New $30 million initiative to fund projects that help people with disabilities

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam interacting with members from voluntary welfare organisations at the Taman Jurong Zone E RC Healthy Lifestyle Day on Sunday, Oct 26. A five-year, $30 million initiat
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam interacting with members from voluntary welfare organisations at the Taman Jurong Zone E RC Healthy Lifestyle Day on Sunday, Oct 26. A five-year, $30 million initiative called the Tote Board-Enabling Lives Initiative was announced by DPM Tharman at the event. -- ST PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The quality of life for people with disabilities is what a new $30 million initiative hopes to improve.

Announced on Sunday morning by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the five-year initiative will spur collaboration across different sectors, such as between voluntary welfare organisations, academics and social enterprises.

Through the cross-sector collaboration, it is hoped that new projects could be thought up to help address the challenges faced by people with disabilities and their caregivers.

This could, for instance, include projects that deal with issues such as caregiver support as well as data and technology - and how the latter can be used to help improve lives.

The grant will fund up to 90 per cent per proposal. Applicants, which could include voluntary welfare organisations, social enterprises and research institutions, are expected to co-share the remaining 10 per cent.

The initiative also aims to improve public awareness about disability issues through an education drive.

The Tote Board-Enabling Lives Initiative is the first of its kind launched by the Tote Board for the disability sector.

It will partner SG Enable and the National Council for Social Services (NCSS) for the initiative. SG Enable will administer the $26 million funding for the projects, while NCSS will lead the $4 million education drive.

Mr Fong Yong Kian, chief executive of Tote Board, said: "The initiative focuses on shared outcomes for persons with disabilities and their caregivers; and provides funding for innovative projects and evidence-based solutions.

"It is hoped that this will result in deeper engagement with our stakeholders and partners, and offer a platform for sharing of good practices... leading to more collaborations to further benefit the disability sector."

Applications for the initiative will open in January. More details on how to do so will be released in December.