Empowering The Differently-Abled Through Job Creation

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Empowering The Differently-Abled Through Job Creation
 
Article by Nicole Sim
 
On the 16th of November 2017, Atomy Singapore paid a visit to the Building Information Modelling (BIM) Studio to donate Atomy products to its
employees.

BIM Studio is a social enterprise that was founded by Atomy member, Mr. Yeo Chye Teck of Caide Architects, alongside the Handicaps Welfare
Association (HWA). The studio seeks to provide handicapped residents with the opportunity to earn a living by both training them as architects and
finding them avenues for employment in the industry.


Mr Yeo Chye Teck

Mr. Yeo’s work with handicap welfare programs dates all the way back to 2010, when he began training physically handicapped participants in
fundamental software programs such as Autocap, Revit and Sketch Up. Eventually, in 2014, his enterprise BIM Studio was invited by the Ministry of Society and Family to join the Enabling Village, an inclusive community space dedicated to supporting people with diverse levels of ability.

BIM Studio was opened in the Enabling Village on the 12th of December 2015, with a visit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. With this new
set-up, the studio was given the opportunity to expand its training programs as well as hire more handicapped employees. During this initial
establishing period, the Building Control Authority (BCA) provided direct support to BIM’s building projects. Since then, BIM Studio has set a 2018
target for all building projects commissioned by the BCA to be built by the studio.

Currently, BIM Studio has trained more than 40 participants, and has 8 employees whose ages range from 27 to 62. Their working hours are from
10am-4pm, avoiding peak hour traffic to allow greater accessibility for their employees to travel to and from home.

We interviewed one of these employees, Mr. Huang Ming Wei, who has been working for BIM Studio for more than 4 years now. He previously
worked for an interior design company; however, 4 years ago he sustained injuries from a car accident that left him unable to continue with his
previous job. As part of his rehabilitation, he joined the Handicap Welfare Association (HWA) and was recommended to BIM Studio. His training
with them proved a new and valuable experience for him, giving him the chance to work on renovation, factories, and more. He and his team are
especially proud of their work on the Sri Siva Durga temple in Potong Pasir.


Mr. Huang Ming Wei

While BIM Studio is a small and relatively new company, they enjoy a constant flow of projects. Their employees also benefit from work that is
mostly hands-on, allowing them to troubleshoot problems through trial-and-error, as part of the overall enterprising spirit of the company.

We asked Mr Yeo if he believed that one has to attend architecture school to become an architect. To this, he simply shook his head and replied,
“No, we teach everything here – from the software, to the language and terms you may need to talk to contractors.” BIM Studio believes in reducing the barriers of entry to becoming an architect, and hopes that by equipping people with these skills, they can help these same people to become
financially independent. In this way, they aim to empower members of the community by creating jobs for them.

BIM Studio has partnered not only with HWA, but also the Physically Disabled Society, SG Enable and more in order to best assist those who might
benefit from their services. While there are currently only 8 employees, BIM Studio has the capacity to hire up to 100 people, and hopes to continue training and hiring more people over time.

Atomy Singapore is proud to be a supporter of BIM Studio, and hopes to continue lending it a hand in its future endeavours.


Members of BIM Studio enjoying Atomy’s donated merchandise

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