A unique village in Singapore is using innovation to support persons with disabilities (PwDs). Called “Enabling Village” or “EV”, the first-of-its-kind community space is an all-accessible, inclusive, sensory-friendly space dedicated to integrating persons with disabilities into society.
It has a supermarket with sliding doors and wider walkways, shopping trolleys that could be pushed by wheelchairs, Braille lettering on the washroom doors, and tactile indicators on the floor, among many such features. “The tenants include social businesses that train and hire persons with disabilities, and these businesses also showcase the abilities of persons with disabilities when visitors shop or dine at EV. The social businesses, along with inclusive events and community services such as the inclusive gym, provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to interact alongside those without disabilities while providing the dignity of work to persons with disabilities,” said Ku Geok Boon, Chief Executive Officer, SG Enable in an interview.
Enabling Village has successfully introduced many first prototypes of inclusive amenities, such as the first inclusive gym and inclusive pre-school in Singapore. It also hosts several training and career fairs and CV Clinics for PwDs, bringing together disability-inclusive employers, training providers and experienced business professionals to offer jobs, training workshops and consultations on CV writing. It attracts visitors from different countries, who are keen on exploring a similar set-up or implementing takeaways for inclusive spaces.