Transport burden eased for the disabled

SINGAPORE - Several times over the past few years, Madam Ng Ah Hock, 66, has considered withdrawing her son Tay Ban Hiang from an activity centre, where he learns skills such as how to brush his teeth.

She has seen how her intellectually disabled and visually impaired 37-year-old son's mood has improved after he made new friends there. But the monthly $52 bill for private van transport is a concern.

Mr Tay cannot take a bus or train to the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds) centre, a 20-minute walk from his home in Hougang, as he has difficulty moving around.

The family relies on Madam Ng's husband's $1,700 pay as a construction worker to make ends meet. With new subsidies announced last Thursday for transport for the disabled, the cost of getting him to the centre will be halved to $26 a month.

"I am thankful. The money saved can be used to buy new clothes and shoes for both my sons, who are handicapped," said Madam Ng, a housewife.

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