Artists with disabilities get new platform to shine in collaboration with SIA

The first artwork to be used on in-flight snack boxes, Local Food, by Mr Aaron Yap, a participating artist from the Autism Resource Centre's Artist Development Programme. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - From Friday (May 25), Singapore Airlines (SIA) passengers can show their support for local artists with disabilities by buying their works from the airline's online retail platform KrisShop.

They can choose from a range of products such as bags and candles, designed by members of the Artist Development Programme in Pathlight School, a school for children with autism.

And from mid-June, snack boxes provided to economy class passengers will also feature designs by these artists.

The initiative is a collaborative effort by SIA, SG Enable - an agency dedicated to enabling persons with disabilities - and the Autism Resource Centre (ARC) which started Pathlight School. It is part of SG Enable's i'mable campaign, which aims to bring attention to quality products and artwork by artists with disabilities.

It is also SIA's first initiative with those with disabilities in Singapore. The airline was involved in other charitable causes, such as raising $2.55 million through a charity run for the Community Chest of Singapore in 2017.

The airline's acting senior vice-president of customer experience, Mr Yeoh Phee Teik, believes that this initiative is important in changing public perceptions of persons with disabilities.

"We strongly believe in giving back to the communities we serve and this initiative is a wonderful platform to showcase their talent and their creative potential."

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, who witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding on Thursday, hopes the collaboration will be the start of building a more inclusive Singapore.

"Enabling Singaporeans with special needs and allowing them to be as assimilated as possible in our midst helps to raise awareness and break barriers." he said. "We are just at the beginning of a journey of inclusiveness and we have a long way to go."

Ms Tia Anasha Mohd Yusof, 20, is one of the artists whose designs are among the products selected for the initiative . She is passionate about designing cartoons and patterns.

"I'm very excited that people from Singapore as well as all over the world will be able to enjoy my artwork. This encourages me to create more art and work on improving my technique."

All proceeds from the sale of products by the Pathlight School artists will go to the ARC.

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