We marked another important milestone in our 50th year anniversary celebrations with a new name and logo that came into effect on 30 July. Formerly Society for the Physically Disabled, we are now operating under the name ‘SPD’. By dropping ‘physically disabled’ from our name, we seek to reposition ourselves as an organisation that serves people of other disabilities as well, and not just those with physical disabilities. We hope this will also remove the stigma of disabilities for those receiving care and support from SPD.
“After years of building our range of expertise for people with physical disabilities, we realised that our services could benefit people of other disabilities as well. While we have begun offering our services to them from a few years ago, we saw a great opportunity in our 50th anniversary to adopt a new name to better reflect the wider community whom we serve,” said Ms Chia Yong Yong, President of SPD.
“Our partners and many in the social service and health-care sectors have always known us as SPD, the abbreviation for Society for the Physically Disabled. We felt it was important to retain this part of the identity that we had established over the years,” she added.
Established in November 1964, SPD started out with providing just supported employment at its sheltered workshop to those who had difficulties finding jobs due to their disabilities. We were then known as Society for Aid to the Paralysed (SAP) before we became Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) in 1998.
Now we serve close to 4,700 people with disabilities through about 20 programmes and services that encompass rehabilitation, day care, early intervention, employment support, sheltered workshop, vocational training, education and social support. With our name change, we have also adopted a new logo. See how our logos have evolved over the decades.
Society for Aid to the Paralysed Logo (1964)
The Society for Aid to the Paralysed (SAP) was officially registered with the Registry of Societies on 27 November 1964. Groundwork on the establishment of the Society was started by Mr Leslie Rayner and a few other Rotarians following a moving speech given by Ms Paulette Leaning, a New Zealander with physical disabilities, to the members of the Singapore Rotary Club in 1956.
A little known fact about SAP was that a Singaporean policeman and thereafter one of the founder members of SAP, Mr Abdul Wahid Bin Baba, paralysed after a shootout with a communist saboteur, suggested the idea of a ‘sheltered workshop for paraplegics’ to one of the Rotarians. A sheltered workshop was then started in 1967 to provide employment opportunities for those who have difficulties seeking employment in the open market. The workshop started with carpentry work and flourished. By June 1970, a new building had to be opened to accommodate the growing number of disabled workers and jobs. By 1979, it became self-supporting and profitable.
Society for Aid to the Paralysed (1995)
The logo was derived from the shape of a person in a wheelchair. The initials ‘SAP’ was arranged in an overlapping form and symbolised the combined efforts of SAP in the development, training and assistance to those with paraplegia. The colour red was chosen to represent SAP’s support to people paralysed in the legs and lower body whereas black was chosen for its boldness to convey the determination of those with paraplegia to succeed in life.
Society for the Physically Disabled (1998)
1998 saw the change in name from Society for Aid to the Paralysed to Society for the Physically Disabled, or SPD in short. The name reflected more correctly the people whom we served. The logo featured an Opportunity Circle, a visual manifestation of SPD’s mission of working in partnership with people with physical disabilities to develop their potential to the fullest so that they can be self-reliant and independent. Drawn in bold, free style, the open circle graphic ending in an upward pointing arrow represents the optimism, opportunity and dignity which result from self-reliance and independence, the focus of our efforts. The exuberance of the symbol is balanced by a stable, classic identity typeface, reflecting SPD’s professionalism.
The intersecting “P” and “D” is symbolic of partnership, which reflects our mission of being committed to working in partnership with people with disabilities to develop their potential to the fullest so that they can be self-reliant and independent. Green alludes to the nurturing environment that SPD provides and suggests growth and development and how SPD aims to help people with disabilities achieve progress through various programmes and services. Orange represents care, warmth and compassion. It also captures the essence of hope and serves to instill confidence in people with disabilities and encourages them to approach life with optimism. It also expresses vitality and energy, to inspire positivity and vibrancy.
We look forward to continuing this journey of building an inclusive community where everyone is a part of it, and not apart from it.