Enabling Community coLAB 2014

Enabling Community coLAB was a 2 day social innovation hackathon organised by the Ministry of Social and Family Development(MSF) and SG Enable, with UP Singapore serving as the Social Innovation partner. More than 100 participants came together over the weekend of 5-6 April 2014 to create solutions to empower persons with disabilities as consumers, employees and entrepreneurs. The 10 finalists who were shortlisted on Sunday, 6 April went on to compete in the finals of the coLAB on 6 May, where 5 teams wom Jumpstart Grants of S$20,000 each from MSF.

Approximately 3% of Singaporeans are living with a disability. This means many families have a brother or sister, son or daughter, mother or father, who is a person with disability. Yet, the world of disability is often invisible to most of us. Persons with disabilities are sometimes shielded, because of their impairment, but the lack of understanding and engagement from the wider community act as a barrier. Simply put, society cannot see past their impairments. Also, the needs for their families and carers are often not discussed. Inspiringly, there are many persons with disabilities, who refuse to allow themselves to be defined by their impairment. They want to work, play, shop, and to be part of the community, making a contribution to their families and the society.

Enabling Community CoLab 2014 is a coLAB social innovation project to encourage collaboration between persons with disabilities, social entrepreneurs, researchers, students, developers, designers and other professionals to design and prototype solutions. We aim to:

Crowd-source social innovation that can empower persons with disabilities to fulfill aspirations in their roles as valued consumers, employees and entrepreneurs. • Cultivate innovative ideas with good potential as business models to further develop as social enterprises for sustained impact. • Empower the wider community to engage persons with disabilities as “person-first” and to see abilities rather than deficits or limitations. • Create awareness and educate the wider community using a strengths-based approach for the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Our Partners




Insights Brief

Download the Insights Brief we have created for the coLAB to help you understand the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in Singapore and to provide context and insights into the issues around the three themes so you can think of solutions that are relevant and implementable.

The three challenges of the Enabling Community coLAB 2014 are:

1. Empowering people with disabilities as consumers

Design Challenges: • How do we enable more accessible shopping and recreation experiences and make them more spontaneous? • How might online or mobile shopping replicate the social experience of going shopping with friends and family? • How can technology enable persons with disabilities to travel independently to their desired destinations? How can retail stock management systems be enhanced to provide shoppers with reading or visual challenges with more information on options and pricing? • How can technology assist to make ordering and consuming food and beverage an easier exercise? • How can we help caregivers stay connected and updated to have a peace of mind when their loved one with disability is out and about? • What can we use technology to facilitate more independent decision-making? • How can we make it easier for people to better understand and interact with persons who have difficulties expressing themselves?


2. Empowering people with disabilities as employees

Design Challenges: • How might we use technology and data in monitoring well-being and work productivity at the workplace including remote supervision? • How might we provide solutions to help caregivers prepare persons with disabilities for work and stay connected without being intrusive? • How might we bring together persons with disabilities, co-workers, families and customers as circles of natural support for working persons with disabilities? • How could technology platforms help employer groups to better manage interviews and assessment of job seekers with disabilities and help them settle in? • How can we rethink and enhance information accessibility, communication and collaboration for employees with disabilities and their colleagues? • How might we help employers see the benefits of employing persons with disabilities and create a more inclusive workplace?


3. Empowering people with disabilities as entrepreneurs

Design Challenges: • In what way can we promote the growth of businesses started by entrepreneurs with disabilities and help them attract potential employees? • How can technology facilitate low-cost businesses and start-ups to support self-employment or entrepreneurship as an option for persons with disabilities? • How can we improve perception of and communication with customers and business clients for entrepreneurs with disabilities? • How can we facilitate a marketplace for people with disabilities to match their abilities with suitable home-based businesses? • How can we develop and implement training programmes for entrepreneurs with disabilities? • Accessing finance for a small business is a challenge for all and even more so for persons with disabilities. How can crowdfunding or other innovations be utilised? How do we encourage and help aspiring entrepreneurs or self-employed individuals become sustainable?


Online Resources

OfficialMinistry of Social and Family DevelopmentSG Enable Community – SingaporeHelp for People with DisabilitySharing the Lion CityPledge Your Action Community – WorldwideDisability Social Network – A place for individuals with disabilities to meet and network to share day to day hardships and triumphs. •The Braille Alphabet and NumbersDisability Voices – Oral history interviews that chart the experiences of disabled people. •Disability Now – Disability Now is the UK’s leading website for, about and by disabled people. •Disability and Representation – Changing the Cultural Conversation •Welfare Society Territory – an online newspaper aimed at providing the latest breaking news on welfare policies. •Disability Advocacy through Media Training CourseAbout.com – DeafnessThe Guardian – Disability •Work in a Hearing World – Blogpost


  • Lily Goh, ExtraOrdinary Horizon
  • Daniel Ong, Head, School of Technology and E-Learning, MDIS
  • Alfie Othman, Executive Director, Social Enterprise Association
  • Tan Tsu Soo and Zin Ko Ko Min, Wheeling Freely
  • Sardjono Insani, Co-Founder, Televate
  • James Teh, Founder,CEO, T.Ware
  • Michael Quek, Executive, Adrenalin Studios
  • Shirley Wee, Head of MICE Team, Adrenalin Event


Check out the winning presentations below!

The app assists persons with autism and intellectual disability to be independent and provides caregivers with peace of mind when persons with disabilities are out and about. Caregivers can stay connected to know the person’s whereabouts (via a map function) and whether he/she is on schedule without being intrusive. The user can push buttons “I […]


Jumpstart Grant Winner

The solution is an app like Hungrygowhere or Yelp that crowdsources feedback and rates places based on accessibility. This provides persons with physical disabilities with rich data and information on accessibility for places, so they can venture beyond their routine destinations to enjoy more access to and greater inclusion within the community in social and […]

Go Easy

Jumpstart Grant Winner

Platform Enable is a marketing and ticketing web platform to showcase talented performing artists with disabilities. It has features for video showcase, portfolio hightlights of each artist, events for individuals to buy tickets and corporate booking for these artists to perform at events. This has potential to encourage awareness for quality performance arts by persons […]

Platform Enable

Jumpstart Grant Winner

Based on image processing, speech recognition, and audio and voice synthesis, the technology combines sounds and touch to replace vision in an intuitive manner


Jumpstart Grant Winner - Enabling Community coLAB 2014

HeartWare helps persons with autism and their caregivers better monitor and manage behavioural challenges through a tracker, which is an integration of an app and wearable. The tracker monitors heart rate, and allows for “lifelogging” through photos. Caregivers can get an overview of user’s psychological triggers throughout the day. Tagging of emotional intensity and identifying […]


Jumpstart Grant Winner



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