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Thursday, 11 June 2015

SPD (formerly Society for the Physically Disabled)

Donated $155 to SPD (formerly Society for the Physically Disabled) using dividends collected in my Permanent Stocks Holdings.

SPD focuses on helping people with disabilities maximise their potentials and integrating them into mainstream society. Through close to 20 programmes that encompass early intervention, rehabilitation, employment support, training, education, consultation and assessment in assistive technology, day care, and social service support, SPD serves about 4,700 people with physical, sensory and learning disabilities, helping them become self-reliant and independent.    

Founded in 1964 by a group of Rotarians, it was known as Society for Aid to the Paralysed (SAP). In the earlier years, SAP provided employment opportunities at its sheltered workshop to people with disabilities who had difficulties seeking open employment. The organisation was renamed Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) in May 1998 and subsequently to just SPD in July 2014 to better reflect the work that we do to serve people beyond physical disabilities.

what we do - Development Support Programme
The Development Support Programme (DSP) is an initiative by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to provide on-site intervention and learning support to pre-schoolers with mild developmental needs in mainstream kindergartens and childcare centres.

These are the skills development areas that the DSP aims to support:
    Speech and Language
    Fine motor and handwriting
    Gross motor and coordination
    Attention and concentration
    Learning and literacy
    Social and emotional

We are the only DSP service provider in Singapore appointed to serve children staying in the eastern and western regions of Singapore. Operating from SPD@Tampines and SPD@Jurong, our teams comprise of speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, learning support facilitators, educational psychologists, learning support educators and social workers.

what we do - Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children
Through the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC), we provide educational and therapy services to children aged six and below diagnosed with special needs that affected their development.

This is a centre-based programme which aims to facilitate development and improvement in six areas:
    Gross motor and fine motor skills
    Cognitive skills
    Speech, language and communication skills
    Social skills
    Self-help skills

The Building Bridges EIPIC centre at SPD Ability Centre in Tiong Bahru was started in October 2011 to serve children living in the central region. SPD brought its early intervention services closer to children living in the western region when it opened its second Building Bridges EIPIC Centre at SPD@Jurong in July 2012.

The early intervention approach
Our team of trans-disciplinary professionals (teacher, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, psychologist, speech & language therapist and social worker) provides intervention as well as family support according to the needs of each child and his family. Teaching is conducted by trained early intervention teachers in class in small group.

For EIPIC, we adopt a structured teaching approach, and particularly for children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is used.

Children below 18 months receive three hours of intervention weekly and children above 18 months old receive six hours of intervention every week. Each child will have an Individualised Educational Plan (IEP) designed by the EIPIC team in consultation with caregivers which will be reviewed every six months.

Caregiver involvement
We believe that parental involvement is critical to a child's development in the early years. Hence, we encourage parents to participate actively in the intervention process as well as activities that we conduct including caregivers training programmes, parent support groups and social recreational activities.

what we do - Continuing Therapy Programme
The SPD Continuing Therapy Programme (CTP) offers speech and occupational therapy services to children 16 years and below. This centre-based programme not only complements the therapy services that the child receive in his special school, it also supports those who attend mainstream schools and require therapy services to improve in their functional and academic performances. When required, our assistive technology specialists, social workers and other support personnel will also provide the necessary consultancy.

We welcome referrals from:
    Special schools and integrated childcare centres
    Health care professionals
    Social workers
    Parents and caregivers
    Childcare centres and kindergartens

what we do - SPD Education Programme
We started the SPD Education Programme in 1985 to offer financial assistance to 25 students studying in mainstream schools. Today, the programme has evolved to become one that extends a holistic support to children with physical disabilities in their physical, intellectual as well as psychosocial development.

The SPD Education Programme encompasses of the bursary award, SPD Youth Aspiration Award, learning and development opportunities and case management services.

Bursary award
The SPD Bursary Award is offered to students from low-income families studying in mainstream schools. Students must have a physical disability or have parent(s) with physical disabilities. The quantum of the grant ranges from $300 per year for primary level to $6,000 per year for university level.

SPD Youth Aspiration Award
To encourage youths with disabilities to pursue their interests in visual or performing arts, sports or community service, we offer a grant of $5,000 to recipients of the SPD Youth Aspiration Award every year. The award is open to youths with physical disabilities from Secondary One to Universities.

Learning and development opportunities
Piquing young and curious minds, the SPD Education Programme provides learning and development opportunities to students with physical disabilities through outings, camps, workshops and courses. In addition, we also conduct workshops and seminars for caregivers and teachers to guide them in communicating and managing children with physical disabilities.

When necessary, primary and secondary school students with physical disabilities from low-income families studying in mainstream schools also receive partial or fully sponsored private tuition at their homes to help them cope in their studies.

Post-secondary school students also receive career counselling to help them identify their interests and abilities, as well as set future-oriented goals.

