Final Project

 

Spastic Children’s Association of Singapore (SACS)

Services that SCAS provide:

Special School

Providing special education to children with Cerebral Palsy and related conditions between the ages of 6 to 18, the Spastic Children’s Association School was established in 1966. Children with various disabilities are not able to benefit from the mainstream education. The teacher-student ratio is kept at 1:8 so that more individual attention can be given to each child. This allows the child to get more help from the teacher if needed.To be able to meet different individual needs of the students and children, a specialised school curriculum of dealing with both academic skills as well as skills for independent living has also been developed.Pre-vocational training is also provided for select students aged 12 and above who have moderate to good motor and cognitive functions, preparing them for future sheltered or open employment.

Rehabilitation Centre

The Rehabilitation Centre caters to the needs of children in the Special School as well as provides services to pre-schoolers and outpatients. In the Home Management Programme (HMP), therapists provide home-based therapy services to more disabled non-ambulant clients. The Rehabilitation Centre has virtually every aspect of care provided for  clients, with various clinics like splinting, neurosurgical, orthopaedic, spinal, hands, eye, dental care and feeding clinic.

The rehabilitation team consists of:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech & Language Pathologists
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Medical Staff Nurse

EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAMME

For Infants and Children (EIPIC)

Children, who are suffering from one or more disabilities, aged between a few months old to 6 years old, received early therapy intervention with the potential of attending Special Education School or the mainstream school environment from The EIPIC which was established on 1 April 2005. Its aim is to maximise the developmental growth of each child by providing holistic and individual developmental programmes for the child and to prevent and minimise the risks of secondary disabilities through support and training for child and family.

SHELTERED WORKSHOP

Goodwill, Rehabilitation and Occupational Workshop (GROW)

The Goodwill, Rehabilitation and Occupational Workshop (GROW) was established on 17 September 1984. It provides value added vocational training and employment for adults aged 18 years and above. The trainees are taught manipulative skills by participating in various assembly tasks and project management where they produce unique craft gifts and corporate gifts. They carry out labour-intensive jobs under the close supervision of the workshop Instructors to ensure that quality and project deadlines are met. The trainees are also given the opportunity to engage in social enterprise by operating the Goodwill Thrift shop, drinks shop and push carts. Employment opportunities are sought for trainees who are successful during their training placement at the workshop. A few have been placed as production operators, office attendants, cleaners and warehouse assistants.

DAY ACTIVITY CENTRE (DAC)

The Day Activity Centre (DAC) was established in February 2006 and provides day care for persons aged 18 years and above with Cerebral Palsy and other associated physical disabilities including multiple disability and Autism, who because of their disabilities, are unable to benefit from the Sheltered Workshop programme.

The primary aim is to nurture self-help skills through a balanced and structured programme on social and recreational activities of daily living. At the same time, the programme helps provide caregivers and family members with respite and gives them the opportunity to continue working without having to worry about the care of their disabled charge. As part of the overall DAC programme, the clients will receive therapy rehabilitation care, periodic medical checkups, meals and daily living skills activities that would help them lead more independent and meaningful lives.

What does the website of SACS provide?

  • Offers general information about different services for different categories of clients
  • Offers in-depth information about the different services
  • Shows different upcoming events
  • Newsletters can be downloaded from the website
  • Provides information about volunteers and how to make a contribution

Evaluation of website:

  • The navigation structure of the website is easily found on the top of the page.
  • The appeal of the website is not striking for the users when the website is approached.
  • The colour of the title is appropriate as it stands out to the users and sends a strong message to them as the colour is strong.
  • The website is not up to date – the newsletter and the upcoming events are not updated and the lasted dated events and newsletter was in 2010 which is one year ago.
  • There is a lack of updates for the newsletters, upcoming events and also a photo gallery of the different events.

Target Audience

The organisation’s target audience would be people with cerebral palsy, their relatives and users would like to find out more about cerebral palsy and the methods that could be done to help improve different clients’ conditions.

 

MILK (Mainly I Love Children)

Service that MILK provides:

MILK, through programmes such as the Pathlight Bursary, Healthy Start, LIFE (Learning is Fun and Exciting) etc., aids children from disadvantaged homes gain access to early childhood education thus developing a learning foundation. It provides before and after school care and general educational assistance to kids from low-income families.  MILK launched the MILK Education Fund to help tertiary students from low-income families in Singapore to pursue their tertiary education.
1) MILK Education Fund

In 2009, in response to the prolonged economic downturn, MILK introduced the MILK Education Fund to provide presently enrolled students of a local university, polytechnic or Institute of Technical Education with assistance to meet their educational needs so that they are not forced to drop out as a result of difficulties in their families caused by the financial crisis and therefore they can focus on their studies without worrying.

