120 from disability community discuss future beyond Covid-19

About 120 members of the disability community came together over the last week as part of the Emerging Stronger Conversations to chart a path forward beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

They had what Social and Family Development Minister Masagos Zulkifli called "fruitful discussions", together with Jalan Besar GRC MP Denise Phua and former Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong, who are co-chairs of two work groups under the Third Enabling Masterplan.

The masterplan is a national road map that guides initiatives for the disability sector from 2017 to next year and is focused on helping people with special needs and their caregivers across different life stages.

The two work groups are looking at how to make it easier to access lifelong learning opportunities and employment pathways, as well as assess how technology and design in homes and the community help those with special needs live independently.

During the discussions, people with disabilities, family members, friends and those in disability-focused social service agencies shared their experiences during the pandemic and gave their views on the opportunities to be seized in a post-Covid-19 Singapore, said Mr Masagos in a Facebook post yesterday.

Some also expressed interest in being involved in the eventual implementation of initiatives proposed by the work groups.

"Their ideas and perspectives are useful as we continue to develop new programmes and refine our policies to build an inclusive society where persons with disabilities are empowered to fulfil their potential and participate meaningfully," said Mr Masagos.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2020, with the headline '120 from disability community discuss future beyond Covid-19'. Print Edition | Subscribe