SINGAPORE: Spot something different about your commute on the Downtown Line? A train and four interchange stations - Bugis, Newton, Serangoon and Tampines - have been decked out with artwork from artists from Pathlight School, an autism-focused school.
The month-long community outreach programme featuring contributions from Pathlight School's artist development programme is a collaboration between the Autism Resource Centre, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SBS Transit to commemorate World Autism Awareness Singapore.
It aims to "raise awareness of autism and celebrate the talents of people with autism", the Autism Resource Centre and Pathlight School said in a joint news release on Thursday (Apr 12).
"People with autism are very much a part of Singapore and have much to contribute.
"It is time to celebrate what they can do, instead of thinking of them as persons with disabilities," said the president of the Autism Resource Centre and school supervisor of Pathlight School Board Denise Phua.
"One of the best ways to better understand persons with autism is through their artistic creations, which reflect their inner thoughts, fine attention to details and passion for topics close to their hearts," Ms Phua added.
World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated yearly on Apr 2, a day used to highlight autism and the need to include those with autism as an integral part of society.
The Autism Network Singapore (ANS), an alliance comprising four non-profit autism service providers, organises a series of events every April to mark this occasion.
This year, these initiatives include a series of movies relating to the theme of autism, including locally produced "Wayang Kids" and a staging of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time".
According to the news release, there are about 30,000 individuals with autism spectrum disorders in Singapore and many of these individuals struggle to have their condition recognised and respected because of the lack of understanding about autism.
Many also face challenges when trying to access the support they need.
"Partners operating essential services like the LTA and SBS Transit, are important in the efforts to not only include members of the autism community in mainstream society but also to connect with key outreach partners," said Ms Phua.