Independent Living Skills

Independent living skills (ILS) are important for people with vision loss to manage and organise their daily activities on their own, thus reducing the reliance on help from others.

Independent Living Skills lessons are provided at no cost to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents.* Each session spans from 1 to 3 hours. It is usually conducted once a week to allow clients time to practice at home before the next session. Training is conducted at the client’s residence to ensure the equipment and space used are familiar to the client.

* Long-term visitor pass holders will need to pay a fee. Please contact us for more information.

Contact us if you need more information or wish to enquire about a skill that is not listed here.

Below is a list of skills taught by our Specialists (Not exhaustive):



  • Personal grooming and hygiene skills

    • Clients learn to trim nails, apply light make up and manage facial hair
    • Clients learn to match clothes and techniques to identify the different toiletries bottles
  • Manage medication

    • Clients who need to take medication on a regular basis learn to sort and organise their medicine
White Cane User Annie Applying Lipstick in front of a mirror
GDS client with low vision, Annie, applying lipstick in front of a mirror


Domestic Chores

  • Cooking and Baking

    • Clients learn basic food preparation skills such as measuring, using a knife to chop and peel, and handling hot liquids
    • Kitchen cookware and appliances are modified with bright or textured stickers to allow easy operation
  • Laundry

    • Clients learn to hang clothes using bamboo poles, sort and organise wardrobe
  • Sewing

    • Clients learn to thread a needle, tie knots, and sew a simple button
  • Housekeeping

    • Clients are taught systematic patterns to sweep, mop, and clean the house to ensure completeness
GDS Staff Teaching Visually Impaired Client Gerald how to cut vegetables
GDS staff teaching client, Gerald how to cut vegetables
GDS Staff Teaching Visually Impaired Client Gerald how to cut vegetables
Two GDS Clients learn to sew


Environmental Modifications

  • The use of bright and textured stickers on household items (such as appliances) and switches in the house makes it easier to identify and operate.
  • The same method of modification can also be used to make organisation, and measurement easier.
Modifying environment using tactile labels on microwave for Vision Impaired
Modified microwave using tactile labels to identify different buttons


Accessibility and Technology

  • Clients are taught the use of accessibility functions on mobile phone and tablets.
  • For clients in the advanced level, they learn to use screen reader and various assistive technology to perform office administrative duties.
GDS Instructor Teaching Visually Impaired Client Annie to use Mobile phone
GDS clients, Annie and Gerald, using their mobile devices



  • Sort and identify cash

  • The use of an ATM

  • Shop for essential items such as food and groceries

  • Start and maintain a hobby (example: audio books, planting)

Closeup on Visually Impaired using ATM Machine
GDS client, Halimi, using an ATM with accessibility features


Help us spread the word.


Mr Ng Cheng Teck

Ng Cheng Teck
I can go out and go home on my own, no more restrictions!

Ms Wai Yee

Wai Yee
Loss of sight does not stop interest in sewing

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