3anyue Co. World Autism Day 22
Our Stories

#60Stories as we celebrate MINDS 60th Anniversary!

Everyone has a story to tell, a lesson to teach and wisdom to share.

Our Stories: Ask 'Why Not' instead of 'Why Me': MINDS Pioneering Teacher Ethel Woo’s Story

On our journey of 60Stories, we celebrate various events, breakthroughs, and people. MINDS could not have grown to who we are today, without our pioneering staff.

Today, we highlight Ms. Ethel Woo, who has been a pivotal figure with MINDS since 1964. Her unwavering dedication goes beyond the classroom, fostering a sense of purpose and hope within this community.

Find out how Ms. Woo and her team advocated for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities by being their voice and constant supporter.

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Our Stories: Serving shoppers with a smile

Being an all-rounder and hard worker, Bao Ling was noticed and recommended to Social Enterprise, MINDS Shop, by her Training Officers in the sheltered workshops.

Despite it being a new environment, learning the ropes of MINDS Shop seemed like second nature for her. This boosted her confidence, allowing her to dabble in friendly interactions with the public, on top of her daily duties.

Read on to find out more about the roles of our MINDS Shop trainees and how they maintain the in-kind donations received!

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Our Stories: How working with plants helps our clients blossom

More than just caring for seedlings, our MINDS Farm clients have grown alongside their harvests through passion and determination.

MINDS Farm started out as a budding idea to incorporate a nature-filled approach to relax and restore the soul.

Read on to find out how this Social Enterprise Programme has guided our clients, allowing them to blossom into more confident  versions of themselves today.

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Our Stories: Opening Doors, Minds and Hearts: National Gallery Singapore’s Journey to Making Art Accessible

‘There are no boundaries when it comes to art.’

National Gallery Singapore (NGS) upholds this statement by practicing inclusion for everyone in the community. Together with Me Too! Club, NGS developed a comprehensive accessibility guide to provide a welcoming environment for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.

Read on to find out more about their specially curated guided tours and other tailored experiences they have to offer!

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“He’s my VVIP” – A story of brotherly love

How much would you sacrifice for your family?  Mohamad Syahid Bin Arif made a pivotal decision, stepping away from his civil service role to assume a greater responsibility – caring for his younger brother, Saiful, who grapples with the challenges of autism and epilepsy.

Read the heartwarming story of our brother-pair, and how their familial values keep their relationship strong.

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Keeping our centre spick and span, together with my friends

Celebrating two decades of friendship and multiple achievements together, Hui Sze and Safiha from the Clean and Green  (C&G) Programme in SMEDC share their story.

Read on for how they tackle each task with a positive attitude and admirable dedication.

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A protector and supporter of my sibling with special needs

A protector of her sibling with special needs, Sharon took on the role of a sibling caregiver to Priscilla since her early teens. The challenge between being an authoritative figure and a fun-loving companion built the bond they share today.

Take a peek at how the pair navigated through life together by loving and supporting each other.

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Bringing the fun to physiotherapy

Bringing the fun to Physiotherapy by incorporating plenty of games into each session, where students can kick bouncy balls and crawl through makeshift tunnels.

Discover how Physiotherapist, Melvin Loh, encourages and motivates his students to build their independence and safety awareness through his sessions in Fernvale Gardens School.

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Loving my sibling with special needs

Siblings share a special relationship, but how does this bond evolve as siblings grow up, traversing through milestones side-by-side?

Michelle Wang shares about her experience with the MINDSibs community, and how they have helped her understand more about her brother, Joseph Wang.

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'Animal walks' and bouncing on a trampoline — It’s all in a day’s work for a MINDS Occupational Therapist

Sensory-rich activities like ‘animal walks’ and creative therapy are full of benefits that can lead to refined motor skills and cognition.

Discover how Occupational Therapist, Xu Cuili, guides her students in achieving greater independence through her sessions in Woodlands Gardens School.

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Exploring the island hand in hand

Our clients go on exciting excursions with MINDS Me Too! Club, and journeying with them are volunteer befrienders like Adrienne Tan.

Read about Adrienne’s experience as a volunteer with MINDS Me Too! Club.

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Helping PWIDs Handle Grief and Loss

How do you explain death to Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (PWIDs)? Tiffany Wang, Acting Head of Psychology found that people just don’t.

