3 Ways You Can Show Support To Our Visually Challenged Community

Book a massage, dine in a unique way or purchase handcrafted items, and you’ll be helping to support the work of the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped. 

By Sasha Gonzales      5 July 2022

Founded in 1951, the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) is a national voluntary welfare organisation that promotes the needs, interests and aspirations of the visually impaired.

Over the decades, the Association – formerly known as the Singapore Association for the Blind – has done a lot for its visually handicapped clients, providing them with free assistance and vision rehabilitation programmes, subsidising their purchase of assistive devices, offering skills development and job placement, and so much more.

You can do your part to help the SAVH promote their mission to assist the visually impaired and create a more inclusive society. But, in addition to signing up to volunteer, why not book a massage with a visually impaired masseur, “dine in the dark” over a multi-course meal, or buy unique gifts made by SAVH’s visually handicapped clients?

Here, more details on how to show your support:

1. Organise massages for your next corporate gathering

The SAVH Mobile Massage Team, or MMT, provides a range of massage services by qualified, visually handicapped masseurs.

As its name implies, the Team works at external venues like schools, corporate offices, educational institutions, hotels and resorts, hospitals and nationally organised events.

Choose between a head and shoulder massage, foot reflexology treatment, and full-body non-oil massage. The masseurs are all professionally trained and skilled, and, by booking their services, you help them earn a living and maintain their independence so that they can live with dignity.

MMT rates are $12 for a 20-minute or $18 for a half-hour foot reflexology treatment or head and shoulder massage. If you prefer to customise the duration of the sessions, rates start at $35 per hour per masseur for a minimum of three hours. Rates are higher between 9pm and 7am. Transport costs may be added, depending on your location.

To book, fill in the Massage Service Online Booking Form. For enquiries, email mmt@savh.org.sg or contact 6251 4334 from Mondays to Fridays (except public holidays).

The SAVH also operates a massage centre at its premises at 49 Toa Payoh Rise. The operating hours are from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday (closed on Sundays and public holidays). Call 6251 4334 for more information.

2. Dine in the dark and experience daily life for the visually handicapped

To help raise awareness of the challenges faced by the visually impaired in their daily life, the SAVH developed Dining in the Dark, a dining concept inspired by the Blindekuh (Blind Cow) restaurant in Switzerland, where customers are served by blind and visually impaired people.

Now you can experience what it’s like to not have any sight, and to instead rely on your sense of taste, touch, smell and hearing, while you sit down to a meal prepared by the SAVH’s visually impaired clients. You’ll get to interact with the visually impaired servers and kitchen assistants, too, and understand how it feels to adjust to blindness and do something as simple as eat a meal, but in total darkness. Through these interactions, it’s hoped that you will be able to empathise with our blind community in a way that makes a positive difference. Your support also helps the servers and kitchen helpers acquire skills so that they can remain employable and live independently.

Reservations are required. Click Reservation, fill in your details, and send it back to the SAVH. For more information, call 6251 4333 or email ditd@savh.org.sg.

3. Stock up on unique handmade gifts

SAVH’s Touch Art Programme was introduced to equip visually impaired clients with art and craft skills. It’s a platform for them to express themselves artistically as well as showcase their talent, socialise with others and gain meaningful employment.

On sale are practical and handmade items, such as bookmarks, drink coasters, mousepads, greeting cards, canvas paintings and decorated glass plates. These make great gifts for special occasions, corporate events, family days and conferences. SAVH can also customise the items to suit your special occasion or event.

To order, for customisation enquiries, or for more information about the items, contact SAVH through the Touch Art Items Online Enquiry Form. You can also call 6251-4331 (ext 703) or email touchart@savh.org.sg.

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Photos: SPH Media Ltd