It is very reassuring to see how the corporate culture in Singapore has been bending towards being inclusive towards PWDs, with more companies making a conscious effort to hire people with disabilities. However, while we can see how championing the cause for PWDs has worked steadily in the corporate sector, there is still much to be done for the community at large and their daily interactions with PWDs.
Improving the way in which the community interacts with PWDs is particularly important step in societal integration. Due to physical differences, PWDs have a hard time mingling with their immediate environment which can have a negative effect on their self-esteem and a sense of alienation. By providing avenues and opportunities to have common ground for communication, it increases exposure and awareness of PWDs and also give PWDs the opportunity to mingle with the public and have avenues for sports and leisure.
Thankfully, Singapore has been working towards improving its community initiative for PWDs – one lesser-known way in which this is done is through sports. In fact, Society Staples has been partnering with various organizations to promote social inclusion through these sporting activities below:
1. DBS Marina Regatta – Paddle for Good
For the uninitiated, DBS has an annual sporting event called DBS Marina Regatta, which serves as a fundraiser as well as community event to promote social inclusion and inclusive sports. For its 2016 installation, Society Staples played its part in raising awareness about adaptive paddlers (paddlers with disability) through disability simulations which helped participants understand what goes in ‘A Day in the Life of an Adaptive Paddler’.
2. ASEAN Para Games Carnival – The Inclusive Interaction
ASEAN Para Games Carnival was a week’s long worth of activities held at Sports Hub to promote functional fitness and inclusive sports, as well as create a greater awareness of disability sports in the general community. The activities included strongman stations such as the conventional car pull, tyre flips and the not-so-conventional disability simulations; which helps non-PWDs understand how exercise is like in the shoes of a PWD and also the daily struggles they have to go through. For the fitness junkie, there were weekend fitness bootcamps at allocated time slots that they could sign up for.
3. Giant Games Festival 2016
Having partnered with Sport SG and Active Enabler Grant in conjunction with celebrating SG51, Singapore’s first ever Giant Games festival in 2016 featured larger than life-sized (and actual sized games) for PWDs and non-PWDs to take part in. Held in various pop-up locations in the heartlands, this is an inclusive and accessible event for all to kick their shoes off and enjoy sports in an unconventional yet fun way.
The festival aims to promote healthy living by having participants take part in various mini ‘sporting competitions’ available such as badminton, table tennis and more. It also promotes inclusive sports as the games take into account the fact that PWDs might have a more difficult time playing with sporting equipment that are too small (such as conventional table tennis balls), and modify the game such that the balls now are much bigger to accommodate the PWDs.