More than 70 companies, individuals recognised for efforts in supporting employees with disabilities
SINGAPORE — Instead of the usual one-week training he conducts for new employees, environmental services department supervisor Davis Chew spends about three weeks helping new staff with disabilities at Yishun Community Hospital (YCH) to learn the ropes.
However, he does not just provide them with reading materials and verbal instructions, like for other staff. Instead, he demonstrates the task they have to do, then observes and corrects them while they try it out on their own.
Citing mopping as example, the 38-year-old said: “You and I will know we have to mop the floor in a certain manner. But for them, they may just do a quick left-right, so we need to show them that we need to do left-right, then up-down.”
They repeat this day after day, until the employee is well-versed at it.
Mr Chew is one of three employees who received the newly introduced “Enabling Buddies” award during the 4th Enabling Employers Awards ceremony on Friday (July 21) at Pan Pacific Singapore.
The award recognises individuals who have done well in supporting employees with disabilities at their workplaces.
“For people with disabilities, it’s not enough to just tell them,” said Mr Chew. “We also have to reinforce with demonstrating to let them know the desired standard, rather than just leaving them alone.”
More than 70 other companies and individuals were also recognised during the ceremony, organised by SG Enable, for their efforts in integrating persons with disabilities into the workforce.
In his speech, Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, who was the guest of honour at the ceremony, said: “Persons with disabilities excel in workplaces where they have supportive and understanding supervisors and co-workers, and they can do meaningful work that plays to their strengths and focuses on their abilities.”
Employers also play an important role in fostering a sense of identity in its employees, he added.
“When employers make reasonable accommodations for their needs, such as making the workplace accessible or allowing for flexible work hours, the employees with disabilities and their co-workers develop a stronger sense of belonging and pride to be part of an inclusive organisation, Mr Tan added.
Apart from Mr Chew’s award, Yishun Community Hospital itself bagged the Best Newcomer award for its inclusive practices. For instance, the hospital works closely with job coaches from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), who partner with supervisors such as Mr Chew to ensure that employees with disabilities are well-adapted.
“The job coaches come ahead of time and learn about the kind of work that the persons with disabilities will be doing, and … they help them adapt and cope with the kind of work demands that are required,” said YCH’s chief executive officer, Dr Pauline Tan.
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