People with disabilities need chance to contribute to society

It is sad that people with disabilities are invariably portrayed as poor and crippled objects of charity who are a burden to society ("People with disabilities in the spotlight"; June 3).

Many people with disabilities continue to struggle to be accepted and to be fully embraced by society.

They may be disabled physically, but they have a sharp mind and they do not feel inferior.

Many do not allow their disabilities to be a hindrance to earning their keep; they desire to be a part of regular, mainstream society.

It is, thus, important for the public to fully understand them. To do this, we need the cooperation of the media, in the form of television programmes, feature films, news reporting and magazine articles.

Many physically challenged people have defied all odds to perform the seemingly impossible in the corporate world as well as in the sports arena.

Ms Chia Yong Yong is one undaunted by disability. Besides being a practising lawyer, she champions disability issues as a Nominated MP.

Para-swimmer Yip Pin Xiu, who was born with muscular dystrophy, did Singapore proud with her recent record-breaking performances in Portugal where she excelled in the 50m and 100m backstroke events ("Yip's hard work pays off"; May 8).

Most people with disabilities do not want handouts if they can help it. If given the opportunity, they would like to be independent and able to contribute towards the improvement of our society.

They may be disabled, but they are able.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng