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.




- 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) established.

1963 -1965

- Towner Road centre moved to Ah Hood Road with enrolment increase to 40 children within its first three months. Outram Centre and Geylang Centre were created in the subsequent two years.


- SARC Jurong Centre, Civic Centre and Lee Kong Chian Centre kicked off.

- 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.


- Started SARC Tampines Home. The two temporary timber structures served 41 residents.

- On 10 December, 1969, Tampines Home experienced a terrible flood. Having gone under some five feet of water, the Home suffered great property damage but the children were evacuated in time.

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


- 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.


- Toa Payoh Centre commenced.

- 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.


- A few committed and enthusiastic youths initiated a Youth Section within SARC to help raise funds for the organisation.

- 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”. She went on to bag 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. She was later elected as a Council Member of the IASSMD.


- The Parent’s Group became a formalised structure in MINDS 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 some 53 residents.


- MINDS’ 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 pupils and clients as well as to garner valuable feedbacks from them.


- Held its first variety concert, put up by MINDS’ pupils and trainees, at the Victoria Theatre to a packed audience. The concert became a biennial affair.


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

- Launched a physically training programme for the residents of Tampines Home which helped 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 went on to bag four gold, nine silver and six bronze medals, winning the overall third position for SARC.


- MINDS’ Psychological Services started off with one full-time psychologist and a consultant physiotherapist.


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

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

- Submitted a memorandum on Special Education 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 renamed as Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS).

- First joined the Community Chest of Singapore and received S$1.8m in year one.
- A team of 18 SARC teachers and volunteers climb Mount Ophir with four youths with intellectual disability.

- A Siblings’ Group was formed.

- 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 a team of nine teachers and 70 children. Yio Chu Kang Workshop commenced in the same year, within the school and with 52 young trainees.


- Started its first Employment Development Centre (EDC) at Yio Chu Kang.

- Lee Kong Chian Centre’s name is changed 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 EDC commenced.


- MINDS Tampines Home moved to Thomson Road.


- MINDS Idea EDC commenced.


- MINDS Guillemard Gardens School commenced.

- Started its first Day Activity Centre (DAC) at Ang Mo Kio.


- MINDS Clementi DAC commenced.

- Started an extension of the Tampines Home at West Coast Road.


- MINDS Towner Gardens School moved to its purpose-build school in Lengkong Lima.


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


- MINDS Lee Kong Chian Centre had a facelift.

- MINDS Commonwealth EDC is renamed SIA-MINDS EDC


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


- Held MINDS’ 40th Anniversary Logo Designing Competition, where the winning design was adopted as the new MINDS’ logo.


- Achieved the prestigious Singapore Health Award (Silver) and the People Developer Certification

- A new TDC at Napiri commenced.

- Started MINDS Children’s Wings to provide accommodation, care and protection to children with intellectual disability, aged between 6 and 18.

- Both Tampines Homes at West Coast and Thomson were relocated to new multi-purpose facility in Napiri. 


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

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

- Yio Chu Kang received ‘School Innovation Award from MOE.


- Achieved Singapore Health Award (Gold)


- Launch of three purpose-built facilities, Fernvale Gardens School, Woodlands Gardens School and Woodlands EDC.

- Renewed People Developer Certification


- Achieved Singapore Health Award (Gold) for the second time



  • 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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