But Tiffany believes this should not be the case, and shares her experiences in helping clients cope and manage the emotions they experience.

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All Aboard the Ride to Travel Independence!

Travelling independently can be a big leap towards a better future for those with special needs.

Read how Chan Mei Leng, Transition Planning Coordinator at MINDS Towner Gardens School helps students in their smooth transition to adult life, such as teaching students to travel independently.

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Serving through the seasons

We celebrate the dedicated and passionate staff in our MINDS community who have contributed to the lives of Persons with Intellectual Disability (PWIDs).

One of whom is Aunty Siew Lee, who has spent more than 30 years at the Idea Employment Development Centre and seen the centre, its staff and clients through various seasons.

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Growing up, not old, with MINDS Perform

MINDS Perform Taiko Drum Troupe drummers not only get to perform at national and international events, but also build friendships with each other.

Find out how three friends – Mohammad Rozlan Bin Sohani, Yao Hua, and Mohammed Erwan Bin Aman – have been performing and growing together as trainees in the MINDS Perform Taiko Drum Troupe for the last 20 years.

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Yes, students with special needs can decide what to learn and how to learn

Students with special needs direct their own learning with Project TeamUp! – MINDS’ pilot project-based learning programme with a service component.

Nur Aina Fitriah, a Teacher Assistant in this pilot, shares about how she’s seen her students learn and grow through the programme.

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Defusing high-stress situations – helping PWIDs navigate the criminal justice system

Anxiety, fear, and frustration would be an understandable reaction for many involved in investigations— perhaps even more so for Persons with Intellectual Disability (PWIDs) who have a hard time understanding the situation they are in.

Ms Donna Chew shares her experience as an Appropriate Adult volunteer, bridging communication between PWIDs and law enforcement officers.

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The inside scoop – training, learning and growing

Nur Hidayu Binte Roslan, a Training Officer with MINDS IDEA Employment Development Centre (IDEC) since 2015, shares about her work at IDEC, where she supports clients with their learning.

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School psychologist, resident detective

With over 10 years of experience, school psychologist Erin Fu shares that designing behavioural interventions for students with special needs can feel a lot like detective work.

Catch a glimpse into the world of a school psychologist as Erin shares about the highs and lows of her work with students and their families.

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Creating safe spaces for growth

Like many parents, Kerene Er wants the best for her son, Randall. Despite the challenges Kerene and her family faced in placing Randall in early childhood programmes, they continued to seek new areas for Randall to explore and grow in.

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Getting ready for the Future with MINDS Future Care Planning

Planning for the future of a child with special needs can feel like a daunting mountain to climb. Like many parents of children with special needs, Mr Frederic and Mrs Yuko Maury faced difficult questions for their daughter, Ayano’s future care plans.

Read about how Mr and Mrs Maury navigated this aspect of life with the MINDS Future Care Planning team,

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Anita and Anna — Mother-Daughter Advocates for Inclusion

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, learn about how Ms Anita Low pushes her daughter, Anna, out of her comfort zone to nurture Anna into an independent young adult who advocates for herself.

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Communication game-changers: Key Word Sign

Key Word Sign (KWS) is a communication strategy to encourage communication interactions and support the development of language skills. The use of KWS provides a dual input of information – where one can see the sign and hear the words.

Learn about how it has supported students with speech-language difficulties like Haris.

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Small Steps to Big Dreams: Cultivating Inclusivity Starts Young

One is never too young to make a difference in the lives of Persons with Intellectual Disability (PWIDs). Through the partnership between PAP Community Foundation PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Bukit Timah Blk 207 and MINDS Faber Training & Development Centre, children join their teachers and parents in befriending and supporting PWIDs in their community, learning about inclusivity and developing empathy through their interactions.

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Self-Advocates Championing Inclusion through Key Word Sign this World Down Syndrome Day

In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day 2023, ‘Our Lives, Our Voices’ (OLOV) Self-Advocates star in a music video created to promote inclusion through Key Word Sign.

Get a sneak peek behind-the-scenes as Self-Advocates Grace, Gabriel and Hai Xiang share about their experiences preparing for and starring in the music video, the lessons they’ve learned and their hopes for inclusion this World Down Syndrome Day.

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The transformative power of sports for the special needs community

Advisor and teacher-in-charge of the Sports Squad CCA Group in Woodlands Gardens School, Adilah Ngadi, attests to the far-reaching impact of sports for her students with special needs.

