Cecilia’s journey is truly inspiring, showcasing resilience and determination in the face of unexpected challenges. Her positive outlook and the unwavering support of her family played crucial roles in her recovery.
Cecilia went through an emotional struggle after suffering from a stroke. Having worked in the travel industry prior to her diagnosis and the pandemic, Cecilia was used to the hustle of the corporate world. She found joy in interacting with her clients and took pride in the projects she managed.
As a young mother, Cecilia felt helpless as she was unable to accompany her children to school. She could not accept that someone her age would suffer a stroke. Whenever people find out about her condition, they would always say “So young, have stroke?”. However, her bubbly and positive character spurred her on her recovery journey. With her family’s support, she enrolled in ABLE’s rehabilitation programme.
“I count my blessings to the last inch. I believe God selected the best out of the worst outcome for me,” said Cecilia.
When her brother visited her in the hospital after her stroke, he told her “No matter what you go through, you are supported”. This gave her strength and reminded her of her support system.
After completing rehabilitation, Cecilia continued with ABLE’s reintegration (swimming) programme. This reintegration programme helped her to continue exercising in a safe environment. In between working and caring for her kids, these swimming sessions provided personal time to rest and improve her mental well-being. The exercise also allows her to keep fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
You can help persons with disabilities like Cecilia continue to access and benefit from ABLE’s programmes and services. Donate now through giving.sg or scan the QR code with your bank app to donate directly to ABLE.
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ABLE is pleased and honoured to announce that Mr. Lim Boon Heng has graciously accepted the role of Patron for Abilities Beyond Limits and Expectations (ABLE).
Mr Lim had a distinguished career in public service, holding several Cabinet positions in the Singapore Government from 1993 to 2011. He is currently chairman of Temasek Holdings, NTUC Enterprise Co-operative Limited, NTUC Health Co-operative Ltd, NTUC Health for Life Fund and Philanthropy Asia Alliance Ltd. He brings to ABLE a deep understanding of social issues and supports ABLE’s mission to foster inclusive employment and a gracious society where individuals with physical challenges have every opportunity to lead independent, productive and meaningful lives.
Mr. Lim’s patronage is timely as we look to embark on ABLE’s next phase of growth to raise awareness of our mission and further extend our (4Rs) programs to Rehabilitate individuals with physical challenges, supporting them to Return-to-Work, providing Respite to their caregivers and ultimately Re-integrating them to society. With his guidance and support, we are confident of accelerating ABLE’s efforts to touch even more lives, support inclusive employment and ultimately promote an inclusive and gracious society for all.
In this engaging interview on “Nights with Simon Lim” on ONE FM 91.3, host Simon Lim introduces Sharon Wu, the Executive Director of ABLE, a unique social service agency. ABLE is dedicated to empowering the physically challenged to lead dignified and independent lives. Sharon shares insights into ABLE’s diverse rehabilitation programmes, such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and a distinctive swimming initiative for adults with disabilities, conducted in public pools to aid community reintegration.
The interview delves into a compelling client journey, recounting the story of a stroke survivor who, initially unable to speak and lacking confidence, underwent a three-year rehabilitation process at ABLE. The emphasis on individualised care plans and celebrating incremental milestones is highlighted, showcasing ABLE’s commitment to holistic recovery.
Sharon also sheds light on the vital role of caregivers and ABLE’s comprehensive support system for them. From retreats focused on self-care to tele-support groups and monthly centre visits, ABLE ensures caregivers receive the necessary support to navigate the challenges of assisting their loved ones through rehabilitation.
The conversation touches on the frequency of rehabilitation visits, with Sharon commending her team’s dedication to tailoring individual care plans based on clients’ needs and tolerances. She also discusses the challenges caregivers face, emphasising the suddenness and emotional toll that events like strokes or accidents can take on them.
Furthermore, Sharon shares details about ABLE SEAS, that employs physically challenged individuals as accounting assistants, providing services to charities and SMEs.
The interview provides a comprehensive overview of ABLE’s mission, its impact on individuals’ lives, and the multifaceted support it offers to both clients and caregivers. Sharon’s dedication and the organization’s innovative initiatives shine through, making for an informative and inspiring segment on ONE FM 91.3.
Whether you have lent a helping hand as a volunteer or engaged in our events, how about taking a little time to create your very own personal fundraising page?
We strongly believe in the transformative power of personal stories. Your experiences provide insight into the daily realities faced by those with acquired physical challenges. It is more than just a story; it is a glimpse into the real struggles, small victories, and the extraordinary resilience demonstrated by our clients on their recovery journeys.
