Toy library a step towards inclusive society

The opening of the North East Community Toy Library @ Pasir Ris Elias Community Club is a step in the right direction in building a more inclusive society for people with disabilities ("Inclusive community toy library opens in Pasir Ris"; June 20).

Having a space where children with special needs can play alongside those from mainstream schools will enable the kids to learn to care for one another when they see their peers needing help.

The toy library can help instil empathy in young people from as early as pre-school age, so a strong foundation for an inclusive and compassionate society can be formed.

While activities to bring together people with and without disabilities are not uncommon, it is ultimately up to Singaporeans themselves to walk the talk and go the extra mile to make someone with special needs feel welcome.

Many Singaporeans tolerate rather than accept and embrace those with special needs.

Singaporeans should not simply support the idea of inclusion, but also move beyond that to completely get rid of the obstacles in their minds and the barriers in their hearts.

It is only then that all the people can truly get an equal opportunity to maximise their potential in the same environment.

Tan Hui Ling (Ms)