Workplace should cater to staff with special needs

Ms Aileen Pereira's letter urging employers to invest in people with special needs is a timely one ("Invest more in staff with special needs"; Sept 15).

I have a 24-year-old son who has some learning disabilities. He was employed by a retail store as a storekeeper. He enjoyed his work and had accolades from his supervisors and customers.

The only problem was that he had to work 12-hour shifts. It was very tiring for him, so he quit and worked for another organisation in customer service. He requested to work for only eight hours.

He enjoys his work but is regarded as a part-timer. He is paid a weekly salary and gets no bonus.

There are varying degrees of disability in a person. Surely, those who can contribute to society should be allowed to do so. They should also be allowed to interact with mainstream people and build up their self-confidence.

There should be dedicated job portals to match adults who have special needs with employers who are willing to make special arrangements to cater to them.

Employers have to change their attitudes towards people with special needs.

Elaine Wee (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2016, with the headline 'Workplace should cater to staff with special needs'. Print Edition | Subscribe