Given the increasing prevalence of acquired physical disabilities and Singapore’s aging population, your support is crucial. Every fund-raising campaign, no matter its scale, brings us one step closer to a society where everyone, regardless of physical challenges, can live with dignity and have productive, meaningful, and independent lives.
So, why not share your tale? Be the storyteller who sparks a deeper understanding and moves others to join this transformative journey.
Meet Job Coach Henry at ABLE. As clients conclude their physical rehabilitation, Henry steps in to assist those who feel confident or ready to enter the workforce. Physical rehabilitation marks the beginning of their recovery journey, and finding sustainable employment is a crucial part of the reintegration process back into society. It serves as a pivotal step toward regaining independence and actively participating in the community.
One significant challenge he faces is the reluctance of some employers to work with individuals with disabilities. Often, this reluctance is driven by management requirements rather than a genuine willingness to accept and collaborate with people with disabilities. In response, Henry takes on an educational role, focusing on showing employers the potential of individuals with disabilities. He emphasises strengths, maximises capabilities, and advocates for adapting work environments to accommodate limitations, fostering inclusivity.
What sets ABLE apart is its holistic approach. Henry works closely with a team of Speech Therapist, Physio Therapist, Occupational Therapist, along with respite professionals. From case management with social workers to rehabilitation and ultimately searching for sustainable employment via the Return-to-Work programme, ABLE ensures a thorough and integrated journey for individuals with disabilities.
Henry finds immense satisfaction in seeing clients regain confidence and independence through employment. His unwavering dedication is grounded in the belief that every individual has value, driving his commitment to providing unwavering support to those on the path to recovery.
You can help persons with acquired physical disabilities continue to access and benefit from ABLE’s programmes and services. Donate now at https://www.giving.sg/donate/campaign/ables-13th-anniversary.
Kian Yi’s journey of recovery with ABLE (Abilities Beyond Limitations and Expectations) began with an unexpected and life-altering event. A former sales executive with an adventurous spirit, Kian Yi was on a solo cycling trip in September 2018 when tragedy struck. On the fifth day of his trip, he experienced a devastating accident that would change the course of his life.
The details of the accident remain unclear for Kian Yi, as he has no recollection of the events leading up to the incident. The abrupt and unforeseen nature of the accident left him with a major brain injury, resulting in profound physical and cognitive impairments. Two weeks in a Taiwan hospital marked the beginning of a challenging journey, and Kian Yi was subsequently flown back to Singapore for further care.
The aftermath of the accident was disorienting for Kian Yi. Waking up in Singapore General Hospital, he found himself bedridden, unable to walk, and struggling to communicate with his loved ones. The memory gap surrounding the accident added an additional layer of complexity to his emotional and physical recovery. Despite the uncertainty and the challenges ahead, Kian Yi displayed remarkable resilience and determination.
His mother, stepping into the role of primary caregiver, became an unwavering source of support throughout Kian Yi’s arduous journey. It was during this critical period of recovery that Kian Yi was introduced to ABLE, specializing in comprehensive rehabilitation services designed to address the unique needs of individuals facing physical and cognitive challenges.
The rehabilitation phase at ABLE became the cornerstone of Kian Yi’s recovery. Occupational and physiotherapy sessions were meticulously tailored to retrain and relearn essential movement patterns. These targeted interventions not only aimed to restore physical function but also provided a platform for Kian Yi to regain independence.
In addition to his physical challenges, Kian Yi also faced an acquired condition called Aphasia, struggling to string words together and process language. Despite feeling misunderstood, he worked closely with his speech and language therapist, learning communication strategies such as using keywords, gesturing, and drawing.
Over the course of three years, he has made remarkable progress. In 2022, Kian Yi enrolled in ABLE Chef and Microsoft workshops with the Programmes team. Here, he not only navigated the kitchen, cooking simple dishes for himself but also gained the confidence to propose meals at home, reducing his reliance on his caregiver. The Microsoft sessions refreshed his computer skills, further preparing him for employment. This dual commitment to physical and cognitive rehabilitation showcases Kian Yi’s unwavering determination and the holistic approach of ABLE in supporting individuals on their transformative journey to recovery.
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Pesakit angin ahmar pulih, kembali bekerja berkat sokongan adik dan terapi
Cik Narimah Abdul Rahim Bajerai, 62 tahun, menghadapi dugaan besar yang datang bertubi-tubi.
Ibarat ‘sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga’, beliau menghidapi barah pada 2014 dan angin ahmar atau strok pada 2018.
Meskipun kebolehan bertutur dan berjalan terjejas, beliau enggan menyerah kalah kepada penyakitnya.
