To be a world-class voluntary welfare organisation that advances the development, well-being and aspirations of persons with intellectual disability and their integration into society

To maximise the development and well-being of persons with intellectual disability through the provision of a comprehensive range of quality services.

To empower persons with intellectual disability and their families so as to enable them to maximise their potential and fulfill their aspirations.

To advocate the interests and causes of persons with intellectual disability so as to enable them to participate as fully as possible in society.



In line with MINDS vision and mission, MINDS’ overarching strategy has always been a continual review, improvement and evolution of our services in anticipation of our clients’ changing needs in their life-cycle. MINDS aims to provide a seamless range of quality services that meets the current and future needs of persons with intellectual disability (PWIDs) and their caregivers, so as to be an anchor player and thought leader in serving PWIDs.

The baby boom years of the 1960s saw MINDS providing education for young PWIDs. As they grew up, MINDS advanced beyond early education to introduce vocational training in the form of sheltered workshops, creating employment opportunities for many PWIDs.

In recent years, MINDS has set up more training development centres (TDC) and a residential home as older PWIDS require greater support. A home-based service and a Me Too! Club have been launched to assist and reach out to PWIDs who are unable to attend the TDCs for various reasons and PWIDS who are socially isolated, respectively.

To further enable integration and inclusion into society, MINDS has initiated a Community Group Home that encourages independent living among PWIDs who have relatively lower support needs. MINDS has also established a Caregiver Support Services Centre, which recognises and gives support to the critical role that caregivers play, in giving PWIDs a better quality of life to realise their potential.



Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) was founded in May 1962 under the name of Singapore Association for Retarded Children (SARC). A group of philanthropists saw the need to provide equal opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities to receive education and later, to be integrated as contributing and responsible citizens in Singapore.

The Singapore Rotary Club gave the first donation to pilot the project under the Singapore Children’s Society and the first ‘Chin Pu’ (meaning progress in Chinese) school was set up in a single room in Towner Road with 26 children.

‘Chin Pu’ centres mushroomed around the island in whatever premises that were available – churches, disused schools, etc. In 1985, SARC was renamed MINDS to encompass the services provided not only for children, but adults and the aged persons with intellectual disability.

Since then, MINDS has grown to be one of the largest Voluntary Welfare Organisations in Singapore, serving some 2,400 clients from past the age of six to their ripe old age. MINDS’ services include four special schools, three employment development centres, three day training and development centres, and one multi-service residential home.

MINDS’ Chinese name is 新加坡智障人士福利促进会.



At the heart of our core values, lies our resolve to be client focused. That encompasses compassion and understanding towards the clients, and resilience and tenacity to strive against odds to close gaps and build services to improve the wellbeing of our clients and to meet their needs.

Core Value # 1 - Integrity

We conduct ourselves with high standards of honesty and ethical behaviour to uphold strong corporate governance and accountability for the public trust.

Core Value # 2 - Respect

We regard every individual with dignity and respect regardless of age, gender, race, religion, abilities and disabilities.

Core Value # 3 - Professionalism

We strive for excellence to deliver quality outcomes in everything we do.



- MINDS sent the first group of four students to participate in the Special Olympics in Louisiana, United States.

MINDS MYG awarded the President’s Social Service Award 2001 (Informal Group Category).


- A group of philanthropists got together to set up a single-room educational centre for 26 intellectually disabled children in Towner Road. The centre is thus name Towner Chin Pu.


- Singapore Association for Retarded Children (SARC) was officially established on 8 June 1962.

1963 -1965

- Towner Road centre moved to Ah Hood Road with enrolment increase to 40 children within its first three months.

- The second & third Chin Pu centre was set up at YMCA Outram Road and Geylang Road respectively in the subsequent two years.


- The fourth Chin Pu centre - SARC Jurong Centre and Civic Centre were set up at the premises of Jurong Christian Church.

- MINDS’ Social Workers started organising first parent-teacher-social worker joint meetings in different centres for all three parties to come together and discuss problems faced by people with intellectual disability.


- SARC Tampines Home – the first residential home in Singapore for Persons with Intellectual Disability (PWIDs) was officially launched on 4 October 1969. The two temporary timber structures sheltered 41 residents.

- MINDS’ Social Workers started organising Saturday Activity Classes for people on waiting list for MINDS’ services.

- MSARC Lee Kong Chian Centre was set up at Margaret Drive.


- Mr Ng Fook Kah, SARC’s Honorary Secretary (1969-1984), represented SARC at the First International Seminar on Special Education and Rehabilitation of the Mentally retarded at Malmo, Sweden.


- SARC Toa Payoh Chin Pu Centre was established with the support of the Toa Payoh Flat Owners Association.

- Two SARC’s representatives were invited by the President’s Committee on Mental retardation to attend the First Pacific Forum On Mental Retardation in Hawaii. Letters of appreciation from the then President of United States, Mr Richard Nixon, was received for our participation and contribution.


