Open Door Programme for People With Disabilities

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.44.49 amIn Singapore, employers are beginning to appreciate what people with special needs or disabilities bring to the workplace.

In fact, aesthetics products distributor Dione International director Clara Chng said that based on her own experience, she enjoys working with this group of workers because of their focus, loyalty and can-do attitude. She has hired a partially-blind telemarketer and a graphic designer who is a wheelchair user.

In 2014, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) launched the Open Door Programme, under which companies can apply for funding support to hire, train and integrate persons with disabilities. To date, 140 companies have applied for the fund, with an average claim of S$3,000. About 650 persons with disabilities have been placed in jobs, including those supported under the initiative.

One of those who has benefited from strong support from his employer and family is Mr Low Quan Jing, 24. For the last six years, Mr Low has been working at Professor Brawn Cafe, which employs individuals with autism. Every day, he arrives punctually to prepare the kitchen and refuses to step away, even for a minute, until all his assigned tasks are done.

When TODAY tried to talk to him during his lunch hour, he constantly stole glances at his watch to make sure he did not overrun the time allotted for the interview. Asked what he liked about his workplace, he simply flashed a big smile and said that he is “happy”.

Mr Low’s mother, who declined to give her full name, noticed a positive change in her son after he started work. “It gives children like him that sense of self-esteem and confidence that they are able to contribute and complete tasks on their own too,” said Mdm Low, 60.





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