Berkat tekad dan kesungguhannya dalam menjalani terapi, beliau bukan sahaja berjaya pulih semula, malah dapat kembali ke alam pekerjaan pada 2020.
“Kenapa ini terjadi pada saya? Tentunya saya berasa risau dengan perubahan pada tubuh dan pertuturan yang menjejas kebolehan saya untuk berdikari dan bekerja.
“Namun, saya mendapat sokongan baik daripada keluarga dan orang sekeliling saya, terutamanya adik dan agensi perkhidmatan sosial – Keupayaan Melangkaui Had dan Jangkaan (ABLE),” kata Cik Narimah kepada Berita Harian (BH).
Penjaga utama Cik Narimah adalah adiknya, Cik Sheafa Abdul Rahim Bajerai, 59 tahun, yang telah bercakap bagi pihak Cik Narimah yang dalam keadaan sukar untuk ditemu bual.
Cik Narimah tinggal di flat bersama kakak sulungnya dan abang iparnya – sementara Cik Sheafa tinggal di beberapa blok dari rumah Cik Narimah.
“Syukurlah Able telah memberi sokongan penuh kepada kakak saya untuk merealisasikan impiannya melalui perkhidmatan menyeluruh, termasuk fisioterapi dan terapi pertuturan.
“Saya berasa sangat bangga atas pencapaian Cik Narimah yang gigih berusaha dalam senaman dan terapi,” ujar Cik Sheafa, ibu tiga anak berusia antara 28 dengan 37 tahun.
Dengan sokongan kukuh dari jabatan yang memahami sepenuhnya keadaan beliau, Cik Narimah diterima kembali di tempat kerja lamanya, di Penguasa Imigresen dan Pusat Pemeriksaan (ICA) di Lapangan Terbang Changi.
Cik Narimah, yang masih belum berkahwin, telah berkhidmat selama lebih dua dekad di tempat tersebut sebelum diserang ahmar angin.
Menurut Cik Sheafa, beliau berkongsi bagaimana dirinya henti kerja sebagai penolong penjagaan kesihatan, untuk menjadi penjaga sepenuh masa kakaknya pada 2018.
Cik Sheafa sebelum ini juga pernah menjadi penjaga allahyarhamha ibu dan kakak sulungnya yang mengalami pelbagai masalah kesihatan pada 2014 hingga 2018.
“Saya sangat bersyukur Able juga menyediakan program khas untuk penjaga yang membantu membina keyakinan dan kemahiran khusus,” kata beliau yang diperkenalkan kepada kumpulan sokongan penjaga yang terdiri daripada lapan orang, dikenali sebagai ‘Tele Kopi’.
“Melalui pertemuan dalam talian di wadah Zoom setiap minggu, saya bukan sahaja boleh mendapatkan bantuan, malah membantu orang lain.
“Yang penting, saya sedar saya tidak keseorangan dan ilmu yang dikongsi oleh penjaga lain serta fasilitator daripada Able banyak memberi manfaat kepada saya.
“Saya sudah menganggap mereka dan pegawai ABLE seperti keluarga sendiri,” kata beliau, terharu.
Cik Sheafa juga mengalu-alukan program percutian tahunan penjaga, anjuran ABLE, di mana beliau dapat menginap di hotel untuk dua hari satu malam, bersama penjaga lain untuk bersantai dan melibatkan diri dalam kegiatan sihat dan menceriakan, sama ada fizikal, mental atau kerohanian.
“Sebagai penjaga, sangat mudah untuk melupakan kesejahteraan diri sendiri, terutamanya apabila sibuk menguruskan segala keperluan kakak saya.
“Acara percutian menjadi penawar yang berkesan, membangunkan semula kekuatan dan ketenangan,” tambah beliau.
Rangkaian sokongan daripada ahli keluarga dalampenjagaan kakaknya juga penting bagi memastikan beliau tidak terlalu lelah serta memastikan perawatan yang terbaik untuk kakaknya yang memerlukan perhatian.
Baru-baru ini, Cik Narimah dan Cik Sheafa telah menghadiri acara Malam Penghargaan Cabaran Presiden 2023 di Istana, gerakan nasional dipimpin oleh Presiden, mengajak rakyat Singapura untuk bersama-sama mengumpul dana bagi menyokong mereka yang kurang bernasib baik.
Bertemakan ‘Peduli Terhadap Penjaga’ pada 2023, ABLE adalah antara 86 agensi yang akan meraih manfaat daripada Cabaran Presiden, yang berjalan lancar dengan tujuan mengumpul $14 juta.
Dengan dana Cabaran Presiden untuk program dan pengubahsuaian kemudahan jagaan, ABLE dapat menggandakan bilangan penjaga berkhidmat kepada 40 orang, memperluas program dan bengkel tersedia, serta menambah lebih banyak bilik kaunseling.
This article was originally published in Berita Harian here. Source: Berita Harian © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.
Ms. Narimah Abdul Rahim Bajerai, 62, is facing a major ordeal.
She was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and a stroke in 2018.
Although her ability to speak and walk was impaired, she refused to give in to her illness.
Thanks to her determination and diligence in undergoing therapy, she not only managed to recover, but was able to return to work in 2020.
“Why is this happening to me? Of course, I’m worried about changes in my body and speech that affect my ability to be independent and work.”
“However, I have received good support from my family and those around me, especially my sister and social services agency – Abilities Beyond Limits and Expectations (ABLE),” Ms Narimah told Berita Harian (BH).
Ms Narimah’s main guardian is her sister, Ms Sheafa Abdul Rahim Bajerai, 59, who has spoken on behalf of Ms Narimah who is in a difficult situation to interview.
With strong support from a department that fully understands her situation, Ms Narimah was reinstated at her old job, at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) at Changi Airport.
Ms Narimah, who is still unmarried, had served for more than two decades at the venue before being struck by the stroke.
According to Ms Sheafa, she shared how she quit her job as a healthcare assistant, to become her sister’s full-time caregiver in 2018.
Ms Sheafa had previously been the caregiver of her late mother and eldest sister who suffered from various health problems from 2014 to 2018.
“I am very grateful that ABLE also provides a special programme for caregivers that helps build confidence and specific skills,” she said, who was introduced to a caregiver support group of eight people, known as ‘Tele Kopi’.
“Through online meetings on Zoom platforms every week, I can not only get help, but also help others.
“Importantly, I realised that I was not alone, and the knowledge shared by other caregivers and facilitators from ABLE benefited me a lot.
“I’ve treated them and the ABLE officers like my own family,” she said, overwhelmed.
Ms Sheafa also welcomed the caregivers’ annual holiday programme, organised by ABLE, where she can stay at the hotel for two days a night, with other caregivers relax and engage in healthy and cheering activities, whether physical, mental or spiritual.
“As a caregiver, it is very easy to forget about one’s own well-being, especially when busy managing all my sister’s needs.”
“Vacation events become an effective antidote, redeveloping strength and tranquillity,” she added.
A network of support from family members in her sister’s care is also important to ensure she is not too tired and ensure the best possible care for her sister who needs attention.
Recently, Ms. Narimah and Ms. Sheafa attended the 2023 Presidential Challenge Appreciation Night event at the Istana, a national movement led by the President, inviting Singaporeans to come together to raise funds to support the less fortunate.
Themed “Caring for Caregivers” in 2023, ABLE is among 86 agencies that will benefit from the Presidential Challenge, which is well underway with the aim of raising $14 million.
With Presidential Challenge funding for programmes and renovations of care facilities, ABLE can double the number of carers serving to 40, expand programmes and workshops available, as well as add more counselling rooms.
This article was originally published in Berita Harian here. Source: Berita Harian © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.
Jun Da embarked on his transformative journey within ABLE’s SociABLE programme in 2022. At the age of 26, he faced challenges resulting from a stroke, navigating a path shaped by disability. ABLE’s programmes introduced him to a variety of leisure exploration activities, including Swimming, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, and ABLE Chef. Engaging in these regular sessions not only allowed Jun Da to cultivate meaningful friendships with fellow participants but also played a pivotal role in boosting his confidence and social skills, addressing his special needs with tailored support.
With a resolute focus on self-improvement, Jun Da dedicated his time and energy to skill enhancement. His determination to secure sustainable employment led him to collaborate with ABLE’s job coach, Henry. Through consistent coaching sessions, Jun Da honed his interview skills and mastered effective communication techniques, addressing his special needs, and positioning himself for success in the competitive job market.
Navigating the challenges of entering the workforce for the first time, Jun Da harboured concerns about his employer’s understanding of his unique condition, physical limitations, and special needs. Undeterred, he diligently worked on building his stamina for extended working hours and acquiring proficiency in using Microsoft 365.
Jun Da’s journey toward sustainable employment reached fruition with SBS Transit, where he assumed responsibilities in administrative HR duties—a field he aspired to explore. Embracing every learning opportunity the job presented, his initial weeks included orientation sessions and staff meetings to familiarize himself with the work environment. On his inaugural day at SBS Transit, Jun Da adorned his cubicle with a beaming smile as he proudly affixed his nameplate, symbolizing a significant milestone in his professional journey, one that addressed his special needs.