Case management
Our social workers and case management officers provide counselling and look into the social, financial and rehabilitation needs of students with physical disabilities. Support is also extended to the students’ families. The team helps recommend and co-ordinate specialised SPD services such as rehabilitation, assistive technology, befriending and mentoring, if the students require them.

what we do - Scholarship
We partnered Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation and Microsoft Singapore to offer the APB Foundation for Persons with Disabilities and Microsoft YouthSpark Scholarship to youths with disabilities. We believe that every child, including those with disabilities, has equal rights to education and we want to help them fulfill their educational aspirations.

what we do - Day Care
We operate the Day Activity Centre (DAC) for people with physical and multiple disabilities to nurture their self-help skills through a balanced and structured programme that focuses on social and recreational activities of daily living. At the same time, caregivers and family members get the respite they need and some can choose to continue working without having to worry about the care of their disabled loved ones.

what we do - Nursing Care
At SPD@Toa Payoh, we provide nursing treatment such as wound dressing, tube feeding, insertion of feeding tube and catheters, administration of medication, drip therapy, oxygen therapy, diabetes care,and glucose check.

what we do - Therapy Services
We provide physiotherapy and occupational therapy at our SPD Day Rehabilitation Centres which are located at SPD Ability Centre, SPD@Tampines and and SPD@Toa Payoh. Patients include those with neurological, orthopaedic, medical, surgical conditions and congenital disabilities.

Physiotherapy Services
    Balance training
    Gait analysis and training
    Muscle re-education
    Joint range of motion, strengthening and endurance
    Pain management
    Patient and caregivers training
    Musculoskeletal cases
    Walking aid prescription

Occupational Therapy Services
    Upper limbs strengthening and fine motor coordination
    Cognitive and perceptual rehabilitation
    Re-training of activities of daily living and home management skills
    Home modifications
    Recommendation and training in the use of adaptive equipment
    Training for patients and caregivers
    Community mobility re-training
    Speech therapy

    Counselling, social and welfare programmes for patients and caregivers

what we do - Transition Programme for Employment
The Transition Programme for Employment (TPE) aims to help young adults (below 50 years old) diagnosed with spinal cord injuries or stroke to integrate them back into mainstream workforce.

The programme will be tailored according to individual needs by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and employment support specialists. Clients will receive intervention support such as active rehabilitation, work hardening training as well as employment placement and support. The multi-disciplinary team will conduct regular assessments and reviews of the clients’ progress to track goals and maximise their employment potential.

what we do - Home Therapy
The home therapy service provides home-based occupational therapy or physiotherapy to people with severe disabilities of all ages. The service is extended to those who are unable to attend therapy at our day rehabilitation centers due to their disabilities.

The objectives of this service are to:
        Train people with physical disabilities in basic living skills to enable them to be independent ;
        Equip the caregivers with skills to help them care for their disabled family member;
        Prevent disabled people from being admitted prematurely to nursing homes;
        Provide therapy care for disabled people in a home environment till he/she is able to access therapy services at a centre.

what we do - SPD Therapy Hub
We provide a comprehensive range of rehabilitation services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to other SPD programmes and community organisations through the SPD Therapy Hub. SPD Therapy Hub coordinates the recruitment, management and training of a pool of professional therapists and deploys them to serve persons with disabilities and the elderly receiving care at places such as:

Children Services
EIPIC centres
Special schools

Adult/Elderly Services
Day rehabilitation centres
Social day care centres
Dementia day care centres
Nursing homes
Disability homes
Community hospitals

Our therapists are assigned on a contractual basis to VWOs interested in engaging the following services -
    Full- or part-time Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy services
    Programme development (eg. an Occupational Therapy-based activity programme or a Physiotherapy-based maintenance exercise programme)
    Staff Training (eg. training of nursing assistants or healthcare/therapy assistants in patient care skills)
    Clinical supervision and consultation
    Community talks on rehabilitation-related topics

Our therapists are recognised through their membership with the Singapore Physiotherapy Association (SPA), Singapore Association of Occupational Therapists (SAOT) and Speech Language and Hearing Association Singapore (SHAS). In accordance to the Allied Health Professions Act 2011, all our therapists are registered with the Allied Health Professional Council.

what we do - Pre School Identification Training Programme
The “Identification and Classroom Management of Pre-Schoolers with Learning Difficulties” workshop was started in January 2012 to provide participants with interventions suitable for classroom settings when working with children with learning difficulties and empowers participants with the knowledge of available resources within the community.    

The three-day workshop, conducted monthly at SPD Ability Centre,is endorsed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and highly subsidised by the Singapore Workforce Agency (WDA) and MSF.

what we do - Prevocational Training
The Prevocational Training is a two-month training programme to impart basic computer skills, as well as soft skills to trainees.

The training curriculum includes:
    Fundamentals of Computer
    Microsoft Office Applications
    Soft Skills

Trainees who successfully complete the training programme have the opportunity to proceed to the six-month IAC Certificate in Office Skills (ICOS) to advance their ICT skills and soft skills. Trainees may also proceed on to the Employment Support Programme (ESP) which provides job matching and placement support services to assist the graduates in finding a job.

what we do - IAC Certificate in Office Skills
The IAC Certificate in Office Skills (ICOS) is a 14-week training programme to gear people with disabilities for employment.