- SARC Youth Section was founded to raise funds for SARC.

- Celebrated its tenth anniversary with a First Regional Conference, “Meeting the Needs of the Retarded”. SARC’s enrolment rose from the 26 children in year one to 324 this year.

- SARC’s Chairman of Research Committee, Dr Freda Paul, presented a 10-year study on intellectually disabled children in her paper “A Statistical & Clinical Survey on Mental Subnormality in Singapore Children”, winning the Distinguished Achievement Award for research in combating mental deficiency throughout the world during the 6th World Congress of the Association for Scientific Study of Mental Deficiency (IASSMD) in Canada.


- The Parent’s Group became a formalised structure in SARC and was organised on a centre/school basis.


- Tampines Home was relocated to Lorong Buangbok. The new Home was officially opened by First Lady, Mrs Benjamin Sheares and provided for over 50 residents.


- SARC’s Social Work Section planned and initiated its first survey for 767 families. More surveys were planned and conducted from then onwards to better understand the families of our students and clients and garner valuable feedbacks from them.


- SARC held its inaugural concert performed by students and trainees at the Victoria Theatre on 20 October 1978. The concert became a biennial affair.


- SARC Youth Group was awarded the Singapore Youth Award (Team Award).

- A physically training programme for the residents of Tampines Home was launched to help to increase the independence and skill development of the residents.


- Lee Kong Chian Centre introduced a triple session due to long waiting list, leading to an enrolment of 248 for the year. This triple session came to an end four years later in 1985.

- The Parent’s Group was revisited, leading to the formation of Helping Our Parents Emerge (HOPE) Parents’ Group.

- SARC sent five young adults to participate in the Pan Pacific Special Olympics in Hong Kong. Accompanied by two teachers, these five participants won the overall third position with four gold, nine silver and six bronze medals.


- SARC’s Psychological Services was established with one full-time psychologist and a consultant physiotherapist.


- SARC Towner Gardens School was set up with the amalgamation of three centres – Tampines Centre, Toa Payoh Centre and Geylang Centre.

- SARC pioneered and launched the Early Intervention Programme for Infants & Young Children (EIPIC).

- A memorandum on Special Education was submitted to the government through the Singapore Council of Social Service. One of the recommendations is to organise a training course for SARC teachers, which was implemented the following year by the Institute of Education.


- SARC Youth Group (Ang Mo Kio) received the National Youth Award (Team Award).

- Held a 36km road relay for 275 pupils with intellectual disability and 330 volunteer co-runners from Jurong Sports Stadium to Temasek Junior College.

- SARC won the runners up award for being the most outstanding civic organisation by the United Nations Association of Singapore.


- SARC was renamed to Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS).

- The organization was accepted as a member of Community Chest of Singapore.
- A team of 18 SARC teachers and volunteers climb Mount Ophir with four youths with intellectual disability.

- Jurong Centre shifted to the former Jurong Primary School. The vacant four single-storey blocks enable the establishment of an educational section and a workshop. The former was renamed as Jurong Gardens School and had an enrolment of 192 children.


- MINDS Yio Chu Kang Gardens School commenced with an enrolment of 70 children.


- The Yio Chu Kang Employment Development Centre (EDC) was established, co-located with Yio Chu Kang Gardens School.

- Lee Kong Chian Centre was renamed to Lee Kong Chian Gardens School.

- Pilot launch of a Day Care Centre within Tampines Home for six people with intellectual disability. His Excellency, Mr Wee Kim Wee, visited the Home and spent more than an hour touring the facilities.

- MINDS EIPIC programme was transferred from MINDS to Margaret Drive Special School.


- MINDS Commonwealth Employment Development Centre was established.


- MINDS Tampines Home shifted to Thomson Road.


- MINDS Idea Employment Development Centre was established.


- MINDS Guillemard Gardens School was established.

- MINDS secured a million dollar contract with Singapore Airlines to recycle their headsets.

MINDS Ang Mo Kio Day Activity Centre was established.


- The Tampines Home extension at West Coast was opened as a Hostel/Group Home for clients with low support needs.

- MINDS Clementi Day Activity Centre was established.


- MINDS Towner Gardens School moved into Singapore’s first purpose-built special school at Kembangan.


- MINDS MYG awarded the Special Friend Award (Group) by National Youth Council.


- Singapore’s first purpose-built workshop – SIA-MINDS Employment Development Centre began operations, co-located with Lee Kong Chian Gardens School and MINDS Headquarters at Margaret Drive.

- Lee Kong Chian Gardens School moved into MINDS second purpose-built special school.

- The MINDS Caregiver Support Group was established.

- MINDS Day Activity Centres were renamed to Training & Development Centres to emphasis the training component of their operations.


- The Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) for Special Schools was set up to raise the bar in special education.


- MINDS expanded its school services and admitted the first 77 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

- A new Vision, Mission and Logo were launched at MINDS 40th Anniversary.


