SPD’s Open House Brings Community Together to Show Support for Persons with Disabilities

SINGAPORE, 4 March 2017 – SPD’s Open House was held on 4 March 2017 at its headquarters on Peng Nguan Street. The event saw the community coming together to foster greater understanding and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of SPD’s “Breaking Barriers” campaign.

Guest-of-Honour Ms Joan Pereira, Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC, graced the Open House. The event was also attended by corporate and individual supporters, partners, clients, caregivers and those in the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood.

“It is wonderful to see the community coming together, contributing in any way they can, to support the inclusion of persons with disabilities. We hope the conversations and interactions will continue after the Open House, riding on this momentum, to build a stronger and tighter community for Singaporeans of all abilities,” said Ms Chia Yong Yong, President of SPD, an organisation that serves people with disabilities.

The Open House is part of the “Breaking Barriers” campaign launched by SPD in February. The “Breaking Barriers” campaign is a 10-week-long public education campaign aimed at breaking down barriers that inhibit the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community, and promoting greater awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities in our community.

Visitors at SPD’s Open House participated in fun-filled activities such as playing Giant Games, a flea market, and an “inclusion trail” around the Tiong Bahru estate. During the event, visitors showed their support for persons with disabilities and pledged to take action in enhancing inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community at a pledging booth. Many guests also chose to pose for photos with their messages of well-wishes, which they posted on social media with the campaign hashtag #SPDBreakingBarriers.

Prior to the launch of “Break Barriers” campaign, a photo contest was held end last year, where participants submitted photos that capture the inclusion of persons with disabilities in everyday activities. These photos were exhibited at SPD’s Open House and at the “Let’s Focus on Inclusion!” roving photo exhibition, which spans the 10 weeks of the campaign. The photo entries are currently on display at various venues across Singapore.

The Giant Games, organised by social enterprise Society Staples, featured unique activities such as larger-than-life Jenga and Badminton that enabled persons with disabilities and people without disabilities to play together. These activities emphasised on the importance of inclusion of persons with disabilities in daily recreations, while encouraging interaction among participants. The games were conducted along Peng Nguan Street, which was closed for the event under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s “Streets for People” programme. “Streets for People” is a programme that supports community-initiated projects to transform Singapore’s streets into meaningful public spaces.

The flea market was put together by SPD in partnership with Makers’ Market. The market included a showcase and demonstration of bookbinding skills and hot stamping abilities by craftsmen with disabilities from SPD’s sheltered workshop programme. Proceeds from the sale of some artisanal pieces at the flea market went towards raising funds in support of persons with disabilities.

Throughout the day, groups of visitors also embarked on the Tiong Bahru Inclusion Trail around the neighbourhood. Co-organised by *SCAPE, a youth-focused non-profit organisation, the eight-station trail provided participants with fun facts about the neighbourhood and challenged them on their knowledge about disability. Guests were also given special access to Singapore’s only remaining pre-war civilian air raid shelter.

Nearby businesses such as Bincho, Books Actually, Forty Hands, Plain Vanilla, Wild Barley Gourmet Shop, and Yoga Inc displayed their solidarity with SPD by extending exciting offers in conjunction with the Open House.

Ways to Support:
• Visit the “Let’s Focus on Inclusion!” roving photo exhibition
• Tune in to and support the SPD Charity Show 2017 taking place at 7pm over Channel 8 on Sunday, 19 March 2017
• Be a disability advocate – lead by example, show acceptance and help spread the message of inclusion
• The general public can add the SPD Breaking Barriers badge to their Facebook profile picture.

“Let’s Focus on Inclusion!” Roving Photo Exhibition Schedule and Venue:

6 Mar 2017 20 Mar 2017 – Woodlands Regional Library
20 Mar 2017 3 Apr 2017 – Ci Yuan Community Club
3 Apr 2017 17 Apr 2017 – The Frontier Community Club


Learn more and make a difference at spd.org.sg.