SINGAPORE: In a significant move towards inclusivity and empowerment, the DBS Foundation has announced a substantial investment of $1 million to launch a pioneering program to equip individuals with disabilities with essential financial and digital skills.

This initiative is set to unfold in collaboration with the SG Enable movement, with both entities working in tandem to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to provide skills training to 6,500 people with disabilities and their caregivers over the next three years.

Recognizing the crucial role of financial literacy in daily life, the program encompasses basic financial concepts such as budgeting, financial management, insurance, cybersecurity, and fraud prevention awareness.

DBS Foundation, pointing to a recent study that found that 80 per cent of persons with disabilities consider financial knowledge essential, stressed the need for tailored training programs and highlighted the existing gap in conventional courses.

The new initiative is aimed at bridging this gap. To kickstart the project, the Foundation organized a pilot workshop during its launch this week, where four participants with disabilities were given practical insights into saving and budgeting.

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Among the attendees was Ms Lin (transliterated from Mandarin), the mother of one of the participants. Prior to the workshop, Ms Lin had not educated her daughter on money management. Post-workshop, Ms Lin acknowledged the significance of such knowledge and expressed her intent to impart basic financial concepts to her daughter.

Ms Lin told Channel 8 news, “I want to start teaching my daughter, maybe starting with simple concepts, so that she understands how money should be used, especially how to spend money on needs and things she wants.”

President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and First Lady Jane Ittogi attended the launch event and actively engaged with persons with disabilities, seeking to understand the challenges they face in the learning process.