Go beyond lip service in providing equal opportunities

I deeply empathise with Ms Farnizah Minsawi. Her courage and optimism in facing the challenge are admirable (Optimism in the face of epilepsy; Feb 21).

I am glad that The Straits Times has raised the issue of epilepsy sufferers.

Despite all the talk about equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion, many employers continue to discriminate against people with epilepsy and other kinds of disabilities.

My daughter started having seizures when she was mid-way through her studies in one of the local universities.

After graduation, she managed to find work in one of the Big Four audit firms.

But, because of her medical condition, her performance as an auditor was affected. Instead of helping her to find a less stressful role within the organisation, the firm outplaced her.

She then sent out countless applications to government ministries and companies, large and small, and went for numerous interviews. She was willing to take on any kind of job, but was not successful in her applications.

Fortunately, she met a doctor and businesswoman who understood her condition and were willing to give her a helping hand and an opportunity.

This lifted her confidence and made her feel useful again. We cannot thank the two of them enough for their kindness.

It is time for both public and private sector employers to go beyond just paying lip service to equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion.

It is through no fault of their own that epilepsy sufferers are afflicted with the condition. Let us not make it more difficult for them to live a normal life.

Jessie Loy Sze Nah (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2017, with the headline 'Go beyond lip service in providing equal opportunities'. Print Edition | Subscribe