Singapore, 25 November 2009 – In the last five years, the way the Singapore community regarded people with disabilities has not improved significantly despite various efforts by the Government and voluntary welfare organisations.
Key findings from a recent survey commissioned by the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) and conducted by Acorn Marketing & Research Consultants showed that 47% of the Singapore population felt that people with disabilities were dependent and needed other people’s help all the time. This was a mere 7% drop from the results of a survey done in 2004 which found 54% of the general public respondents thinking that people with disabilities were dependent and had poor self-esteem.
For the recent survey conducted in October, 500 people aged between 15 and 65 selected randomly were interviewed door-to-door and asked questions about how they felt about people with disabilities, if they thought they had enough knowledge about them and if they were willing to work with them. Other key findings showed that 43% found people with disabilities harder to deal and communicate with as compared to non-disabled people, and 53% felt that they did not have enough knowledge to help people with disabilities.
Hoping to do more to change mindsets, the Society for the Physically Disabled is staging its second charity TV Show, this time in conjunction with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities which takes place on 3 December every year.
The SPD Charity Show <<真情无障爱>>will meet the twin objectives of increasing understanding and awareness of people with disabilities and raising funds for SPD. SPD hopes to be able to raise $2.8 million to help its flagging donations. It has recently seen a 30% drop in donations and currently has a reserve of $7.1 million which amounts to seven months of its operating cost.
The SPD Charity Show boasts a line-up of local as well as foreign artistes including the cast from the popular Taiwanese drama ‘Love’ (爱), home-grown talent Stephanie Sun (孙燕姿), and Power Station (动力火车) and Peter Pan (潘裕文).
Based on the theme of ‘Perseverance, Patience and Passion’, the show will be hosted once again by Huang Zijiao (黄子佼) and Quan Yi Feng (权怡凤).
Six-year-old Yoo Ee Yun (柳艺恩), a renowned Korean child pianist with visual-impairment, will be putting up a performance along with Rachel Leong (梁文音). There will also be a performance by Taiwanese limbless dancer Guo Wei Qi (郭韦齐).
Special performances include Michelle Chia (谢韵仪) coaching a person with disabilities in craft work, and Bryan Wong (王禄江) being taught the rudiments of mouth-painting by a wheelchair-user. Zoe Tay (郑惠玉) will also be producing a calligraphy art piece live together with a 13-year-old boy born without joints, while accompanied by Kym Ng (鐘琴) on the er-hu.
Stars like Fann Wong (范文芳), Chew Chor Meng (周初明) and Ng Hui (黄慧) will join the DJs from the Chinese radio stations in putting a funny spin on the difficulties faced by people with disabilities in a skit.
While studio proceedings take place, an external event hosted by Dasmond Koh (许振荣) will see celebrities such as Tay Ping Hui (郑斌辉), Christopher Lee (李铭顺), Elvin Ng (黄俊雄) and Jade Seah (谢美玉) among other supporters taking turns to do a flex arm hang for the duration of the show alongside people with disabilities to raise funds for SPD.
Graced by Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, Minister of State for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, the three-hour show will be held on 6 December 2009 over Channel U at 7.30pm.
“Our collaboration with SPD has given us the opportunity to work closely with people with disabilities and in that process, to be able to see their abilities, their wonderful personalities and to get to know them as individuals. This has been a very special collaboration for us at MediaCorp and we hope to be able to join them in showing the abilities and the potential of people with disabilities,” said Mr Lee Ee Wurn, Vice President, Chinese Entertainment Productions, MediaCorp.
“It is clear that much more needs to be done to improve understanding and awareness of people with disabilities, and this needs a concerted effort from all quarters of our community, from the Government to community organisations to the man on the street. We hope, through the SPD Charity Show and other efforts down the road, to be able to garner more support and help change mindsets and in that way, further break down barriers against people with disabilities and to unlock their potentials,” said Ms Chia Yong Yong, President of Society for the Physically Disabled.
Those who wish to make their donations can call:
1900-112-0303 ($6 donation)
1900-112-1313 ($15 donation)
1900-112-2323 ($38 donation)
1900-112-3333 ($100 donation)
An administrative fee of $0.20 + GST applies to all calls. Callers must be 18 years old and above, or seek parental consent before calling. Donation hotlines are open till 13 December 2009.