SG Enable Ramps Up its Public Education Efforts with i'mable to Build a More Inclusive Singapore
19 Aug 2021
SINGAPORE, 19 AUGUST 2021 – SG Enable, the focal agency for the disability sector in Singapore, has ramped up its public education efforts with a variety of activities and exhibitions rolled out in the past months. Organised under i’mable (pronounced as “I’m able”), this comes after SG Enable took over National Council of Social Service’s role last year in leading public education efforts related to disability.
i’mable celebrates the abilities of persons with disabilities and encourages everyone to recognise abilities, take positive action for disability inclusion and commit to building a more inclusive society and enabling lives. It seeks to promote disability inclusion in three key settings: in schools, at work and within the community.
NDP 2021 — A National Platform to Raise Disability Awareness and Promote Inclusion
As part of the i’mable public education initiative, SG Enable collaborated with the organisers of the National Day Parade (NDP) to feature artworks by Singaporeans with disabilities.
The artworks by 29 artists with disabilities from 17 social service agencies (SSAs) and special education (SPED) schools are featured on foldable fans in this year’s NDP packs, as well as stickers for Primary 5 student recipients of the packs. The designs were selected out of artworks by 74 artists with disabilities across 26 SSAs and SPED schools.
One of the selected designs features frontline workers — a nurse, a doctor, and a policeman. The design is the handiwork of eight-year-old Sheik Mohammad Shahzad, a student with autism at Rainbow Centre Admiral Hill School. He said: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, they are our Singapore heroes. They work to ensure the country and people are safe. Thank you, dear frontliners!”
On the collaboration, SG Enable’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms Ku Geok Boon, said: “We are proud to collaborate with SSAs and SPED schools to showcase ‘Together, Our Singapore Spirit’ — this year’s NDP theme — through art on this national platform. Through i’mable and the various activities that we are rolling out, we hope everyone can join us to build a more inclusive society by recognising abilities of persons with disabilities and embracing them as our co-workers, neighbours and friends.”
Partners in this project also believe such collaborations can lead to greater disability awareness and inclusion.
Ms Cassandra Tan, a visual arts trainer at Shahzad’s school, said that empowering students to express themselves through art encourages them to be contributing members of society.
“The entire art making process, from conceptualisation to execution, gave us space to have conversations with our students about what it means to be Singaporean,” said Ms Tan. “Overall, this process gave us room to consider the perspective that despite disability, what we aspire for as Singaporeans is not so different.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by Mrs Angela Lee, Principal of APSN Chaoyang School, who said: “The students are able to play their part by contributing their art to this initiative. Moreover, they feel a sense of pride when they see their artwork on the NDP memorabilia received by thousands of people.”
This is the second year that SG Enable has worked with NDP organisers to spotlight the abilities of Singaporeans with disabilities. Last year, 20 artworks by artists with disabilities from various SSAs were featured on the NDP Singapore Together Pack and pledge cards.
From August to September, the NDP 2021 artworks created by the artists with disabilities will also be showcased at four public libraries in Ang Mo Kio, Jurong East, Marine Parade and Woodlands. SG Enable’s volunteers with disabilities will also hold sharing sessions – Disability JAM (Just Ask Me)! – where the public can learn more about disabilities.
As part of its disability awareness efforts, SG Enable also partnered the public transport operators in the Caring SG Commuters Committee and schools to conduct workshops for their volunteers and students to build greater understanding of the disability community.
Other Artworks Showcased in HDB Exhibition, Public Transport Nodes
SG Enable and five SSAs — Down Syndrome Association (Singapore), Metta Welfare Association, Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore, Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped and TOUCH Community Services – partnered Housing & Development Board (HDB) for their Community Art Project, as part of HDB’s Community Week 2021. More than 130 artists amplify their hopes and aspirations for a future with disability-inclusive HDB living through 170 artworks they have co-created for HDB’s digital exhibition1 , which is ongoing since July.
Katy Lee, 71, one of the artists and Volunteer and Client of Touch Art, Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, said: “I feel privileged and honoured to play a part in both the HDB Community Art Project and NDP2021. I look forward to more of such collaborations when I can use art to share my thoughts, joys and aspirations with the community.”
SG Enable also collaborated with public transport operators to feature artworks by artists with disabilities in public transport nodes. It has forged partnerships with Tower Transit Singapore and GoAhead Singapore to spotlight the artistic talent of persons with disabilities2 , and will be partnering with SBS Transit to feature wall murals by artists with disabilities at selected MRT stations3 and bus interchanges. These partnerships build on other collaborations with the transport operators to promote a more caring and inclusive commuting culture.
Enabling Home-based Vaccination for Persons with Disabilities Going beyond raising awareness, our i’mable public education efforts seek to enable real inclusion of persons with disabilities in essential services such as healthcare. For the home-based vaccination exercise, we developed a Home Vaccination Team (HVT) Info Kit in July with our partners, Autism Resource Centre, and St. Andrew’s Autism Centre, to provide the HVTs with practical advice and an interactive step-by-step guide as they engage with persons with autism, and persons with intellectual disability for a smooth vaccination process in their homes.