More being done to help those with disabilities in workplace

We thank Dr Bayanagari Malavika for her suggestions and support for persons with disabilities, and fully agree with her (Do more to help those with disabilities in the workplace; Oct 12).

We continue to strengthen the ecosystems of support to help more persons with disabilities thrive in the workplace.

The Third Enabling Masterplan (2017-2021) is a collective effort to identify and address existing and emerging gaps faced by persons with disability and their caregivers.

The recommendations came out of consultations with more than 400 persons with disabilities, caregivers, voluntary welfare organisations and employers.

They include proposals to improve access to information on disability-related support and services for caregivers, as well as the development of a database to facilitate service planning and transition.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), together with our stakeholders, is working to implement these recommendations.

The Government also provides support for employers practising inclusive hiring, as well as employees with disabilities and their co-workers.

For example, employers who wish to hire persons with disabilities can tap the grants under the Open Door Programme.

The programme helps to fund employee training, workplace modifications, job redesign and the purchase of assistive technology devices that support persons with disabilities at work.

The grants also cover training costs for other employees in the workplace to help them better understand how they can support their co-workers with disabilities more effectively.

Persons with disability and caregivers are encouraged to approach SG Enable to tap the Job Placement Job Support programme.

This programme helps match individuals to suitable jobs and provides workplace support to them and their caregivers through job coaches to ease the transition process.

The Government is committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities experience fair and merit-based employment practices outlined in the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices.

Individuals or their caregivers who have concerns of discriminatory practices may approach the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices for support.

Alvin Tan (Dr)

Director, Disability Office

Ministry of Social and Family Development

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2018, with the headline 'More being done to help those with disabilities in workplace'. Print Edition | Subscribe