Collective formed to create viable market for products made by persons with disabilities

President Halimah Yacob at a gift market in the Enabling Village at Lengkok Bahru on Nov 23, 2019.
President Halimah Yacob at a gift market in the Enabling Village at Lengkok Bahru on Nov 23, 2019.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - A collective will be set up to showcase and market the creative works of persons with disabilities, giving them even more opportunities to hone their skills and sell their craft.

i'mable Collective aims to be the preferred first stop for organisations keen to support the purchase of high quality gifts with a social cause.

It will bring together business partners, consumer brands as well as marketing and design experts on board to help create a viable market for products made by persons with disabilities.

The collective is the latest initiative by SG Enable, an agency under the Ministry of Social and Family Development, to hone and showcase the skills in art, design and handicrafts of persons in disabilities.

It announced the initiative at a gift market in the Enabling Village at Lengkok Bahru on Saturday (Nov 23).

The collective will be made up of subject matter experts such as art schools, designers and marketers, operators of retail spaces, providers of logistics, as well as companies that provide business and work opportunities. SG Enable will be the convenor to facilitate these collaborations.

President Halimah Yacob, who graced the event, welcomed the new platform. "This is important as one common feedback I heard during my visits to the disability sector is that we need more opportunities for beneficiaries and clients with disabilities to showcase their work,"she said.

Besides giving the group new economic and engagement opportunities to participate in society, the collective also aims to change public perceptions by highlighting their abilities.

Collaborations between charities, community organisations and government agencies have seen high level of visibility and quality of products made by the group.

 
 
 

For example, when a passenger tucks into the in-flight snack boxes or uses the amenity kits onboard a Singapore Airlines flight, he or she will notice that the artwork of local motifs designed on them are done by persons with special needs from the Autism Resource Centre.

Similarly, some of the items sold at a gift shop at Changi Airport are made by The Art Faculty, which promotes the works of students with autism.

Said SG Enable chief executive Ku Geok Boon: "The hope for i'mable is that it becomes a movement for an inclusive Singapore, where the community embraces the uniqueness of every individual, and everyone is valued for who they are."

The i'mable Gift Market at the Enabling Village on Saturday featured festive gifts made by artists with disabilities.