Celebrating a Decade of Progress: Through the Eyes of Chin Aik
15 Mar 2023
As a child, Toh Chin Aik set his sights on entering university as he knew that it was the only path to lead a meaningful life and not be a burden to his family. Hence, he took an educational path that’s less travelled by persons with visual impairment – mainstream education. It wasn’t an easy decision. But with determination and optimism, Chin Aik realised what he set out to achieve – leading an independent and fulfilling life and being a contributing member of society. He has been working at SG Enable since it was set up and now holds the position of Assistant Manager.
To enable greater independence in daily living, learning, and work, we also launched Tech Able in 2015. Jointly managed with SPD, Tech Able promotes the awareness and adoption of assistive technology amongst persons with disabilities and caregivers. "I was fortunate to be part of the effort in streamlining various schemes into the Assistive Technology Fund. The Fund provides subsidies for eligible persons with disabilities to purchase assistive technology devices to enable independent living,” said Chin Aik.
He continued, “Apart from disability-inclusive hiring, we also work with stakeholders to promote community integration. One such example is the i’mable Collective launched in 2019. Through fostering multi-sectoral collaborations, the Collective enables the development of a viable market for quality merchandise and services by persons with disabilities. This in turn creates more public awareness and appreciation of the abilities of persons with disabilities, which has a positive impact on the disability community as it leads to more meaningful engagement opportunities.”
Indeed, Singapore has come a long way in making the nation more inclusive for persons with disabilities. Prior to 2013, the ecosystem to support disability-inclusive hiring was still relatively underdeveloped. Since then, SG Enable works with key stakeholders to develop the disability employment ecosystem comprising Ready Employees, Ready Employers, and a Ready Environment. To date, SG Enable has placed more than 4,700 persons with disabilities in jobs.
Over the years, SG Enable has worked with organisations, moving beyond employment to collaborate in other areas such as consumer inclusiveness, social procurement, and social innovation. Such efforts had led to great strides in building an inclusive society and enabling lives.
Quote in image above reads: "Working in SG Enable reflects the changes in my life stages as well. As a ‘seedling’ 10 years ago, we had just started out to focus on promoting disability inclusion in Singapore. We consolidated disability functions across government agencies. We introduced new schemes and services while reviewing and enhancing existing ones to enable lives and make Singapore a more inclusive society. In the past, students with disabilities faced tremendous challenges in in seeking an internship or employment with companies as there was no network of support. Today, they can participate in our IHL Internship and RISE Mentorship programmes, as well as take advantage of career coaching and career preparatory workshops."