Singapore gets first community space for people with disabilities

The supermarket at the Enabling Village features lower shelves and wider aisles as well as assistive devices and help buttons.
The supermarket at the Enabling Village features lower shelves and wider aisles as well as assistive devices and help buttons. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
The outdoor amphitheatre at the Enabling Village, a one-stop place for people with disabilities.
The outdoor amphitheatre at the Enabling Village, a one-stop place for people with disabilities. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
The playground at the Enabling Village. The facilities at the community space can be used by both people with and without disabilities.
The playground at the Enabling Village. The facilities at the community space can be used by both people with and without disabilities. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
The Enabling Village also features an art gallery with drawings by people with autism.
The Enabling Village also features an art gallery with drawings by people with autism. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - People with disabilities now have a place that brings a range of facilities and services together for them under one roof. It is called the Enabling Village, the first community space here dedicated to integrating people with disabilities in society.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong launched the village on Wednesday (Dec 2) evening.

Located a short walk from Redhill MRT station, the 30,000 sqm site brings a range of services under one roof for people with disabilities. Able-bodied people can benefit from many of the facilities and services, too.

Inclusive facilities at the Enabling Village include a gym, a playground, a supermarket and an outdoor amphitheatre - all of which have universal design features and can be used by people with and without disabilities.

The supermarket there, for instance, has lower check-out counters and shelves for wheelchair users, and magnifying glasses for people with poor vision to read price labels more easily.

There are also food outlets which hire people with disabilities, and a retail art gallery where people can buy artworks and merchandise such as mugs and notebooks designed by people with autism.

To help people with disabilities improve their job prospects, the Enabling Village also has an information and career centre, and training facilities such as a mock hotel room for people to learn hotel housekeeping. A range of training courses is also offered there.

It cost $25 million to build the village, which was developed by SG Enable - a government-established agency which helps people with disabilities - and the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin said: "Persons with disabilities are valued members of our society... We hope to help them live more independent lives and be more engaged in the wider community."

goyshiyi@sph.com.sg