Attitudes also matter in creating an inclusive workplace

I am heartened to read that more companies in Singapore are employing people with disabilities (Turning disability into ability in the workplace; July 21).

However, it is crucial to note that despite this, a majority of workplaces here are not yet inclusive enough for the disabled.

Creating an inclusive workplace goes beyond policies and support schemes that enhance the employability of the disabled.

It is also about the attitudes of their employers and colleagues.

The belief that people with disabilities are less capable or are victims who deserve pity continues to permeate our society, including workplaces.

Some employers still assume that people with disabilities will underperform in their duties.

Other able-bodied staff may also show a lack of understanding and sensitivity towards employees with disabilities.

Because of this, even if the employers are willing to hire people with disabilities, they may not be able to successfully integrate such employees into their workplace.

Furthermore, most workplaces are not set up to accommodate employees with disabilities, who continue to face problems accessing facilities and buildings.

All these make it difficult for the disabled to gain employment and excel in their work.

In order to create a more inclusive workplace for people with disabilities, their special needs have to be accommodated.

Prejudices and misconceptions about people with disabilities should be addressed and dispelled, and facilities should be made more user-friendly to them.

Only then can those with disabilities be successfully integrated into their workplaces.

Peh Jing Yee (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2017, with the headline 'Attitudes also matter in creating an inclusive workplace'. Print Edition | Subscribe