in his lower limbs, he strives not to let his condition stop him from being independent. 

Hussain joined the workforce at a young age to earn a living on his own. He worked in a factory for almost three decades, before joining SPD’s Sheltered Workshop in 2003.  

Hussain working at the S P D Sheltered Workshop as a craftsman

At SPD, Hussain learnt the art of bookbinding. With almost 20 years of crafting experience, the 63-year-old is now one of the most highly skilled artisans at the SPD Artisan Collab, specialising in bookbinding and book restoration. 

Hussain working at the S P D Sheltered Workshop as a craftsman

“We put in a lot of effort and thought to ensure that our products are well-made. So we are happy when people buy and like our items. We hope that more people will know and support our products,” shared Hussain.  

Outside of work, Hussain is a sports enthusiast. He was first introduced to adaptive sports – sports that are modified to cater to persons with disabilities. Though hesitant at first, he picked up his first sport, swimming, under the encouragement of his peers.  

Hussain playing wheelchair basketball

Gradually, he came to love the sport and even found his new passion in basketball. He even went on to represent Singapore in wheelchair basketball at the 8th ASEAN Para Games in 2015.  

Not one to stay cooped up at home, the father of two is glad that the accessibility in the community is improving so that he can continue to participate in activities: “When I go out, most people such as stall holders in the hawker centres will help me. I’m very appreciative for the kindness shown by others towards persons with disabilities.” 

“After all, I just want to keep moving and working. So, I’m very happy to be able to work in SPD and take part in sports, which is my interest.” 

Hussain being featured in the UNLABEL campaign poster

An avid disability advocate, Hussain was recently featured in UNLABEL, our annual public education campaign to help debunk disability stereotypes. You may catch the posters at selected MRT stations and in-train panels from 24 November to 21 December 2022. Find out more about the campaign here 

If you are looking for Christmas gifts or would like to browse the products made by Hussain and the other artisans, please visit our e-shop.