Dear Miss Arasi Santhana,
Chairperson, Children’s Charities Association (CCA)
Ladies and Gentlemen
A very good morning
1 It is my pleasure to be here with you today at your Annual Awards and Cheque Presentation ceremony.
Work of Government
2 Since 2007, the government has been paving the way for greater social integration and employment of people with disabilities in our midst. As you know, we have recently launched a Steering Committee for our Enabling Masterplan, a five-year plan for the period of 2012 to 2016. The focus of the Enabling Masterplan is to provide strategic direction, for the next five years, for the enabling programmes for the disability sector, which includes people with special needs. This is an important sector, as shared in President Tony Tan’s address at the opening of the 12th Parliament. President said that amidst economic growth and development, we should work towards a truly an inclusive society where we take care of every person with disability as an integral member of our society.
3 The Enabling Masterplan 2012-2016 will look into the areas of early intervention programme for people with special needs, special education, employment and healthy lifestyle, as well as adult care and caregiver support. Several initiatives such as Early Intervention and Special Education have been developed to enable persons with disabilities, including children to better integrate into society.
4 To meet the needs of children requiring early intervention, the government has been actively increasing the number and capacity of Early Intervention Programmes for Infants and Children (EIPIC). To date, there are 13 EIPIC centres serving children with special needs island-wide. This expansion, together with government and community subsidies, has helped these children to have access to an early head start in life. The government will continue to increase the number of centres as the need grows for continued access to children for these services.
5 In the last 5 years, a more diverse range of educational opportunities have also been provided to children with special educational needs. A framework for vocational education to enhance employability of Special Education (SPED) students has been developed. Students who are able to benefit from this vocational education now have the opportunity to learn additional skills in these SPED schools up to the age of 21 years old. The Ministry of Education has also put in place Quality Assurance Framework for Special Education (SPED) services, to further improve the quality of education at SPED schools.
6 The skills learnt from EIPIC and SPED help children and young persons with special needs maximise their learning experiences and transit to post-SPED services. This continuum of services, supported by the government, community and VWOs, provides opportunities for development and integration of young persons with special needs, thus enabling them to lead independent lives in future.
7 I know that even with EIPIC and SPED, children with disabilities and special needs who graduate from these programmes do face difficulties when they enter the job market. One way we can help is to create a more conducive workplace, through special programmes, modifications to physical space and infrastructure, redeployment and job redesign, so that we can provide more opportunities for people with special needs. MCYS offers the Open Door Fund that provides grants to help employers to redesign their jobs and provide greater job support to integrate people with disabilities in their workplaces.
CCA’s Work & Impact
8 It certainly heartens me that your member charities’ primary focus is to help support the physically, mentally and socially disadvantaged children in Singapore. Since CCA’s inception in 1966, it has grown into a formal organisation with six members reaching out to more than 15,000 children annually. Such a collaborative model where VWOs combine resources for a larger purpose is indeed laudable and should be encouraged.
9 I commend CCA on your relentless effort in raising funds for your six member charities over the last 45 years. Your track record in this fundraising is indeed a significant achievement. I am delighted to note that over $700,000 was raised through CCA’s four projects last year and this amount would be distributed equally to the six member charities. I think this is the right approach, where we work with the 3P (Public-People-Private) sector partnership to raise funds for our children with special needs.
10 At the same time, I thank the donors and sponsors in your continued support to CCA. I also commend the volunteers, organisers and board members for their good work in the past year, and encourage them to pursue many more successful years ahead.
 With reference to MCYS policies on disabilities and people with disabilities http://app1.mcys.gov.sg/Policies/DisabilitiesPeoplewithDisabilities/EnablingMasterplan20122016.aspx and,
MCYS Press Release on 20 Sep 2011 http://app1.mcys.gov.sg/NewEnablingMasterplantobuildonprogress.aspx#
 The six member charities are:
1) Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN)
2) Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS)
3) Singapore Children’s Society (SCS)4) Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf)
5) St. Andrew’s Mission Hospital (SAMH)
6) Spastic Children’s Association of Singapore (SCAS)
 CCA organizes annually four projects to raise funds for its member charities:
1) Chinese New Year Hong Bao
2) Donation Draw
3) Flay Day
4) CCA Annual Fair Walkathon
|Name||Nur Diana Jamaludin|