Dec 01, 2000
"A key element in Seagate's corporate giving program is to provide education and learning opportunities for individuals with special challenges. Now into our third year of supporting MINDS, we hope the funds will provide an exceptional learning environment for developing the basic knowledge and skills needed to help the disabled find employment and enrich their lives," said Jim Chirico, Seagate senior vice president and general manager for Asia manufacturing operations.
MINDS is planning to re-develop one of their Employment Development Centres (EDC) offering vocational, social and independent living skills training to enable intellectually disabled adults to get jobs and to help them integrate into the community. The organisation also operates five special education (SPED) schools offering basic education to children with moderate to severe mental retardation between the ages of 4 and 18. Additionally, MINDS runs two Training Development Centres catering to intellectually disabled adults of lower functioning levels, focussing on independent living and social skills to enhance their ability to integrate into the community. To provide short and long term residential care to severely retarded and multiply handicapped persons, MINDS has two Residential Homes. The institutions also undertake research activities to enhance the quality of life of the intellectually disabled and conduct public education programs to promote the integration of persons with intellectual disabilities within the community.
"The new EDC center will provide vocational training and sheltered employment as well as job placement for intellectually disabled persons aged 18 years and above. The training will develop their potential to the fullest, prepare them for open employment and help them lead rewarding lives. We want to thank Seagate for the generous donation and continued support of our core objective to create employability and to integrate the intellectually disabled into the mainstream society," said Aaron Ng, MINDS executive director.
The EDC has various specially designed modern facilities including occupational therapy, a sports and recreational hall, art and craft production rooms, a computer room and an "Independent Living Training Room" which trains the intellectually disabled to live independently with minimum reliance on care-givers. There is also an activity room where they can practice job skills in simulated work environments. The cost of construction is estimated to be around $8 million and will be able to house 400 trainees.
"Intellectually disabled persons deserve the support of their family, community and society to live fulfilling and productive lives with maximum independence. Seagate is honored to have played a part in MINDS' ongoing effort in researching and exploring the best solutions to achieve this important goal," added Seagate's Chirico.
MINDS (Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore) is one of the oldest and largest non-governmental organisations catering to the educational, vocational, social and welfare needs of the Intellectually Disabled in Singapore. We operate five Special Education Schools, three Sheltered Workshops, two Day Activity Centers, and two Residential Homes, serving around 2,400 Intellectually Disabled persons.
The Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) was founded in 1962 under the name of the Singapore Association for Retarded Children (SARC). It is a voluntary welfare organisation catering to the needs of intellectually disabled persons and their families.
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