SINGAPORE, 10 February 2017 – SPD, an organisation that helps persons with disabilities, today launched its “Breaking Barriers” campaign in an effort to move Singapore towards a more inclusive society by encouraging greater understanding and acceptance of those with disabilities.
Held at the Central Public Library, the event was graced by Minister for Social and Family Development, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, and attended by close to 80 community and corporate supporters as well as representatives from the disability community.
This is a public education campaign aimed at breaking down barriers that inhibits the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community. It is timely as a survey conducted by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) in 2015 showed that only one-third of the general public admitted to being accepting of being close to friends with disabilities , while 63% of surveyed PWDs feels that they are not able to participate in social activities .
Although Singapore has made much progress in building the infrastructure needed for persons with disabilities to get around, more needs to be done especially in changing the mindsets of the general public towards the community of persons with disabilities. Over the next two months, SPD’s roving photo exhibition and Open House are among the activities planned to promote greater inclusion and awareness between Singaporeans from all walks of life – non-disabled and disabled alike, and to increase support for persons with disabilities.
“We all have different abilities. Through this campaign, we hope to chisel away the mental barriers and perception that people have about living with those with disabilities,” said Ms Chia Yong Yong. “With a better understanding of disabilities, we hope that the general public and people with disabilities can look beyond their differences to become more accepting of interacting with and befriending each other.”
Through the “Breaking Barriers” campaign, Ms Chia also hopes that the public will be more aware of SPD and its integral role in providing programmes and services to enable persons with disabilities to maximise their potential so that they can be self-reliant and independent.
As part of its efforts to continue promoting a more inclusive society, SPD organised the three-month-long ‘Let’s Focus on Inclusion’ photo contest in late-2016, where participants were invited to submit photos that captured the inclusion of persons with disabilities in everyday activities. Contest prizes were sponsored by main sponsor Courts Singapore, and co-sponsors Pantrade Electrical and Invespar Pte Ltd.
Mr Lam Yee Siang Adrian, winner of the Facebook category, shared: “Inclusion is about a community where there is no form of discrimination. We must come together as one to love and have mutual respect for one another regardless of our abilities.”
Following the photo contest, SPD is putting together a roving photo exhibition as a public showcase of the photo entries across various communities in Singapore. Members of the public are urged to show their support by visiting the photo exhibitions and learn more about persons with disabilities.
The ‘Let’s Focus on Inclusion’ photo contest winners
1st place: Wong Chek Poh
2nd place: Chua Meng Hong Andy
3rd place: Wu Zong Tang
1st place: Lam Yee Siang Adrian
2nd place: Koh Shu Ying Denise
3rd place: Vazhaparambil Raveendran Ranjith
Roving Photo Exhibition Schedule and Venue
1) 6 to 20 Feb 2017 – Central Public Library South
2) 27 Feb to 5 Mar 2017 – Courts Megastore Tampines East
3) 4 Mar 2017 – SPD Ability Centre
4) 6 to 20 Mar 2017 – Woodlands Regional Library North
5) 20 Mar to 3 Apr 2017 – Ci Yuan Community Club Central
6) 3 Apr to 17 Apr 2017 – The Frontier Community Club West
Ways to Support:
• Visit the roving photo exhibition
• Join us at the SPD Open House on 4 March 2017
• Tune in and support the SPD Charity Show on 19 March 2017
• Be a disability advocate – Lead by example, show acceptance and help spread the message of inclusion
• Show support by adding the SPD Breaking Barriers badge to your Facebook profile picture.
Learn more and make a difference at www.spd.org.sg.