Reflecting on his achievement, Jun Da shared, “HR work is something I always wanted to do. I am happy I found a job in this field.” This quote encapsulates his passion for the role and highlights the fulfilment he derives from pursuing a career aligned with his aspirations.
Today, Jun Da stands as a testament to the possibilities that unfold when determination, support, and opportunities converge, especially for individuals with disabilities and special needs. His story exemplifies the potential for not only overcoming challenges but thriving in the workplace with the right support and inclusivity. As a beacon of inspiration, Jun Da’s narrative showcases ABLE’s programmes in empowering individuals with disabilities, special needs, and unique circumstances to pursue fulfilling careers.
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This video was originally published on Mediacorp. Source: © Mediacorp Pte Ltd.
Khairi’s Inspirational Recovery Journey: From Stroke Survivor to ABLE SEAS Employee
In the Gift of Joy episode, Khairi shares his journey from being a stroke survivor to becoming an integral part of ABLE SEAS, where he now works as an account assistant.
At just 26 years old, Khairi faced the sudden and terrifying reality of a stroke that left him unconscious for a week. His recovery involved two months of hospitalisation, followed by a year of the Community Rehab Programme. Undeterred by the setbacks, Khairi expressed his desire to return to work, leading him to ABLE.
The rehabilitation process at ABLE involved various assessments and therapy sessions, culminating in a return-to-work program. Khairi’s dedication paid off when he secured a position at ABLE SEAS, which allows him to contribute financially for his family of six.
Despite the initial fears and challenges, Khairi’s story is one of triumph. From relying on a walking stick and ankle support to regaining independence, he now enjoys exploring different parts of Singapore for his passion for food and dreams of resuming his favourite sports activities.
Khairi’s positive attitude and determination serve as an inspiration to others facing similar adversities. Congratulations to Khairi on his one-year work anniversary, showcasing not only his personal achievements but also the power of the human spirit in overcoming adversity.
Unwavering Love and Resilience: Madam Sheafa and Ms Narimah’s Journey
Ms Narimah, undergoing speech therapy for four months due to a stroke, recounts her emotional recovery. Madam Sheafa, her devoted sister and caregiver, emphasises the crucial support provided by ABLE.
Ms Narimah’s stroke, a near-fatal event, marked a turning point. Madam Sheafa’s quick actions and faith in her sister’s resilience played a vital role in the two-year recovery. The interview captures a vulnerable moment as Ms Narimah struggles to recall details, showcasing the progress achieved through therapy.
Madam Sheafa, drawing from her experiences with her son’s cancer and her sister’s struggles, emphasises the significance of self-care in the role of a caregiver. ABLE’s support empowered her to navigate challenges and avoid falling into depression.
Their story exemplifies the strength found in family bonds and the unwavering commitment to each other’s well-being.
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As we reflect on 2022, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for the incredible support we received through the CDC voucher donation scheme. Your generosity has enabled us to further our mission of empowering physically disabled individuals on their journey to recovery.
Through this initiative, ABLE received a substantial donation of $20,000, a testament to the kindness and compassion of our community. This crucial funding will be channelled into the 4Rs:
- Rehabilitation: a cornerstone of our efforts to support those with physical disabilities. Occupational, Physio, and Speech & Language Therapy are vital components of this programme, designed to address the unique needs of individuals we serve.
- Return-to-work: offers a comprehensive approach. From job coaches to specialised sessions for job hardening and IT training, we are committed to helping our clients rebuild their professional lives and regain a sense of purpose.
- Reintegration: participate in activities such as swimming and cooking, are crafted to encourage independence. These initiatives go beyond physical rehabilitation, fostering confidence and a renewed sense of normalcy for individuals with disabilities.
- Respite: participate in Annual Caregivers’ Retreat and a weekly Caregivers’ Support Group. These initiatives are designed to address the unique challenges faced by caregivers as they navigate the complexities of caring for their loved ones with disabilities.
Make a difference with us today! We invite you to contribute your unspent CDC vouchers from December 1, 2023, to January 31, 2024.
The process is simple:
- Visit https://vouchers.cdc.gov.sg/donation-of-vouchers/,
- Choose “Abilities Beyond Limitations And Expectations Limited,”
- Log in using Singpass, and confirm your donation. Opt to receive a confirmation via email and know that your contribution will directly impact the lives of those we serve.
Your support not only sustains ABLE’s ongoing efforts but also plays a pivotal role in the empowerment and rehabilitation of physically disabled individuals. Together, we can create a more inclusive and supportive community, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.