The Center for the Physically Challenged heralds a new standard in caring for the handicapped.
Contributed By Lim Jie Min Jamie
|PHOTO COURTESY OF HANDICAP WELFARE ASSOCIATION
On Dec. 3, 2010, the Handicap Welfare Association and Abilities Beyond Limitations and Expectations presented the fruit of their collaboration at the official opening of the Centre for the Physically Challenged. This new facility helps mainly people who face physical disabilities due to an accident or illness, from being able-bodied previously.
In the 40 years since it started as a friendship club, HWA has worked hard at fulfilling its mission in supporting its members to live independent lives and reintegrate themselves into mainstream society. To date, it has 1,800 members in its care, and it provides transport services to members with difficulty getting around, as well as education and training programs to equip them with skills. The launch of the CPC brings HWA’s work to a whole new level, bridging a gap that has not been addressed previously.
ABLE is a new voluntary welfare organization under the umbrella body of the Caritas Singapore Community Council. This collaboration with HWA is its maiden endeavor, the first step to fulfilling its mission of enabling and empowering the physically challenged, in order for them to live a productive, meaningful and independent life, contributing to the community just like any able-bodied person.
‘The significance of this center is to really fill a gap in society, to become a resource center for adults who became physically challenged halfway through their productive years,” explains Quek Khor Ping, chairman of the CPC. ‘The center helps them to assess their current situation and tailor a road map—to overcome their physical difficulties, go through the necessary training to become productive again so they can be reintegrated back into society in the quickest possible way.”
The center is one of the first of its kind, providing holistic access to training and employment opportunities for its members. Examples of the training courses include painting, book-keeping and Photoshop skills. Individualized plans and courses are arranged, from in-house training to accreditation and certification. This builds on the strengths of the participants, and is followed by employment placements in suitable industries and set-ups.
Situated within the HWA premises at Whampoa Drive, it serves as a prime resource center for people who face physical disabilities, and also acts as a rehabilitation home where they can learn to accommodate their disabilities and do simple chores, and use modified tools that assist in their day-to-day living.
With the CPC, there is now help for those who may, in the prime of their life, find themselves unable to move and do things the way they used to; it is a godsend to this under-served group in society.