On 29 May 2015, PURPLE FIESTA, an event supporting inclusion of people with disabilities in Singapore, was organised by Team Echo of Temasek Junior College, Singapore together with Disabled people’s Association, Singapore. The event was conducted at Temasek Junior College from 3 to 7.30pm, with Dr Marissa Lee Medjeral-Mills, the Executive Director of DPA declaring the opening of the PURPLE FIESTA. While addressing the student community, she also shared how students can help work towards an inclusive society.
At the Purple Fiesta students and DPA set up booths offering information on inclusion, interaction with DPA members, free refreshments, games, song dedication, a mural where you can show support for inclusion with your thumbprint, purple merchandise as well as live performances. The simulation gameplay Xcape was popular with the student and had a long queue of eager participants. In this game one can experience what it might feel like to be a person with disabilities. The participants shared that this game helped them to understand the needs and concerns of people with disabilities better. Many students approached the DPA booth to know more about our initiatives and projects as well as find out how they can volunteer with DPA.
An interaction session was organised during this event. Dr Medjeral-Mills, Escanan Eugene Jayme, Jorain Ng, Kagda Sakina Abbasbhai and Ms Keng Ying Tan, DPA Board of Management member, attended this session with the students.
Disability Awareness Talk Series (DATS) was officially launched by Dr Medjeral-Mills together with our first batch of student advocates, Team Echo (Temasek Junior College) and Project Butterfly Team (Hwa Chong Institution). The gaol of DATS is to disable the disability and embrace inclusion. This initiative was piloted in November 2014 and after witnessing the positive impact of DATS, DPA decided to open the doors of DATS to all.
Team Echo and Project Butterfly team are our first batch of student advocates who have pledged to support people with disabilities and are demonstrate their commitment to embracing inclusion.
Team Echo is headed by Tang Myo Jin and the other members of team are Zhang Jiaheng, Tan Ke Xuan, Emily Koh, Siow Jia Wen and Tan Ke Xuan. They expressed their interest in working towards an inclusive Singapore and shared their ideas on conducting an event supporting this dream.
DPA conducted DATS on 9 February and 15 May 2015 for this group of students. The PURPLE FIESTA is the result of these two DATS talks and is a great step forward in our journey together. We congratulate Team Echo and Temasek Junior college for this great contribution to the society.
The Project Butterfly Team from Hwa Chong Institution is headed by Wong Pengfei and the rest of the team include Radar Ding, Zheng Yupeng, Peng Genyi and Geng Zixuan. They are members of Chinese Drama club and shared the idea of using drama as a tool to impart awareness. Drama is not a four letter word, but a five letter opportunity! It is something to enjoy and share with others.
On 12 march 2015, Project Butterfly Team attended a DATS talk. Afterwards the Project Butterfly team and DPA worked together to come up with a skit focusing on the theme of ‘different abilities and not disabilities’. The social model of disability was the basis of the skit performance. The performance of Project Butterfly Team was a major attraction during PURPLE FIESTA and it helped to reinforce disability awareness amongst students of Temasek Junior College.
Team Echo and Project Butterfly Team are our inclusion champions, catalysts to nurturing inclusive culture. Purple Fiesta is a model on how other educational institutions can promote inclusion of people with disabilities within their student bodies.
The initial success of DATS in inspiring this first batch of student advocates is heartening and DPA hopes that others will join us in our journey to make Singapore inclusive.