Singapore, March 15, 2010 – As part of its ongoing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) collaborated with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) to extend free admission to its parks for persons with special needs and seniors with dementia who are holding the NCSS Developmental Disability Registry (DDR) Identity Card.

All 2,000 DDR ID cardholders from 88 programmes run by Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) will be able to visit WRS’ three parks – Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo. Up to two accompanying caregivers will also enjoy 20% discount off admission.

WRS is the first organisation to collaborate with NCSS to extend free admission to its parks throughout the year for persons with special needs and seniors with dementia issued with the DDR ID cards. WRS operates under the principle that its parks are accessible to everyone living in Singapore. As such, prior to this scheme, WRS accorded free admission to its parks for VWOs catering to people with special needs.

“WRS is pleased that the collaboration with NCSS has come to pass. We have strived to be an all inclusive organisation to cater to the different sectors of the local community by putting in place necessary infrastructure for residents with disabilities. In 2006, Singapore Zoo introduced Braille interpretives to 10 of its most popular exhibits; Night Safari has in place audio interpretives, and all our three parks are wheelchair accessible,” said Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Enhancing the Lives of Persons with Special Needs
“NCSS proactively works with VWOs, the community and corporate partners to identify the needs of persons with special needs to help them integrate into society and live independently. We are pleased that WRS shares this common goal and has been a supportive partner in bringing about this incentive to a special group of people in our community. We hope more organisations will join us in enhancing the lives of persons with special needs,” said Ms Fatima Mustafa, Deputy Director, Service Development Division, NCSS.

NCSS urges persons with special needs and seniors with dementia to register for a DDR ID card through their VWOs and agencies to receive appropriate intervention when the need arises and to enjoy the cost savings offered by partners of the benefit schemes.

The DDR ID card serves as a form of identification and captures useful information like the contact details of the VWOs and next-of-kin. In July last year, NCSS launched the DDR ID card benefit scheme to provide cardholders access to services and facilities at affordable rates. Please refer to Annex A for more information.

Launch of Initiative
To mark the launch of the programme, WRS will be hosting 10 DDR ID cardholders and their accompanying minders to the Night Safari for dinner at Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant and a tour of the park this evening.

Barakathali Bin Shajahan enjoys a furry moment with Mei Mei the Asian small-clawed otter before tucking into a sumptuous dinner at Ulu Ulu Safari Restaurant.

Kamisah Bte Ramlan pleasantly surprised at how soft and velvety Mei Mei the Asian small-clawed otter feels.

Mdm Heng Kwee Huang coaxes her son Lim Ching Siang to have a feel of the green iguana during the animal appearance session.

Adam Chan sneaks a peek at the camera while posing with the green iguana. Looking on are his mother and grandmother.

A brave Mdm Elizabeth Koh also enjoyed interacting with the reptile. Her caregiver Mr Victor Sim said having DDR ID card allowed him to take his wife out to more places more often, which has resulted in a happier and more radiant Mdm Koh!

WRS Group CEO Ms Fanny Lai welcomes the DDR ID cardholders to Night Safari and hopes that more caregivers will take the opportunity to visit the three parks with their loved ones with special needs.