Boost public education on special needs

More emphasis has been placed on the integration of those with special needs, for example, during this year's National Day Parade, which saw 150 special needs performers and a mass song-signing segment.

Still, as a nation, we can do more to ensure that no one is left behind, be it special needs, the elderly or new immigrants. To be able to do this, the mindset of the average Singaporean should change such that we see people with special needs as equals, and not "weird".

This could prevent those with special needs from being isolated from the general population.

More enterprises should also hire people with special needs to ensure they are able to survive in Singapore's rapidly changing landscape. Schools should also reach out more to the special needs segment of their population.

The Government could help by educating the public about special needs. More exhibitions and talks on this could be held.

I hope to see a more inclusive Singapore, because with unity, we will be able to progress as a nation and as a society which integrates people from all walks of life, be they people with special needs, the elderly, new immigrants, or just the average Singaporean.

Xavier Poh Qin You

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2016, with the headline 'Boost public education on special needs'. Print Edition | Subscribe