Inaugural hackathon aims to support students from Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) in areas of Social, Numeracy and Vocational skills
SINGAPORE, 07 May 2019 – VMware today announced the launch of the Ideas Hackathon, to harness the power of technology to make the world more inclusive for the special needs community. The Ideas Hackathon brings together technology professionals and enthusiasts from leading corporates and educational institutes to develop solutions that will help address common challenges faced by special needs persons in their daily lives.
The constant struggles faced in their day-to-day lives often takes a toll on the psychological well-being of special needs persons. A survey (1) conducted by the Lien Foundation in 2018 found that only 11 per cent of early intervention (EI) professionals felt Singapore to be inclusive, which suggests the opportunity to do more in this space.
The first phase of the Hackathon will be held on 22 May 2019 at the St. Regis Hotel Singapore, where developers, coders, designers and tech enthusiasts will come together to build a technology platform that can help persons with special needs strengthen their social, numeracy and vocational skills, in addition to helping them connect better and feel more inclusive at work. The winning idea will be developed in the second phase of the programme.
“The purpose of technology is to make the world a better place. At VMware, we call it using technology as a force for good,” said Sanjay K. Deshmukh, vice president and managing director, Southeast Asia and Korea, VMware. “The Ideas Hackathon aligns VMware’s EPIC2 (Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers and Community) values and Tech for Good corporate purpose, with the aim of building an inclusive and caring society. We are honoured to be working with APSN to empower members of the special needs community, and hope that the inaugural Ideas Hackathon can serve as a clarion call for all innovators to harness technology to do good for society,” he added.
“APSN is excited to work with like-minded organisations such as VMware in harnessing the power of technology to enable our special needs community to overcome common challenges faced in their daily lives, thereby helping them integrate better into society. As we work towards making Singapore an enabled nation for all members of society, initiatives such as VMware’s Ideas Hackathon is an exemplary showcase of how corporate citizens can do their part to give back to their host communities and make the world a more caring and inclusive place,” said Dr Christopher Tay, CEO of APSN.
Established in 1976, Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) is a social service organisation providing special education for persons with mild intellectual disability (IQ 50-70). Today, APSN operates four Special Education (SPED) Schools (APSN Chaoyang School, APSN Katong School, APSN Tanglin School and APSN Delta Senior School) for students aged 7 to 21, an APSN Student Care Centre for children aged 7 to 18 and an APSN Centre for Adults for persons aged 16 and older, benefiting over 1,200 beneficiaries each year.
To date, APSN’s growing database has more than 5,000 alumni members. The Association is constantly expanding its network to reach out to and understand the needs of its members to better support them.
For more information on APSN, please visit www.apsn.org.sg.
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Anubha Pandey SEAK Communications, VMware
Phone: +65 8113 5721
Ooi Shi YunOmnicom Public Relations Group for VMware
Phone: +65 6339 1066
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 Turning Challenges to Opportunities: A Study on Early Intervention Professionals and their Attitudes on Inclusion, Lien Foundation, April 2018.