The Infocomm Accessibility Centre organised The Tweet Meet to increase awareness of the Centre’s IT courses for people with disabilities

Singapore, 26 June 2010 – The Infocomm Accessibility Centre (IAC) today celebrated a month-long civic movement titled The Tweet Meet to encourage members of the public to help bridge the digital divide for people with disabilities. The month-long civic movement culminated in a digital picnic at SMU Campus Green, where netizens and members of the public picnicked, tweeted about the cause and enjoyed musical performances – one of which was performed by Gerald Bartholomew, a former IAC trainee who is visually impaired. Members of the public also interacted with people with disabilities at the event physically and via online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype.

The Tweet Meet is part of the ‘SOW – It’s Time to Grow’ campaign to encourage members of the public to Know Somebody, Grow Somebody and sign up someone they know with disabilities who will benefit from one of the many IT courses offered at IAC.

The month-long campaign was well-received and supported by corporations such as Ben Foods (S) Pte Ltd, FairPrice Foundation, Feego, HTC and the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP), which lent a hand to support this civic movement.

Response from the online community has also been encouraging. Since our launch on 26 May 2010, The Tweet Meet has garnered more than 110 Twitter followers and more than 230 friends on Facebook. Bloggers have also been supporting with stories on their tour of IAC and their commitment to the cause to help bridge the digital divide for people with disabilities.

Volunteers from Singapore Polytechnic had also taken precious time out of their busy schedules to ‘enable’ people with disabilities. Last week, the volunteers visited the homes of IAC trainees to set up webcams and microphones on their home computers and helped them sign up on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype so that they can also be part of the movement from the comfort of their homes.

“We used The Tweet Meet as a platform to encourage more people with disabilities to take the first step and try out social networking tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Skype. Enabling them via online platforms not only opens up a whole new world to them, at the same time it also serves to build up their self-confidence, help them broaden their social network and learn new skills. This will hopefully encourage them to take up more IT courses at IAC as a first step to greater independence,” said Ms Chia Woon Yee, Director of Technology for Society for the Physically Disabled.

She added: “We are very heartened that the Singapore public has responded positively to The Tweet Meet and many of them have joined us today to spread the word and help narrow the digital divide for people with disabilities. We hope that this event will generate more referrals for IAC’s courses and help us hit the target of offering 1,000 more IT course placements to people with disabilities.”

As of June 2010, more than 1,900 training places have been offered, with more than 700 trainees who have received training under the IAC, of which 12 have been placed in open employment.