According to Singapore’s Enabling Masterplan, ‘persons with disability’ refer to “those with substantially reduced prospects of securing, retaining places and advancing in education and training institutions, employment and recreation, due to physical, intellectual, and sensory impairments, as well as developmental needs including Autism Spectrum Disorder”.
We’ve met many persons with disabilities, some of whom are under our Care for the Disabled project. This is the plight of one such family:
Mdm Shida is the mother of three beautiful children. The oldest is 10-years-old while the youngest is almost a year old. Her second child, Syukri is autistic and has difficulty speaking.
Autism is a developmental disability with no known causes or cure. Persons with autism “typically have issues with social communication and interaction across contexts, and present very rigid and repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities.”
Syukri is currently studying at AWWA School, a social service agency that provides special education to children with autism. At AWWA, they aim to maximise the potential for independence and improve the quality of life of students with special needs.
Mdm Shida’s husband is the sole breadwinner of the family, working as a technician to support the family of five. For Mdm Shida herself, she is unable to work as she needs to take care of her young children. Their biggest expenditure has always been the children’s diapers and milk powder, as well as the therapy sessions for Syukri.
However the couple have been enrolling Syukri into different types of therapy sessions to know which is best suited for him. Unfortunately, this is not an affordable choice. Each session can go up to $200 and the family are trying to get any subsidised therapy sessions to help Syukri’s condition.
Both Mdm Shida and her husband are very thankful for the aid that we have been providing them every month. They expressed that each and every item is very important for them to cover their expenses; from the monetary aid that is used to buy diapers, to other forms of necessities.
In Singapore, 3.4% of the population aged 18 to 49 years have some form of disability.
Based on statistics released by the government, among residents persons with disabilities in the working ages of 15 to 64 in 2020 and 2021, on average, 30.1% were employed, 3.8% were without a job and actively looking for one, while the remaining 66.2% were outside of the labour force.
Without any foundation in education, it will be difficult for these individuals, who are already facing their own challenges, to find employment in the near future. Thus, it would be difficult for them to be independent and pursue a life of their own. When they get the proper care, education and upbringing, these individuals are able to build a better future for themselves.
We urge you to contribute to our Care for the Disabled project to empower and uplift the spirits of these persons with disabilities.