Forum: Inclusivity about enabling all to participate equally in society

The latest Singapore Together Emerging Stronger Conversations (ESC) session was the first to be held in Mandarin last Saturday (Emerging Stronger dialogue series: First Mandarin session held, Oct 25).

It was announced in September that efforts would be made to involve persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the ESCs (Sessions in more languages soon, will include people with disabilities, Sept 28).

As we continue to create positive change, let us remember that inclusion is not only about accommodating specific groups of people but about enabling all Singaporeans to participate equally in our society.

For instance, many government apps are available only in English. This has resulted in many from the Pioneer Generation being unable to use the apps independently as they do not understand English. This forces them to rely on others or forego using the apps altogether, creating an unnecessary barrier.

Likewise, Singapore can make all official government video speeches more accessible. Without captions and sign language interpretation, the hard of hearing are excluded from national conversations.

I appeal to the Government to recognise and support community initiatives such as the social enterprise Equal Dreams, which is working to bridge some of these gaps.

I look forward to the day when we amend the Constitution to guarantee the accessibility of government services to all Singaporeans, with the Singapore Sign Language becoming our fifth official language.

Eric Chen Yixiong