- Persons with disabilities can work in mainstream work environments, with job support and accommodations where
- For students with disabilities in SPED schools and IHLS, there are programmes available to help you start
planning early and preparing for work-life after formal education.
- For people with acquired disabilities, programmes like SG Enable's Hospital-to-Work programme can help
facilitate your return to work.
- SG Enable works with its appointed Social Service Agency (SSA) partners to offer job placement and job
support services for persons with disabilities. There are training programmes customised for persons with
disabilities to help them acquire new skills to enhance their employability.
- Assistive technology can help those with disabilities be more productive at work.
- Persons with disabilities are legally entitled to timely salary payment, paid medical leave, and no
discrimination at work.
For information on funding support, training and other resources for employers, training providers and disability employment professionals, please
refer to SG Enable’s corporate site.
For information on sheltered workshops and other adult care services, please click on the Service Directory.
At the individual level, employment can boost a person’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. It gives an
individual the dignity of earning his own keep, and a sense of fulfilment that comes from using his skills and
talents meaningfully, and contributing to his family and society.
Persons with disabilities can generally work in mainstream, non-segregated environments, or in supported employment.
Both models involve competitive work done in integrated work settings, but differ in the level of accommodation and
job support received by the employee with disability.
Preparing for work - Students in SPED schools
Actions to take
- Plan early for life after school, with transition planning programmes or job preparation initiatives.
- Explore vocational education in the special education setting.
Post-school planning begins many years before graduation, when the student is 13-14 years
Special Education (SPED) schools will work with students and their parents to provide support through a structured transition
planning process. Students are assessed on their interests, preferences, employability and strengths.
Different SPED schools may adopt different programmes and processes, so caregivers may want to check with the school
early to facilitate goal-setting with their care recipient.
SG Enable works with participating SPED schools on the School-to-Work (S2W) Transition Programme and other work preparation initiatives such as Job Shadowing Day. The S2W programme is a structured programme of up to 2 years for fresh SPED graduates, which
includes placing trainees in internships in workplaces under the supervision of job coaches to gain real-world work
experience. The selection process for S2W starts in the last year of SPED school.
Some students with disabilities will go on the vocational track in special education settings. Metta School, APSN Delta Senior School and Mountbatten Vocational School offer vocational education
leading to national (WSQ and NITEC) certification, which helps improve their employment prospects. More information
can be found on our Education page.
Other post-school options for SPED students are sheltered workshops and day care centres.
Preparing for work - Students in IHLs
Actions to take
- Reach out to your IHL’s SEN Support Office, or SG Enable directly, for information on work preparation.
- Explore internships or mentorship opportunities to gain experience and build your resume.
Every Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) has a Special Educational Needs (SEN) Support Office or equivalent which helps tertiary students with disabilities access educational services. Provision of support is usually needs-based as the IHLs adopt an approach of self-advocacy, supporting students as they take charge of their own learning needs. Click here to find out more about SEN support at the IHLs.
In addition to academic support, IHLs also work closely with social service agencies (SSAs) including SG Enable to provide additional support. Click here to find out more about support from SSAs and other organisations.
Students in IHLs are increasingly recognising the value of early exposure to industry and internships to gain real-world working experience, as well as building their resumes. Students with disabilities tend to face more challenges in this regard than their typical peers, which could put them at a disadvantage when it comes to securing jobs post-graduation.
Students may approach the SEN Support Office, or SG Enable directly, to obtain support for work preparation. For IHL-to-Work programmes offered by SG Enable, click on the link below to find out more and to sign up:
These programmes are complimentary for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents only. Disabilities supported by SG Enable for adult services are: physical disabilities, sensory disabilities (e.g. visual impairment, deaf/hard-of-hearing), intellectual disabilities and autism.
Preparing for work - Adults with acquired disabilities
Actions to take
- Consider signing up for SG Enable's Hospital-to-Work Programme.
For adults who have an acquired disability due to accidents or illness, the limitations posed by their impairments
may prevent them from returning to their jobs. Returning to work is a long process of letting go of the past,
discovering new career interests and learning new skills.
SG Enable’s Hospital-to-Work (H2W) Programme provides participants with acquired disabilities with
employment and case management support in gaining sustainable employment. The support focuses on the participants'
skills enhancement or re-skilling, complemented by employment services such as job placement and support. Support is
coordinated through a H2W Case Manager.
The H2W Programme is targeted at Singapore Citizens and PRs with acquired disabilities. Disabilities supported by SG
Enable for adult services are: autism, intellectual disability, physical disability, Deaf/ hard of hearing and
Preparing for work – Clients in Sheltered Workshops
Actions To Take
- Reach out to your social service agency (SSA) directly for information on transitioning from sheltered workshops to open employment.
- Explore suitable training pathways in the sheltered workshops to improve employability and readiness for open employment.
