S'pore to improve employability, independence of persons with disabilities: What's in the works

(Standing, from left) Ms Jacelyn Lim guiding Mr Masagos Zulkifli and Mr Eric Chua as they visit the Enabling Village. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - A total of 21 recommendations to improve the lives of persons with disabilities (PWDs) here in terms of employment and independent living was announced by two workgroups on Wednesday (April 14).

The two workgroups were launched in 2019 as part of the Third Enabling Masterplan, a national road map to building a more inclusive society for PWDs here.

The Government has accepted the recommendations and ministries and agencies have rolled out some initiatives addressing them in the past year.

More will be implemented progressively from the second half of this year.

Here are some key initiatives in the works:

Employment

Capabilities

- Vocational education curriculum in special education schools to be revised, emphasise soft skills.

- School-to-work transition programme extended from one year to up to two years, from January this year.

- SG Enable and partners to identify digital competencies, curate courses for PWDs.

Work opportunities

- More support for PWDs to set up micro-businesses.

- Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to explore creating regional Enabling Business Hubs to offer training and job opportunities; first hub to be ready in 2023.

Incentives

- Enabling Mark launched last October to recognise inclusive employers.

- Ministry of Manpower introduced Enabling Employment Credit from January this year, offering up to 30 per cent wage offsets for hiring PWDs.

Independent living

Barrier-free access

- Two community partnership groups to be set up to look at accessibility gaps in the Central Business District and one HDB town.

- OneMap to be enhanced from 2022, to include barrier-free navigation starting with Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Punggol, River Valley, Singapore River and Tanglin.

- Public Transport Council to conduct a survey this year on persons with special needs or disabilities and their caregivers.

Access to information, services, tech

- Expand the range of courses available to PWDs to pick up digital skills.

- HDB's My Nice Home Gallery showcases a range of smart items available.

- MSF to review existing Assistive Technology Fund, enhance affordability of devices.

Raising awareness, inclusion

- Guides on inclusive engagement and public communications to be shared with all public agencies this year.

- Front-line officers to be trained to address needs of PWDs sensitively.

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