- MINDSville@Napiri, Singapore first multi service centre for persons with intellectual disability, started operations with the relocation of clients from Tampines Home Thomson and West Coast, and the setting up of a Training & Development Centre and Children’s Wing.

- MINDS achieved the prestigious Singapore Health Award (Silver) from the Health Promotion Board. It went on to take the Gold in 2008 and 2010.

- MINDS was conferred the People Developer Award by SPRING Singapore. This was renewed in 2009.


- MINDS celebrated its 45th anniversary with President S. R. Nathan as Guest of Honour.

- MINDSville@Napiri was officially opened by Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

- Yio Chu Kang Gardens School received the School Innovation Award from Ministry Of Education.


- The Allied Health Professionals Hub was set up.

MINDS pioneered the trusteeship framework, resulting in the formation of the Special Needs Trust Company which operates under the purview of the National Council of Social Service.

Jurong Gardens School shifted to the third purpose built facility at Woodlands Ring Road and began operations as Woodlands Gardens School, co-located with the new sheltered workshop - Woodlands Employment Development Centre.

The fourth purpose-built special school – Fernvale Gardens School opened at Seng Kang, taking in students from Yio Chu Kang Gardens School.


- Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister of Health graced the official opening of Woodlands Gardens School and Woodlands Employment Development Centre as the Guest of Honor on 9 October 2009.


- MINDS was appointed a service provider for the NCSS’ Job Placement Job Support Pilot Programme.

- Singapore’s first of its kind MINDS Community Group Home (CGH) was established after securing 2 HDB flats for 6 residents to live independently in an off-site premise.


- Towner Gardens School received the Innovation Award from the Ministry of Education for incorporating the use of iPads in classroom teaching and learning.

- Curriculum Development Unit’s work has highlighted at the MOE’s Annual Special Education Conference as the framework to be followed for Standards, Outcome and Curriculum Development.

- Fernvale Gardens School was awarded the Recycling Outreach Programme – Sustained Achievement Award (Sliver) by National Environment Agency.

- Fernvale Gardens School was also awarded the 2011 MOE-NCSS Innovation Commendation Award for her “Project Dawn”, which was on the use of digital photography to promote language acquisition.


- MINDS celebrated its 50th Anniversary, commemorating its achievements over the past 50 years and raising awareness about persons with intellectual disability.

- In collaboration with NTUC Eldercare Co-operative Ltd, MINDS Thrift Shop was set up at Blk 71 Redhill Road in May 2012, providing jobs to our clients while engaging the community.


- MINDS held its first Caregivers Active Day on 24 August 2013, to recognize and affirm the important role of a caregiver.


- MINDS Taiko Drums Troupe made history by becoming the first special needs group to perform at the National Day Parade 2014.

- MINDS held its inaugural Caregivers’ Conference themed “Connect, Share and Make a Difference” on 23 August 2014 at Furama Riverfront Hotel.


- MINDS officially opened its first Caregivers Support Services Centre and fifth day activity centre in Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub.

- National Council of Social Services (NCSS) appointed MINDS as one of the service provider to pioneer Me Too! Club, a new programme aimed at serving clients who are socially isolated and/or are not receiving any centre-based services.


- As of 1 January 2016, National Council of Social Services (NCSS) appointed MINDS as the service provider of the “Appropriate Adult” (AA) Service Scheme, taking over from the Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) Pro Bono Services Office.

- In partnership with Singapore Film Society, MINDS held its inaugural MINDS Film Festival, screening five films of different genres over the weekends of 29 – 30 July 2016 and 5 – 6 August 2016.


- MINDS officially opened its sixth day activity centre in Tradehub21. This is the first TDC that is located in a light industrial area on 22 March 2017.

- MINDS Institute of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (MIIDD) was established.


- MINDS officially opened its seventh day activity centre in Yishun on 31 January 2018, the first autism focused TDC.

- MINDS celebrated World Down Syndrome Day 2018 with the official opening of MINDS Developmental Disabilities Medical Clinic, the first clinic in Singapore dedicated to persons with intellectual disabilities (PWIDs).

- MINDS officially opened their first sensory integration therapy room for adults at MINDSville@Napiri on 3 May 2018.

- MINDS officially opened its eighth day activity centre in Faber on 11 May 2018.



  • 2010 People Developer Certification by Spring Singapore
  • 2010 Recipient of the NCSS Outstanding VWO (Innovation) Award by NCSS
  • 2010 Gold Recipient of the Singapore Health Award by the Workplace Health Promotion Programme
  • 2008 Gold Recipient of the Singapore Health Award by the Workplace Health Promotion Programme
  • 2007 People Developer Certification by Spring Singapore
  • 2006 Silver Recipient of the Singapore Health Award by the Workplace Health Promotion Programme
  • 2005 Bronze Recipient of the Singapore Health Award by the Workplace Health Promotion Programme
  • 2004 Silver Award Recipient of Community Chest Special Event Award for organizing MINDS “Heart of Gold” Charity Golf

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