We thank Mr Eric Chen Yixiong (Empower people with disabilities to stand as equals, Oct 12) for his letter.
We agree that inclusive employment is important, and that persons with disabilities can contribute much to the community.
Like other Singaporeans, persons with disabilities are capable of taking up, and contributing value to, jobs in a variety of sectors, depending on their conditions, skills and interests. Some may require a little more support tailored to their situation, and the Government is committed to providing persons with disabilities with this support.
The Open Door Programme administered by SG Enable helps persons with disabilities to enter suitable jobs and integrate into the workplace, by providing customised support for job placement, training and cost of job redesign. This includes jobs offered by social service agencies that serve persons with disabilities which will allow persons with disabilities to train and support others in their community.
Building an inclusive society is an important journey that Singapore has embarked on. This journey requires the collective support and participation of everyone, including persons with disabilities. For example, the Third Enabling Masterplan, which guides Singapore's effort to build a more inclusive society, was drawn up by a steering committee comprising persons with disabilities, caregivers, leaders and professionals in the disability field, social service and government agencies.
We are committed to building more and deeper partnerships with persons with disabilities, caregivers and other stakeholders in the community to promote inclusion and work towards building a more inclusive society.
Last year, more than 200 persons with disabilities, caregivers and sector partners provided feedback and gave constructive suggestions to promote inclusivity in the areas of pre-schools, employment and independent living.
As part of Singapore's Emerging Stronger Conversations, we will continue to engage persons with disabilities and their families to co-create and co-solve. We welcome Mr Chen and others to join us and to contribute to the design and implementation of ground-up initiatives to further facilitate inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Lim Yi Jia
Ministry of Social and Family Development