The training curriculum includes:
    Information and Communication Technology
    Personal Effectiveness
    Soft Skills
    Work Preparation

With the support from SPD Employment Support Programme (ESP), trainees who successfully complete the training programme have the opportunity to take up internships at companies that provide equal opportunities for people with disabilities. The ESP will continue to provide job matching and placement support services to assist the graduates in finding a job.

what we do - Job Specific Skills Training
The Job Specific Skills Training is a programme that provides short duration training to harness trainees’ specific skills for a better match to specific job openings.

Telephone Receptionist Training
Telephone Receptionist Training aims to prepare the trainees to project a professional image over the phone and develop various skillsets, such as good listening techniques, basic telephone etiquette and effective communication.

Trainees who successfully complete the training programme proceed on to the Employment Support Programme (ESP) for job matching and placement support services in finding a job.

Candidates for Job Specific Skills Training programme must be referred by the staff from Employment Support Programme (ESP) and/or IAC Certificate of Office Skills (ICOS) programme

what we do - Sheltered Workshop
The Sheltered Workshop is both a place for employment and vocational training for people with disabilities. The projects and small contract work that we secure from various organisations provide a real work environment for our trainees, thus improving their future employment prospects.

Trainees at the Sheltered Workshop are engaged in sub-contract work such as packaging, letter-shopping, tagging of products and the likes. Trainees in another section of the workshop are involved in projects relating to data entry, digital scanning, administrative tasks and the document preparation. The ultimate aim was to graduate these trainees to the open employment after their training

In addition, we also have craftsmen at the workshop who possess skills honed over 20 years in the trade of bookbinding, book restoration and fabrication of lifestyle products such as notebooks, photo frames and photo albums. The finished products are of commercial quality and are charged at highly competitive prices. Education institutions, commercial organisations and private individuals are among our satisfied customers.

what we do - Infocomm Accessibility Centre
The ability to use the computer to search for information, perform transactions and communicate is not only useful, it is considered essential for many. Through structured training programmes, the Infocomm Accessibility Centre (IAC) provides different levels of infocomm technology skills to people with disabilities, to narrow the digital divide and enhance their employment opportunities.

In addition to IT training, the IAC also provides training on essential skills like literacy, numeracy, and telephone etiquette. Applicants will be assessed on their level of IT knowledge before being recommended suitable courses. Customised courses are available for agencies which require specific IT training for their clients and these may be conducted at the premises of the agencies.

what we do - Specialised Assistive Technology Centre
Technology is a powerful enabler for people with disabilities, as with assistive technology (AT) which helps them overcome their disabilities and integrate fully into all aspects of community living.

We advocate the use of AT through our Specialised Assistive Technology Centre (ATC) which provides the following services:

    AT assessment
    Training on use of AT devices
    Trial⁄Loan of devices from AT Loan Library
    School⁄Work area assessment
    Technical support
    Sales co-ordination support
    Inclusive Technology Portal

The Assistive Technology Centre was established by SPD in August 2001 and was later appointed by the National Council of Social Service as the Specialised Assistive Technology Centre in January 2005. It was appointed as the Centre of Specialisation for Assistive Technology in August 2009 and March 2011. With this appointment, the Specialised ATC was recognised as an AT expert that would conduct practice-related training to build capability in AT and provide advice, consultations and coaching sessions to serve people across all disabilities.

what we do - Specialised Case Management Programme
The Specialised Case Management Programme (SCMP) is a nation-wide pilot programme started in October 2006 to support persons of all age groups with disabilities and their caregivers, to empower them to lead more fulfilling and wholesome lives.

Through our social workers and case management officers, the programme provides the following services:
    Co-ordinating and acquiring resources to support persons with disabilities and their caregivers
    Consultancy on disability information and issues
    Group⁄Peer Support
    Vocational⁄Motivational counselling and coaching
    Psycho-educational workshops to provide information on health issues and knowledge of self-care
    Caregiver support and training

Wellness programmes for persons with disabilities and their caregivers to enhance their physical health and psychological functioning

what we do - Employment Support Programme
Employment gives people with disabilities financial freedom and a sense of self-worth when they are a contributing member of the society. A number of our programmes are geared towards preparing people with disabilities for employment and they are supported by our Employment Support team.

Through the Employment Support Programme (ESP), we help people with physical disabilities as well as hearing and visual impairments secure open employment. In addition, job support of up to at least six months is provided to ensure that clients whom we have placed in open employment are able to adapt and cope with the job and working environment. Courses on increasing employability are also available.

what we do -  Advocacy
We are guided by our vision and mission to integrate people with disabilities in all aspects of community living, be it in education, employment, physical and built environment or socially. We focus our advocacy efforts in three main areas of equal access to education, equal opportunity in employment and equal participation in community, and we do so through the media, community outreach and public education.


SPD Headquarters
    SPD Ability Centre
    2 Peng Nguan Street
    Singapore 168955
    Tel: +65 6579 0700
    Fax: +65 6323 7008
    E-mail Address:

Operating hours are from 8:30am to 6:00pm, Mondays to Fridays


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