NCSS ropes in firms for annual inclusive campaign

10 partners such as LiHO and McDonald's encouraged to adopt inclusive hiring practices

Left: A highlight of this year's "See The True Me" campaign is the music video directed by filmmaker Royston Tan and performed by Mr Danial Bawthan, 24, also known as Wheelsmith, and Ms Adelyn Koh, 18, the lead singer, who is visually impaired. Far l
Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Foreign Affairs, presenting a token of appreciation to Mr Michael Quek, 54, a photo editor who runs his own photo booth team at Adrenalin Group, who is one of the ambassadors for the campaign.ST PHOTO: SAHIBA CHAWDHARY

The National Council of Social Service (NCSS) launched its annual campaign to promote an inclusive society yesterday, with this year's edition focused on working with corporate and community partners to provide more opportunities for persons with disabilities.

The "See The True Me" campaign, now into its third year, will also feature a music video, directed by celebrated local director Royston Tan, with performers with disabilities.

Among the 10 partners that NCSS is encouraging to adopt inclusive hiring practices are LiHO, McDonald's and People's Association Water-Venture.

For instance, LiHO is opening a concept store at Cathay Cineleisure late next month that will be entirely managed by persons with disabilities by next year. The company is working with The Singapore Association for the Deaf to hire and train two to three individuals with disabilities next month.

People's Association Water-Venture will organise a series of disability-friendly sports carnivals this year. The first carnival in January saw over 500 participants taking part in activities such as dragon boating and wheelchair basketball.

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, guest of honour at the launch, said inclusive hiring practices not only help persons with disabilities, but also have a positive impact on companies and work culture.

 A highlight of this year's "See The True Me" campaign is the music video directed by filmmaker Royston Tan and performed by Mr Danial Bawthan, 24, also known as Wheelsmith, and Ms Adelyn Koh, 18, the lead singer, who is visually impaired. Far l
A highlight of this year's "See The True Me" campaign is the music video directed by filmmaker Royston Tan and performed by Mr Danial Bawthan, 24, also known as Wheelsmith, and Ms Adelyn Koh, 18, the lead singer, who is visually impaired. ST PHOTO: SAHIBA CHAWDHARY

"We become a lot more sensitive, a lot more aware, a lot more circumspect in all the things we take for granted. I think we learn to look at life very differently. And that's their blessing to us. It's not just about them but it is also an opportunity for us," added Mr Tan, who is also NCSS' adviser.

NCSS deputy chief executive officer Tina Hung said: "It takes an eco-system approach to sustain inclusivity and it is our hope that persons with disabilities today are more empowered and given opportunities to participate meaningfully in the community."

For the music video, the song Fire In The Rain was composed by singer-songwriter Don Richmond, with rap lyrics by local rapper ShiGGa Shay. Adelyn Koh, 18, who is visually impaired, is the lead singer.

"One of the challenges I had while rehearsing was trying to synchronise my singing and hand gestures with the track and piano playing in the background," she said.

 
 

"I hope to convey through this song that if you're going through a difficult time now, and it doesn't have to be a disability, don't focus on what you don't have. Focus on what you already have."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2019, with the headline 'NCSS ropes in firms for annual inclusive campaign'. Print Edition | Subscribe