The Colours Project

Started as a pilot project at the tail end of 2014, the Colours Project takes its name from SAAC’s tagline — People with autism are the colours of life.

The project uses designs adapted from artwork by students and clients at SAAC on merchandise such as tote bags, pouches, t-shirts and notebooks. Through this, it is possible for many persons to own products with the designs featuring the artwork. At the same time, the proceeds from sales can be used to keep the project going, and hopefully open up employment opportunities for persons with moderate to severe autism.

Background

Persons with moderate to severe autism have limited employment opportunities. This is especially true in Singapore’s fast-paced economy, where the best and brightest tend to shine, while the “less than perfect”, including those with special needs, can be marginalised.

Persons with autism typically experience challenges in understanding and responding to social cues and non-verbal behaviour in communication. They also tend to find comfort in established routines and can find sudden changes rather stressful. Even those with mild autism can face difficulties in fitting in at the workplace. Those with moderate to severe autism very rarely make it through the front door.

It is against this backdrop that we started a pilot project to explore employment options for adults with moderate to severe autism.