Invest more in staff with special needs

It is really wonderful to see people now acknowledging children with special needs and doing more to help them lead normal lives from an early age ("Hire people with disabilities, Tharman urges"; Sept 2).

Employers have to invest in people with special needs.

We constantly see employers placing advertisements for various jobs.

Why don't they turn to our special-needs population to fill some of the vacancies?

People with special needs should be paid the same salary as an able-bodied person who has the same qualifications and is doing the same job. They should also have the same benefits.

Jobs can be modified to fit the needs of those with special needs.

For instance, 12-hour shifts can be cut to eight hours initially and then gradually increased, if the employee with special needs is able to take on more hours.

Able-bodied employees should also be trained and paired up with those who have special needs.

It is good that some local banks and hotels are hiring people with special needs and changing their processes to accommodate them.

If every employer does his part to help the less fortunate among us, Singapore will be a much better place for everyone.

Parents of children with special needs will also gain relief in the knowledge that their children will be able to get good jobs with decent pay and care for themselves.

Aileen Pereira (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2016, with the headline 'Invest more in staff with special needs'. Print Edition | Subscribe