2) Pathlight Bursary

Pathlight School is the first autism-focused school offering the Singapore mainstream curriculum with special accommodations and support to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Every year about 35 – 40% of the students in Pathlight School come from low-income families. MILK’s educational grant provides supplementary support to cover school transport, pocket money, uniforms, textbooks, stationery and enrichment programmes.
3) Healthy Start

Healthy Start Child Development Centre (CDC) is an important early intervention for developing a learning foundation through caring and warm interactions with their teachers and friends. The warm and secure environment challenges them to reach their potential. It has a capacity for 75 children though full-day or half-day childcare that prepares them for life-long learning while enabling their parents to work to improve their financial situation.

4) LIFE (Learning Is Fun & Exciting)

LIFE is a basic literacy programme targeted at children from disadvantaged backgrounds who have no learning foundation, are below their reading age level and require guidance in their school work. These are children too far behind in their learning abilities to be helped by tuition or remedial lessons.Guided by the learning corners concept, LIFE uses creative learning methods, which takes into consideration each child’s learning style and pace, to make learning fun and to motivate them for life-long learning.

What does the website offer?

  • Offers general information about past events not only in Singapore but also overseas
  • Newsletters can be downloaded from the website
  • Provides information about volunteers and how to make a contribution
  • Provides testimonies about children who have received help from volunteers and donors

Evaluation of Website:

  • There is an introduction of the organisation when the website has finished loading.
  • There is much navigation on the website on the top and at the side.
  • The website does not appear as too striking or too boring.
  • It provides relevant information about the organisation.

I feel that if the two organisations were to collaborate, they will be able to reach out to a greater amount of people and also they will be able to share methods and ideas on how to help their clients better.

How Freelancers Might Use Social Media in the Future

How Freelancers Might Use Social Media in the Future

image adapted from (http://socialdesign.cn/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/social_media_platforms.jpg)

The article that I have chosen is “How Freelancers Might Use Social Media in the Future”. The reason to why I chose this article is that as I read more and more of the article, I became more curious on how freelancers adapt to the different social platforms and also what methods do they use to publicise and advertise their own works to via those platforms.

There were 3 points in this article which got my attention:

1.      Being Everywhere
2.      Adapting to New Platforms
3.      Integration and Better Use

Being Everywhere
To be able to have a large variety of connections, but where do they get the connections? Freelancers made use of social media. Social media being a tool of mass communication reaches out to a large number of the public.

Before one gets projects/clients, they actually showcase their own portfolio on different platforms. For example they can build their own branding and create awareness through blogging and many different social networks:

“I’ve never paid a cent for advertising,” he said. His visibility is thanks to his efforts in getting both his work and himself known online via social media. Cass says he updates his blog once or twice a week and is using about as many social platforms as possible.”- http://mashable.com/2010/08/09/freelancers-social-media-future/

The future of social media is elusive, as what’s hot today may not be tomorrow. “It’s important not to put all your eggs in one basket, ” he said. “Look at MySpace five years ago and today. If you put all your eggs in one basket and you have a million friends on MySpace, where does that get you today?”http://mashable.com/2010/08/09/freelancers-social-media-future/

I think as a freelancer, it is important to have different mediums to further “promote” your own branding. As what is quoted above, what is famous today might not be famous tomorrow. It is better to have more varieties of platforms to reach out to more people.

Adapting to New Platforms
Exploring new platforms isn’t always easy, you get confused, but in the end with a little bit of practice and familiarising, you know how to use it. It isn’t bad to want or even try to adapt to new platforms, that particular platform might just help you in the end.

Integration and Better Use

(http://www.suite101.com/content/how-freelance-writers-can-use-social-media-a248264)

Conversation is one of the keys to maintaining relationships that lead to constant work. Freelancers should carve out a path for themselves and engage others through conversations. These connections will serve to benefit both parties in the future. Besides using social networks for their original purpose, freelancers can actually use them to announce their new projects or even the status of current projects. Casual updates like these can actually market you to potential clients.

image adapted from (http://www.abeloneglahn.dk/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/facebook-ballon.png)

Another topic I’ve researched on the statistics of Facebook users and how freelancers may benefit from the increasing number of users during the present time.

