8 highlights from Enabling Masterplan 2030 to empower persons with disabilities

Ministry of Education will partner social service agencies to set up five new Sped schools by 2030, on top of the current 22. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - A total of 29 recommendations were made in the Enabling Masterplan 2030, the latest road map released on Wednesday (Aug 17) to support persons with disabilities and enable them to contribute to society.

The Government has accepted all of them, covering areas such as education, employment, independent living and access to digital services.

Here are eight highlights from the report:

1. Target of 40 per cent employment 

The employment rate of people with disabilities aged 15 to 64 stood at 30.1 per cent from 2020 to 2021. The masterplan aims to increase this to 40 per cent by 2030.

2. Adjusting job options

A new task force will work on designing alternative employment models such as micro jobs - temporary, task-type jobs - which can support more people to work, and increase the number of organisations that commit to being inclusive through the Enabling Mark and Enabling Employment Pledge.

The Enabling Mark recognises organisations that have inclusive practices for persons with disabilities, and employers who sign the pledge signal their commitment to support such persons at work.

3. Five new special education (Sped) schools and two new early childhood intervention centres

With the growing demand for special education catering to students with autism, the Ministry of Education will partner social service agencies to set up five new Sped schools by 2030, on top of the current 22.

Two new early intervention centres, focused on supporting young children with special needs, are also slated to open by mid-2023.

4. Centres to engage people with disabilities

New centres - called Enabling Services Hubs - will reach out to people with disabilities within an area or region, and link them to support services and befrienders in the community.

These hubs will also provide drop-in respite services to support caregivers, as well as run courses in areas like daily living skills, physical activity and the arts.

5. New task force to develop community living models

Options developed by the task force should enable people with disabilities to live in the community as independently as possible.

The task force will design housing and caregiving options, ranging from concierge-type assistance for independent residents - where care managers coordinate services such as cleaning for residents - to community managers who organise activities for them.

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6. More 24/7 audible traffic signals at pedestrian crossings

The Land Transport Authority will install on-demand audible traffic signals - a series of loud beeps to indicate it is safe to cross - at more pedestrian crossings. Currently, audible traffic signals at all crossings operate from 7am to 9pm.

This upgrade will be made to 325 pedestrian crossings in 10 town centres where there are higher proportions of residents with visual impairment.

7. Greater digital accessibility

Currently, 48 per cent of free-to-air TV programmes have sign language interpretation, captioning or subtitling, and 61 per cent of high-traffic Government websites - such as the Central Provident Fund and Manpower Ministry websites - are accessible through devices such as screen readers.

The goal is to have 70 per cent of TV programmes and all high-traffic Government websites accessible by 2030.

8. GPs trained to care for people with intellectual disabilities

The Ministry of Health has collaborated with the College of Family Physicians Singapore to provide a course for general practitioners (GPs) in caring for people with intellectual disabilities who have cognitive or communication challenges, to make healthcare more accessible to them.

The first course was conducted in July, training GPs in areas such as addressing behaviour of concern and future care planning.

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