Read about Adilah’s student athletes and the revamped Physical Education curriculum.

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Joy, family and grief in MINDSville@Napiri Home

Building relationships is not officially on the job scope, but having worked at MV Home since 2007, Yin Cho has inevitably formed a close bond with the long-term residents she cares for, affectionately referring to them as her family.

Walk in Yin Cho’s shoes as she shares about the bonds she shares with her clients, and how staff like her cope with loss as clients age and pass on.

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A joyful journey in communication

Speech and Language therapy enhances our students’ and clients’ quality of life by supporting their development of communication, speech, and social skills through professional evaluations and personalised intervention strategies.

Read about the collaboration between Speech and Language Therapist, Clover Tan, teachers and parents to empower her student, Irfan.

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At the heart of the festive season

The Lunar New Year season is often a time of reconnecting with loved ones, celebrating family ties and friendships.

For Ms Catherine Tan and her fellow volunteers and friends in the ‘Door Knock Charity Group’, the Lunar New Year season is also a time of giving.

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Navigating Change Together

Leaving the familiarity of school can be intimidating for persons with special needs and their parents. This was the experience for Vikki Jonied, 47, whose daughter, Iffa, 23, has Global Developmental Delay.

Read about Vikki and Iffa’s journey with Home-based Care Services and her preparation towards joining centre-based services.

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Lifelong learning for adults with intellectual disability

Just as many of us experience a change in our bandwidths and opportunities for learning and growth after graduation, Persons with Intellectual Disability (PWIDs) often face this struggle as they progress into adult services as well.

With these concerns and considerations in mind, MINDS Institute developed the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) for our clients to continue learning and growing.

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Investing in impact: DBS Bank’s volunteers empowering PWIDs

Through initiatives such as befriending sessions and projects like craft activities, read how volunteers from DBS invested their time and resources to raise awareness on the challenges faced by the Persons with Intellectual Disability (PWIDs), promote a more inclusive society, and improve the quality of life of our clients.

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Nurturing Artistic Minds

Art has been a tool for expression and exploration for many.

Learn about the Visual Arts in Motion: Nurturing Artistic Minds programme in Woodlands Gardens School, headed by Nadiah Bte Anuar, and how the programme has empowered students to find their voice and investigate the world around them.

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Making dental care more accessible for PWIDs and their families

As part of the CASA-MODAL (Clean and Screen All Mouths of Disability facilities And Long-term care facilities) initiative, special care dentists like Dr David Lim provides screenings and dental care services to our clients across various MINDS facilities.

Learn more about Dr Lim’s experiences making oral health care accessible.

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Rising to every challenge in school and work

A shy and soft-spoken individual, Asyraf matured through the challenges he faced in school and at work. With his work ethic and eagerness to learn, he surpassed expectations and excelled in the positions of leadership and responsibility entrusted to him.

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Wonder Woman by Day and Night

Caring for her daughter who was diagnosed with intellectual disability and early-onset dementia, Ms Gloria Soo shares how she keeps herself grounded amid her busy days and nights.

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Leavening Positivity at MINDS Bakers

At the SIA-MINDS Employment Development Centre, Training Officers such as Mr Mohd Rohaizat Bin Amat work closely with clients like Esmond, nurturing their abilities to help them realise their full potential.

Learn more about Esmond’s amazing journey of growth at MINDS Bakers.

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Alike, but not quite: Occupational- and Physio-Therapists Explain

Often mistaken for the other, Occupational Therapists (OT) and Physiotherapists (PT) play distinct roles in enhancing the quality of life of our clients.

Learn about the functions of PT and OT through the experiences of Syuhada and Rebecca from Woodlands Employment Development Centre.

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A parent’s perspective: a musical journey with our child with special needs

Parents play a pivotal role in acknowledging and creating opportunities for their children to hone their talents.

Hear from Mrs Novel Chee as she shares about her journey of parenting and supporting her daughter Heidi’s musical talents.

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Building Independence, A Moment at a Time

Occupational Therapists like Neeta Ponmalar develop creative strategies to support their clients’ development of daily occupations. Learn about the work OTs do to improve each client’s quality of life.

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Fighting for Disability Rights, One Step at a Time

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy and raising a child with special needs, Alan Pek uses his story and voice to champion inclusion for persons with disabilities.

