Sally May Tan to helm Chief Executive Officer Role at MINDS with a renewed focus on Core Curriculum and Caregiver Support

SINGAPORE, Aug. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) today announced the appointment of Ms. Sally May Tan as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In this role, Sally will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies that advance education, training and care; all towards MINDS' overall mission of integration and inclusion of persons with intellectual disability (PWIDs) into society.

Sally brings to the table more than 25 years of deep management and leadership experience across a wide range of industries, including education, healthcare / wellness, energy and fast-moving consumer goods. Prior to her new appointment, Sally founded and managed a wellness network, Catalyst Health Asia for several years, after her role as Regional CEO and Vice President (Global Marketing) for one of the world's largest private education companies

"We are delighted to have Sally on board to not only champion the interests and causes of persons with intellectual disability but to also provide new direction on our lifespan curriculum and greater coordination in caregiver support services. We are confident that Sally's invaluable corporate leadership experience will be an asset to this organisation and she will play an integral role in amplifying MINDS' cause," said Captain Roger Loh, Board Chairman of MINDS. 

Sally May Tan, CEO of MINDS, also shared her plans for the voluntary welfare organisation, "I am excited for this opportunity to be part of the dynamic MINDS team. MINDS has been a passionate advocate, educator and carer for persons with intellectual disability for more than five decades. And now, with the organisation's renewed focus on strengthening its integrated core curriculum and driving new initiatives for an important stakeholder group -- the caregivers -- through celebrating them, deeper engagement and support. I see this as an enriching and fulfilling experience for me personally to lead this new chapter for MINDS."

Strengthening Core Curriculum for Students and Staff

The current school curriculum at the MINDS Special Education Schools caters for PWIDs up to the age of 18 years old, who will subsequently make the transition into employment programmes or training and development centres.

Integrated Lifespan Curriculum

The MINDS Institute for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (MIIDD) is collaborating with the Centre for Disability Studies (University of Sydney) to develop an integrated lifespan curriculum for PWIDs post-18 years of age.

The curriculum aims to enhance PWIDs' lifelong learning and development through holistic and evidence-based approach. MINDS staff will also be trained and equipped with the relevant competency skills to ensure the curriculum is delivered effectively.

Autism Training

In view of the increase in the number of clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in MINDS centres and schools, MIIDD collaborated with the Autism Centre for Excellence (Griffith University, Australia) to conceptualise the development and delivery of accredited courses in Autism for its staff.

It aims to equip all direct-care staff with the foundation knowledge and training in Autism while at the same time, provide a stepping ground for staff to obtain higher-level training.

Increased Support for Caregivers through Celebration, Customisation and Collaboration

Moving towards 2022, one of the organisation's goals is to meet the current and future needs of PWIDs and their caregivers, MINDS aims to put the spotlight on caregivers especially in developing Adult Sibling Caregivers programmes in light of Singapore's ageing population and ageing parent caregivers.

MINDS Caregivers Wellness Day

This begins with the first-of-its-kind MINDS Caregivers Wellness Day on 1 September. Caregivers of MINDS' students and clients will come together to celebrate the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles in a community setting at Our Tampines Hub.

"Events like the upcoming Caregivers Wellness Day will encourage more caregivers to bring their family members with special needs and also enhance social integration with other family with similar needs into the larger community. We've noticed that there are many caregivers who gravitate towards social isolation not because they dislike accessing community resources, but because they do not want to leave their family members at home or bring them to activities outside home which they are unable to participate in due to their special needs," said Sally.

Customised Respite Care

In recent years, there have been increasing demands for residential or facility-based respite care, as well as flexible, non-facility-based respite care.

Set to launch in October, the Customised Respite Care programme will be tailored for each caregiver and aims to give caregivers time-off for health and wellness activities while trained volunteers help to take care of the PWIDs. It is non-centre based to meet the changing needs of caregivers and their families.

App to track and monitor PWIDs for their safety

MINDS is harnessing technology to propel the volunteer welfare organisation to the forefront of educating not only the intellectually disabled, but their caregivers as well.

The organisation collaborated with Republic Polytechnic where students designed a wearable tracking device, as well as a home monitor and a mobile application for caregivers to track and monitor their children with intellectual disabilities.

If the wearer falls, for example, the tracking device is able to detect it and alerts the caregiver through email and push notifications from the app. The monitor has a camera attached inside, which caregivers can view through the app.

Sally emphasised, "We will continue to offer a comprehensive range of quality services but we want to also pilot more schemes that improve the development and well-being of persons with intellectual disability."

About MINDS:

Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) was founded in May 1962 by a group of philanthropists who saw the need to provide equal opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities to receive education and later, to be integrated as contributing and responsible citizens in Singapore.

MINDS is one of Singapore's oldest and largest voluntary welfare organizations, and has 17 facilities -- four Special Education Schools, three Employment Development Centres, eight Training and Development Centres and one Multi-purpose Residential Service catering to the needs of persons with moderate to severe intellectual disability in Singapore, and one Caregivers Support Services Centre.

MINDS has taken over the administration of the Appropriate Adult scheme since 2016, and runs a befriender programme called Me Too! Club and the Home-Based Care Services.

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For further information, please contact:

Brenda Lee
Corporate Development & Outreach Manager
DID: +65-6479-5655 Ext: 240
Mobile: +65-9730-1044

Jacintha Ng / Michelle Esperanza Lee 
The Hoffman Agency 
DID: +65-6361-0250

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