Temasek Poly launches digital talent accelerator for people with disabilities

Temasek Polytechnic (TP) now offers a digital talent accelerator programme for graduating students and alumni with disabilities.

The 11-week programme, which began on March 15, aims to equip participants with skills for in-demand roles in the digital industry.

They can pick up digital skills and get certified through online courses by Bloomberg, Facebook, Tableau and Microsoft, get career training and personal mentorship from persons with disabilities (PWDs) already working in the industry.

The programme was officially launched yesterday with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between TP and Sumitomo Life Insurance.

The insurer, which hires over 700 PWDs in Japan, has seconded several employees to guide the accelerator programme on a full-time basis.

"We hope this programme will ignite many young persons with disabilities to actively pursue digital careers ahead of them," said Mr Toru Shiomitsu, senior officer at Sumitomo Life.

Mr Mansor Ali, 27, is one of 23 participants enrolled in the inaugural programme.

He had graduated with a diploma in digital forensics in 2014 but became blind in 2019 from idiopathic intracranial hypertension, a disorder caused by high pressure in the brain.

Mr Ali had to leave his job in the creative industry and suffered from depression. Last year, he learnt Braille and how to navigate with a walking stick.

After talking to some friends about being unable to land a job, he was put in touch late last year with Ms Cindy Chng, programme director of the accelerator programme.

The programme is free, and participants will receive a $1,000 stipend at the end of the programme, sponsored by Sumitomo Life.

Mr Peter Lam, principal and chief executive of Temasek Polytechnic, said: "These experiences will help our students better understand their talents and abilities, and be more confident in securing suitable employment upon graduation."

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.