Sheltered workshops provide job training and self-enrichment programmes to support adults with disabilities who may not yet be ready to work in an open employment setting. However, some sheltered workshop clients may be work-capable after undergoing customised and structured training.
SG Enable runs the Sheltered Workshop-to-Work programme to support such clients and help them transition to employment.
Actions To Take
- Approach SG Enable for employment support services.
- Browse the job vacancies offered by inclusive employers on SG Enable's Disability Employment Portal.
For persons with disabilities, job-hunting takes more time. SG Enable and its partners provide specialised job placement and job support services
that include the following:
- Assess the jobseeker’s strengths, job interests and skills, and identify training opportunities
- Help the jobseeker identify job opportunities and link up with prospective employers
- Assess the nature of the job and job tasks for suitability
- Assess the built environment for accessibility
- Work with the employer to job carve and recommend workplace modification, and make use of assistive devices, if
- On-site job coaching to help the new employee integrate into the workplace and make friends
SG Enable and its partners will work with the jobseekers to see what support is required, which could range from job matching to job coaching that can last up to 12 months. SG Enable’s partners include agencies funded by the government to provide Job Placement and Job Support (JPJS) services – Autism Resource Centre (Singapore), Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) and SPD – and agencies such as APSN, Inclus and Ingeus. Persons with disabilities who approach SG Enable for employment assistance will be referred to a suitable partner agency, subject to the respective agency’s eligibility criteria.
Persons with disabilities seeking employment assistance may:
- Complete the SG Enable Employment Assistance Application Form and email us at email@example.com, or;
- Approach SG Enable’s Information and Career Centre, located within the Enabling Village, or;
- Visit the Enabling Business Hub @ Jurong (to be launched by the end of 2023)
Jobseekers with disabilities can also apply for vacancies with our inclusive employers in our Disability Employment Portal here.
Actions To Take
- Consider enrolling into training courses to upgrade your skills and improve your employability.
- Apply for grants and subsidies to support your training.
Having relevant skills is an essential first step to getting a job and staying in the job. There is no shortage of
courses in Singapore, but inclusive courses are far fewer in number. SG Enable funds training providers to develop
and conduct courses that are customised for persons with disabilities. Being subsidised, they also available at
nominal rates. Information on such courses can be found in the link below:
Persons with disabilities may also explore other training courses listed on My SkillsFuture (those eligible for SkillsFuture Credits) and courses offered by private schools and IHLs.
Grants and subsidies are available to persons with disabilities to help defray training
cost. These include:
- Goh Chok Tong Enable Fund
- SkillsFuture Credit
- Temasek Trust-CDC Lifelong Learning Enabling Fund
- Workfare Skills Support (WSS) Scheme
Employers who hire persons with disabilities may also be eligible for funding support under the Open Door Programme
(ODP) when they send their employees with disabilities for training.
Assistive technology at work
Actions to take
- Learn more about assistive technology devices by visiting Tech Able or by using the Tech Able web app.
- Explore funding options for subsidised use of Assistive Technology devices, such as Open Door Programme.
Assistive technology (AT) devices and software can help lower the barriers at work and enhance productivity for
persons with disabilities.
Employers of persons with disabilities can tap the Open Door Programme Job Redesign Grant to support redesigning of jobs such as purchase of equipment and workplace modification.
Persons with disabilities may visit Tech
Able to learn more about AT devices that could help lower the barrier and enhance their
productivity at work. If they require AT assessment, and help to apply for subsidies for AT if they are eligible,
they may refer to our service directory to find out
The Tech Able Web App provides
information about AT devices that may suit persons with disabilities and their caregivers. When in Tech Able,
users can select one of the four virtual guides for a guided tour, and they will highlight some of the AT devices
that can help lower barriers for persons with disabilities for work, learn, play and living. Users who are
interested to purchase or find out more about an AT device may contact the vendors directly. Vendors’ details
are listed within.
More information on the types of AT solutions and financial supports available can be found on the Assistive
The new Workplace Fairness Legislation, slated to be passed in the second half of 2024, will strengthen protection against discrimination and help ensure persons with disabilities are fairly considered for job opportunities.
Among other things, the Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness recommends to:
(i) Prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of disability;
(ii) Support employers in hiring persons with disabilities; and
(iii) Issue a Tripartite Advisory on providing reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities.
Click here to see the full set of recommendations.
All employees in Singapore, including those with disabilities, have entitlements such as on-time payment of salaries
and paid medical leave. The Ministry of Manpower’s WorkRight initiative helps employees understand their rights in accordance with the Employment
Act and CPF Act (Central Provident Fund Act).
Employees, including those with disabilities, who have faced discrimination while looking for a job or
discrimination at work can lodge a report with the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP). Some organisations also offer advisory
services on employment laws.
Resources and Support
- Resources for students in SPED schools
- Resources for students in IHLs
- Resources on Assistive Technology
- Information on Employment Laws
- Additional resources for Caregivers