On 29th November, Disabled People’s Association (DPA) attended Open Minds – Open Doors, an evening of inspiration, celebration, entertainment, and networking. The annual event was organised by dbEnable Singapore, which is part of Deutsche Bank’s global diversity initiative tasked with building a strong inclusive workplace culture. Previous years speakers included Caroline Casey, founder of Kanchi and a TED Talk presenter in 2014, and Chia Yong Yong, President of SPD and Nominated Member of Parliament in 2015.
This year Theresa Goh, Paralympic Medallist, spoke about overcoming setbacks and how she prepared for the Rio Paralympics. Brittany Déjean, AbleThrive founder, also shared her family’s experience with disability after her father’s spinal cord injury. She also shared what she has learned about how to respectfully engage with and integrate an employee with a disability into the workplace.
Guests were also treated to ‘Signing Hands’, an original song by cousins Tham Yin May and Isabelle Lim. Isabelle signed the song, whilst Yin May sung the lyrics and played the guitar. The song shared Isabelle’s wish for greater inclusion of those who are deaf.
Later there was a panel discussion featuring representatives of the Singapore Business Network on DisAbility (SBND). Launched in 2015, SBND is an initiative led by Deutsche Bank and Singtel. SBND is a group of multinational corporations that have come together to help promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the workplace and create stronger awareness among business leaders of their employment. Founding members of this network include Deutsche Bank, Singtel, Barclays, KPMG, Standard Chartered, EY (Ernst and Young) and Diary Farm. During the discussion the members of the SBND shared their plans to spread awareness and expand the network in 2017. Most exciting was the news that they hope to hold an inclusive career fair in the next year or so.
After the presentations guest, who included members of the social service and corporate sector were treated to food and drink catered by Bizlink F&B Social Enterprise.
DPA would like to than dbEnable for once again inviting us to this great opportunity hear from speakers Theresa Goh and Brittany Déjean and experience the performance by Isabelle Lim and Tham Yin May. It was great to hear about the progress that the SBND is making in sharing best practices between employers and DPA looks forward to supporting its future endeavours.