If you’ve ever walked behind the lush greenery and the obviously named “VILLAGE GREEN” block, you may have seen folks focused on other types of work: Cutting jackfruit, planting herbs, packing colorful stationery, and scanning documents.
These are the hard workers from the Employability and Employment Centre (E2C), Singapore’s first autism-focused centre that aims to help adults with autism find jobs. With training and adequate support, E2C eventually places them in jobs that help bring out their strengths, so that they can gain self-sufficiency and contribute to society.
Workspaces at E2C job sites are littered with the minutiae of work: daily schedules, reminders, and case scenarios tailored to each client’s personality and habits. One well-known strength of people on the autism spectrum is that they are suited for structured, process-driven that require attention to detail.
Currently, about 60 adult clients are undergoing training or working at the various job sites of the E2C campus of the Enabling Village. Job coaches are on hand to help them with technical knowledge as well as skills like communicating, grooming and managing interpersonal relationships. We spoke with some of the trainees.
“I get to work with jackfruit,” said Bruce Wong, 32, when asked what he liked about his job. That sounds like an understatement, until you realise: Bruce and his colleagues sometimes handle up to 30 giant-size jackfruits a day – some of which weigh as much as 32 kilogrammes.