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The Rhythm of an Afternoon at Raintree SSCC

Raintree Special Student Care Centres offer holistic before-and-after-school care for students with special needs. Read about the people and activities of SSCC@WGS through Nurimah’s story.

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Giving children with special needs a voice

Learn more about the joys and challenges of being a Speech and Language Therapist working with children with special needs through Vivien Ong’s story.

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Building an inclusive workforce, one job at a time

Have a deeper look at the ethos and stories behind UNIQLO Singapore’s inclusive hiring practises and employment culture.

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Crafting pathways towards growth

Gin Ng and Chiang Li Bing, the Training Officers helming MINDS Craft at SIA-MINDS Employment Development Centre, tap on their clients’ strengths to set them up for success.

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Achieving's one goals in work and in life; regardless of disability

Johannes Cheong is living proof that PWIDs have just as much autonomy as anyone else to dream big, endeavour, and attain the goals that they set out to achieve.

This budding ‘Our Lives, Our Voices’ (OLOV) Self-Advocate hopes to share that message with the world.

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Nurturing healthy habits in complex situations

As an Occupational Therapist with the Disability Case Management Team, Sng Jing Ning navigates complexities with her clients to nurture skills that improve their quality of life.

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Enriching lives through art

“I always had an interest in the special needs sector, but I never could find the time to commit to volunteering due to a busy school schedule. However, after graduating and finally getting my degree, I committed myself to volunteering, and approached WEDC to sign up as a volunteer.”

Learn about Bavanezvari Breonna’s volunteering journey with Woodlands Employment Development Centre below.

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Washing away the blues

MINDS Wash is the product of a valuable partnership with SPC Singapore, creating job opportunities for our clients with intellectual disabilities and platforms to spread awareness about inclusion for PWIDs.

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Learning to Innovate, Innovating to Learn

Persons with intellectual disabilities may struggle with communication. Learn about the innovative systems Training Officers developed to enable clients like Ah Chuan express themselves and their needs.

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A journey to independence

Helpful and determined, Marcus is a role model for his fellow clients and a great help to his Training Officers at Jurong Training and Development Centre.

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A place to call home

An often overlooked aspect of a resident’s quality of life is the relationships they yearn to build with others. In the absence of biological family members, the staff in MINDSville@Napiri often take on the roles of caregivers and family members to residents like Ah Fong.

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From strength to strength

A passionate and inspiring individual, Allan Cai is a pioneer in MINDS’ ‘Our Lives, Our Voices’ Self-Advocacy Programme, and has represented persons with intellectual disabilities on various local and international platforms.

He is also a recipient of the Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards (UBS Promise), and a prominent face in The Purple Parade 2021.

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Enabling abilities, enhancing employability

Supported by the MINDS Job Placement Job Support – Hi-Job! – team, client Daniel Khuresh Faizullabhoy overcame different struggles and secured a job he enjoys.

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Inspiring confidence with a neat haircut

Paulyne Tan reflects on her 10-year milestone of offering free haircuts to the students of Towner Gardens School.

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A special kind of love

Li Shu Yun, mother and caregiver to ‘Our Lives, Our Voices’ Self-Advocate Allan Cai, shares her perspectives and experiences parenting a child with special needs.

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Nurturing talent, building capabilities

Psychologist at Idea Employment Development Centre, Yvonne Lee, reflects on her growth and journey working with persons with intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

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A lifelong passion for students with special needs

Retired MINDS Principal, Mrs Priscilla Theseira, shares about her journey in Special Education and how she continues to support her former students in retirement.

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Transforming disabilities into abilities

Manager of MINDS Raintree Special Student Care Centre, Shamini Nambiar shares how to make a difference for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

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Empowering lives in the classroom and beyond

Special Education (SPED) Teacher, Guo Yanyan reflects on becoming a SPED educator and the exciting events along the way.

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NOTICE OF THE 59TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF MINDS: NOTICE is hereby given that the 59th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) will be held by way of electronic means as follows: Date: Saturday , 18 September 2020 Time: 9:30am (Registration starts at 8:30am) Venue: Online via ZOOM MINDS members will be receiving an email on the notice of AGM and are strongly encouraged to register your attendance to facilitate the verification process on the day of the AGM. For enquiries regardingthe AGM, members may email to agm@minds.org.sg or call 849607358