6 February 2017
Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong
Non-Constituency Member of Parliament
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development:
(a) how many persons with disabilities and/or special needs are there in Singapore;
(b) what is the breakdown of this number based on the type of disability and/or special needs;
(c) within these categories, what is the further breakdown based on functioning levels; and
(d) if any of such data is not available, whether the Ministry will carry out a study for the purposes of more targeted policymaking.
The prevalence rate of Persons with Disabilities in Singapore is as follows:
||2.1% of student population1
| 18-49 years
||3.4% of resident population2
Persons with sensory (blind and deaf) and physical disabilities would constitute half of the disability group. The remainder comprises those with Intellectual Disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
An enhanced standardised in-take assessment was introduced in 2016 to enable professional staff to assess the level of functioning of Persons with Disability in our funded services. This enables staff to provide appropriate levels of intervention and support as required.
The Ministry of Social and Family Development refines its system of data collection regularly. The Ministry has started on a project to leverage on the Social Service Net (a national IT system for the social service sector) to collect more comprehensive data across our disability services. We will also work with partner government agencies to put together a more complete disability dataset to better guide disability policy and programme development.
1 Source: Ministry of Education. This is based on the number of reported cases of students with sensory impairment, physical impairment, autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. The total student population is put at approximately 460,000.
2 Source: National Council of Social Service. Based on a random sampling of 2,000 Singapore citizens and permanent residents aged 18 and above done by NCSS in 2015, the self-reported disability prevalence rate was 3.4% for those aged 18–49 years old. This includes those who acquired disabilities due to accidents and illness. The resident population is put at approximately 3.9 million.
3 Source: National Council of Social Service. Based on a random sampling of 2,000 Singapore citizens and permanent residents aged 18 and above done by NCSS in 2015, the self-reported disability prevalence rate was 13.3% for those aged 50 years and above. This includes those who acquired disabilities due to accidents, illness and old age. The resident population is put at approximately 3.9 million.