Using statistics I have found for Facebook users which is of the current “trend”, I found out that there is quite a big number of users spending quite some time using Facebook. By using this platform during the present, freelancers can actually advertise their work or showcase their portfolio to a large number of potential clients or even partners.

Statistics on Facebook:

People on Facebook

  • More than 500 million active users
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook

Activity on Facebook

  • There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
  • Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
  • Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
  • More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.

Global Reach

  • More than 70 translations available on the site
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
  • Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application

Platform

  • More than one million developers and entrepreneurs from more than 180 countries
  • Every month, more than 70% of Facebook users engage with Platform applications
  • More than 550,000 active applications currently on Facebook Platform
  • More than one million websites have integrated with Facebook Platform
  • More than 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites every month
  • Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites have integrated with Facebook

Mobile

  • There are more than 150 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
  • People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.
  • There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products

http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

In conclusion, I feel that social media has impacted everyone in both good and bad ways. Information can be obtained within minutes or even seconds, the efficiency is there. People might grow dependent on it, people can make full use of it to their own benefit and the list goes on. People can use it for good, they can also use it for bad.  Personally I feel that social media is good for people who has lost contact to keep in touch again. It even allows communication at any time and at any part of the world. It might have become a necessity for some people.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media

Advantages of Social Media Disadvantages of Social Media
  • Creativity
  • Connection
  • Interaction
  • Communication
  • Sharing of Ideas
  • Convenient
  • Able to reach out to a large number of users
  • Overwhelming amount of information
  • Some contents might get overlooked
  • Relevant content might be left unnoticed
  • Hard to balance between work and play
  • Distraction

Recommendations to address the weaknesses:

  • Users can use keywords to search for more relevant information
  • Delegate time for work issues and for play time
  • Have a specific area of content that you are looking for

New Media

Visual Depitction:

  • Representation of elements by sight

Tag Clouds:
(http://www.technacular.com/2007/04/22/how-to-create-a-tag-cloud/)
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_cloud)

  • Word content of a site, typically used to describe the content of web sites
  • Used as a visualization tool for most important words/phrases on a website
  • Used as navigation menu
  • Used as search terms

List of New Media Terms:
(http://www.yoursocialmediascore.com/downloads/OPR_media_terms.pdf)

  • Atom: A form of programming for Web sites or blogs that feeds the content to end-users rather than requiring them to return to the site for updates.
  • Back Channel: Communication, such as email or instant message, that is sent personally to one
  • or more individuals as opposed to being sent to a public conferencing forum. Back channel is rarely
  • documented, but is a major component in online interactions.
  • Blogosphere: All blogs, or the blogging community. Also called blogistan or, more rarely,
  • blogspace.
  • Blogroll: A list within a blog, usually in a vertical menu along the side, that links to other blogs.
  • Blog: A Web site (or Web log) in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed with the
    newest at the top. An online journal that mixes candor, informality, opinion, and links to third-party
    information. It is easy to update, requires no programming, and allows readers to add their own
    comments.
  • Feed: Also known as webfeeds or blog feeds, a feed is a document that contains content items,
    often summaries of stories or blog posts, that include web links to longer versions. Feeds are
    subscribed to directly by users with aggregators or feed readers (see definition above) that combine
    the contents of multiple web feeds for display on a single screen or series of screens.
  • Link Blogs: A blog intended to share weblinks, typically found on a personal Web site or blog.
    Mash-Up: A Web site or Web application that seamlessly combines content from more than one
    source into an integrated experience. Content used in mashups is typically sourced from a third party
    via a public interface or API. Other methods of sourcing content for mashups include Web feeds
    (e.g. RSS or Atom) and JavaScript.
  • Moblog: A blog created through input from mobile devices such as PDAs or phones.
    They may also include photos from mobile camera phones.
  • Tag Cloud: A visual depiction of content tags used on a website. Selecting a single tag within
    a tag cloud will generally lead to a collection of items that are associated with that tag.
  • Tags: Tags are basically used as categories or subjects in Web logs. Tagging makes it easier for
    people – and blog search engines – to organize and look for information in the right places.
  • Web 2.0: Refers to a second generation of services available on the World Wide Web that let
    people collaborate and share information online. In contrast to the first generation, Web 2.0 gives
    users an experience closer to desktop applications than the traditional static Web pages.
  • Widget: A third party item that can be embedded in a web page and executed within any
    separate Web page without requiring additional compilation. A widget can be compared to a
    plug-in in desktop operations.