SG Enable's Enabling Academy for persons with disabilities

In the unfortunate event of being struck by a disability, 58% of respondents hope to find another job where other tasks or duties can still be done.

Did you know: two-thirds (66%) of Singapore’s workforce (full-time working Singapore residents aged 18 and above) surveyed are worried about job loss due to illness or disabilities? Yet, alarmingly, more than half (53%) do not have any disability income (DI) protection.

According to AIA's Disability Income Survey 2022, the local workforce understands and recognises the value of DI protection. However, factors such as product complexity, complicated processes, and high premiums are posing as barriers to purchasing such policies.

To understand where the workforce's sentiments are at across a gender lens, the survey found that one in four (25%) women cite the cost of premiums (the most selected reason amongst the group) as a reason for not having DI protection - a worry which only less than one in five (16%) men cited. Interestingly, one in five (22%) men shared they did not have DI protection because they don’t think they need it (the most selected reason amongst the group) - a reason cited by around 13% of women.

It is, in fact, more intuitive for the Singaporean workforce to cut down on spending (66%), or rely on financial savings (63%) should they be struck by disability. Other coping mechanisms that they have thought through are:

  • 'Finding another job where other tasks or duties can be done', a response cited by close to six in 10 (58%) of the workforce, and
  • 'Claiming from insurance', a response cited by half (50%) of the workforce.

While the aforementioned response - especially 'finding another job where other tasks or duties can be done' - is no easy feat, the agency for the disability sector in Singapore, SG Enable is putting its best foot forward with the launch of the Enabling Academy.

Officiated on 20 May 2022, the new disability learning hub seeks to gather partners from the education, business, and disability sectors to "provide responsive and quality learning opportunities" for persons with disabilities, and to "enable their network of support through training".

In specific, the Enabling Academy aims to bring fresh ideas and build capabilities in the training space to:

  • Provide diverse lifelong learning opportunities for persons with disabilities that support them in their personal growth and professional development;
  • Upskill the network of support – including employers, disability employment professionals such as job coaches, caregivers and volunteers – around persons with disabilities, and
  • Facilitate the practice of accessibility and inclusion among training providers.

For a start, the Academy will offer a curation of more than 110 accessible training courses for persons with disabilities in subjects such as information & communications technology – including digital marketing, and mobile & web development – accounting, administration, early childhood development, human resources, and logistics, and in skills such as time management and cooking.

Beyond that, the Academy will develop workshops for organisations at different levels of readiness of inclusive hiring, ranging from introductory courses providing a basic understanding of the different disability profiles, and how to interact with persons with disabilities, to more advanced topics such as workplace accessibility, and the use of assistive technology.

"Training for disability employment professionals is also available," added in the statement.

Further, the Enabling Skills Framework, that will help persons with disabilities chart their learning journey, and recommend skills and courses to enhance their opportunities for participation in social and community life & employment, will be shared in 2023.

Moses Lee, Chairman, SG Enable, shared his sentiments on the Academy: "The launch of Enabling Academy is a significant milestone in the journey towards realising our vision of building an inclusive society and enabled lives. We believe training opportunities for everyone in Singapore can serve as the catalyst for inclusion, and want to tap on the power of learning to help our nation be a more inclusive society."

Also read10 key recommendations for the employment of persons with disabilities in Singapore


Image / AIA Singapore

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