We have been learning about the challenges facing disabled people in South East Asia. During a recent visit Dan Goodley had the pleasure to meet a number of people engaged disability issues in Singapore. These included Judy Wee (Disabled People’s Association), Lyn Loh (formerly Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped and Disabled People’s Association), Andrew Chew (formerly Blind Sports Association of Singapore and Guide Dogs Association of the Blind), Michael Tan (former Executive Director of Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped), Ryan IK (National Council of Social Service), Lishan Chan (mental health advocate and National Council of Social Service), May Low (Singapore Association for the Deaf), Dr Wong Meng Ee (National Institute of Education), Lu Si Yinn (disability researcher) and Professor Reuben Wong (National University of Singapore). The workshops were organised and also attended by Emily Charissa Lim (AWARE, Association of Women for Action and Research)
Just as welfare services are being cut for people with intellectual disabilities in the UK – under the rhetoric of ‘we are all in this together’ – Singaporean colleagues spoke to me of the challenges of living in a society that prides itself on individual self-sufficiency. Indeed, they told me about a number of recent government initiatives that are increasing support to disabled people; which struck me as ironic when, from a British perspective, disabled people are having their support networks disbanded.
Dan was in Singapore with a University of Sheffield delegation led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, that seeks to extend partnerships in South East Asia. Dan gave a public lecture on the new iHuman: The Institute for the Study of the Human which will be launched later this year, to an audience of the general public, alumni, disability activists and key policy makers and researchers on the 5thApril at the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore.
The following day Dan travelled to Kuala Lumpur to meet with researchers and governmental officers to discuss future research collaboration around the areas of disability, work and independent living.
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