Over the last 20 years, we have seen positive advancements in Singapore’s disability sector. As needs continue to change in our fast developing and ageing society, more remains to be done to better the lives of persons with disabilities. But any meaningful and impactful plans will require the heads, hearts and hands of the proverbial village. No one can do it on his own.
The best way to predict the future is to help create it.
To help chart the way forward for the autism community in Singapore, Autism Resource Centre (Singapore) has developed the Autism Enabling Masterplan with the support of several important stakeholder groups.
Many adults on the autism spectrum, families, professionals from government and non-government agencies have provided invaluable insights and suggestions. So have key service providers and especially other members of the Autism Network Singapore such as the Autism Association (Singapore), Rainbow Centre, St Andrew’s Autism Centre and AWWA.
This Masterplan is the first published major masterplan for persons on the autism spectrum living in Singapore. It is developed with the inputs of more than 500 participants. It contains a set of recommendations that seek to address pivotal needs from the early years through adulthood, covering areas of learning, living, and working. It took in the key concerns and aspirations of the families and service providers who support these persons throughout their lifespans.
Undergirding the proposal is the belief that every person should look forward to a life where their potential is maximised; and a meaningful one where they can fully participate in and contribute to society.
The recommendations, by no means, address every need and gap. Rather, they should be considered as key proposals to better direct future efforts, in a more concerted way. Even as the Masterplan is published, changes are still happening; hence the need for it to be periodically updated and improved.
May the content of this plan trigger the people who care, to come together and work on the recommendations synergistically.
With better strategic and tactical alignment and collaboration, our joint efforts on the ground will bear even more fruit, enabling persons on the autism spectrum to live lives to the fullest.
The work on the Autism Enabling Masterplan was made possible by many who generously gave their time, ideas and support. I want to especially thank the task force comprising Dr Sim Zi Lin, Dr Lam Chee Meng and Mrs Stephenie Khoo, who together with some 500 contributors, helped this Masterplan to finally see the light of day.
Indeed, as anthropologist Margaret Mead once said,
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Thank you all for caring, all these years.
Autism Resource Centre (Singapore)