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Racial Harmony

Adeline Vejaletchmy, 58
Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped | i’mable   
 
When asked about her thoughts about Singapore, the first adjective that came to Adeline’s mind was “harmonious”. Adeline’s depiction of four individuals represents the four races of Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians. By pasting the four races side by side and holding hands, she portrays these four individuals together in solidarity, a clear reference to racial harmony.

She drew inspiration for her artwork from her personal experience living in a HDB flat with neighbours from different races coexisting amicably, referring to the government policy of racial quotas in HDBs. In her view, such policies distinguish Singapore from other countries and play an important role in helping different races integrate with one another.

To her, the Covid-19 crisis reinforces the importance of compassion and mutual understanding in order to overcome such problems. As she states, “In the midst of challenges… there is always good to be found if we stand as one.” Only if we work together can Singapore become a better place where we can prosper.

As a child who had lost part of her vision due to a high fever, Adeline found herself unable to play with other children. Now, though, she takes great pride in living alone. “I do chores and go to the supermarket alone. Even though I am visually impaired, I am independent and nothing will stop me.”

Many of us find it surprising seeing a visually impaired person out and about, navigating the complex webs of public transport where every twist and turn can present new hurdles. She thinks that it just takes practice, and that most visually impaired people can do so if they are familiar with the route.

“If I really forget, I just have to ask others,” she confidently says. “People are always willing to help.”