1,700 day activity places for adults with disabilities by 2021

The dining room at the new Eden Centre for Adults.
The dining room at the new Eden Centre for Adults.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
The new Eden Centre for Adults started operations in June last year and is now half full.
The new Eden Centre for Adults started operations in June last year and is now half full.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin (left) attending the opening of the Eden Centre for Adults on Jan 7. With him are Autism Association of Singapore chairman Ho Swee Huat (centre) and Central Singapore District mayor Denise Phua
Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin (left) attending the opening of the Eden Centre for Adults on Jan 7. With him are Autism Association of Singapore chairman Ho Swee Huat (centre) and Central Singapore District mayor Denise Phua.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - Adults with moderate to severe disability will soon have more centres to go to during the day for activities organised to help with their conditions.

This year, two more day activity centres will be opened for adults needing high support. This adds 150 places to the current landscape of just three such centres.

Over the next five years, five such centres will be opened, adding 500 places - half of which will cater to adults with moderate to severe autism.

By 2021, there will be 1,700 day activity centre places, said Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin.

He was speaking at the opening of the Eden Centre for Adults (Clementi) on Thursday (Jan 7). The new day activity centre has capacity for 40 beneficiaries. It started operations in June last year and is now half full.

Such centres are important because many adults with severe disabilities are unable to join the workforce and need higher support throughout their lives, said Ms Denise Phua, an MP in the Jalan Besar GRC, who is also a board member of Autism Association (Singapore).

She said: Each year brings with it another cohort of graduands who will need services. From Eden School alone, there are more than 15 graduates each year who may need such services," she said .

Day activity centre costs are "extremely high, costing approximately $1,800 per person", she said.

Thus, the Autism Association will, by year-end, pilot a programme to train families on activities for their children with autism. Such activities aim to help them develop independent living skills.

kxinghui@sph.com.sg