When deciding what to do for the weekend, it helps to plan ahead and find out if the place is wheelchair-accessible or have other features to accommodate persons with disabilities.
The Building & Construction Authority has a portal that allows users to find “friendly buildings” which have accessibility features. Users can search by building type – such as community clubs, hospitals, hotels/resorts, libraries, places of interest, shopping malls and sports facilities. This list also contains information on the barrier-free accessibility features. You can also download the app on Google Play or App Store.
The Enabling Village near Redhill MRT station is an integrated community space with multiple facilities for persons with disabilities and the rest of the community – the first of its kind in Singapore. These include an ActiveSG gym and NTUC Fairprice supermarket with accessibility features. It also hosts various community events that facilitate participation by visitors with disabilities. These include arts festivals, pop-up stores and movie screenings.
Transport is always an important consideration. Information on different modes of transportation can be found in the Transport section of this website.
Arts, Culture and Entertainment Venues
For Cathay cinema theatres, wheelchair users are encouraged to buy tickets at manned box office counters in advance to secure suitable seats. More information on the number of wheelchair-accessible seats available in each theatre can be found below:
For Golden Village cinema theatres, people can check what wheelchair-accessible seats are available when booking online. More information can be found below;
Other useful links:
The Esplanade has accessibility features such as toilets for wheelchair users and tactile floor markings for people with visual impairment. It also has sensory-friendly performances for children with special needs. These have features such as no surprising and loud sounds, and no complete blackouts, so children with special needs will feel more comfortable and relaxed.
Other venues such as the Sports Hub also have dedicated areas for accessible seating; tickets for such seats can be bought by calling 3158 7888 or visiting the Singapore Indoor Stadium Box Office.
The National Museum of Singapore and National Gallery Singapore have various accessibility services. Both have free manual wheelchairs available, on a first-come-first-served basis, and wheelchair-accessible facilities. They also welcome service dogs / guide dogs. Check the respective museums’ websites for more information.
The ArtScience Museum has wheelchair-accessible toilets, lifts and parking spaces.
Playgrounds & Sports Facilities
Persons with disabilities who took part in sports or physical recreational activities are 1.7 times more likely to have a better quality of life, according to the NCSS Quality of Life Study.
At the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Botany Centre and entrances are wheelchair-accessible, but some other areas are not due to the hilly terrain. It also offers wheelchairs on loan.
The Gardens By The Bay also has wheelchairs available for rental, for $2 per day. It also has special ramps, lifts, wide pathways and barrier-free routes incorporated in its design.
Playgrounds and toy libraries
There are over a dozen inclusive playgrounds in Singapore. These have equipment, such as wheelchair-accessible merry-go-rounds, that allow children with and without special needs to play together.
Children with special needs can also visit “toy libraries” which have toys that are specially selected for such children.
Persons with disabilities keen to learn a sport and play on a recreation or competitive level can get more information from the Singapore Disability Sports Council. It is the only organisation in Singapore which offers sports at elite and non-elite levels across all disability groups.
The ActiveSG gym in the Enabling Village is the first inclusive gym where people with disabilities, seniors and the able-bodied can exercise together. It has special gym equipment like removable seats for wheelchair users and Braille dots on the treadmill user panels for people with visual impairment.
There are also Centres of Expertise for Disability Sports, which have more disability-friendly programmes and facilities. The first such centre, in Sengkang, has ramps and shallow pools, for instance. More such centres are expected to be open in the coming years.
Another organisation caregivers can check out is Special Olympics Singapore, a recognised National Sports Association that aims to provide year round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with cognitive impairment.
Vacationing in Singapore
If you are looking for accessible accommodation, you may want to visit travel websites that allow you to filter searches for properties with accessibility features. These include Agoda, Airbnb and TripAdvisor.
For locals in Singapore who find it challenging to travel overseas, or who are looking for a short getaway, they could check out Sentosa Island, which is just 10 to 20 minutes from the mainland. The island has many wheelchair-accessible attractions and hotels, including some in Resorts World Sentosa, an integrated resort that sites popular attractions such as Universal Studio Singapore and S.E.A. Aquarium.
Other useful links: