Thanks to Dylan Lau Zhiliang for his views (Removing all barriers and enabling people with disabilities to participate fully in society, Jan 24).
We share his desire for an inclusive Singapore in which all persons with disabilities can participate as integral contributing members of society. Singapore underscored its commitment to realizing this vision by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2013. Singapore has also successively produced the Enabling Master Plan (EMP), a national roadmap for building an inclusive society.
Singapore’s approach to enabling persons with disabilities in EMPs is substantially consistent with the UNCRPD’s social model of disability. In developing policies and laws, we aim to remove social barriers in local settings that can prevent people with disabilities from living full lives. The latest EMP2030 includes recommendations covering all aspects of life, including education, employment, public spaces and social thinking, and metrics to track our progress. For more information on EMP2030, please visit https://go.gov.sg/emp2030.
A practical representation of the social model of disability has yielded good results. In her recent dialogue with Singapore and her UNCRPD Commission, the Commission recognized the wide range of steps Singapore has taken to enable persons with disabilities and the consequences of these measures. They also welcomed the adoption of EMP.
We recognize that more must be done to enable persons with disabilities and will continue our efforts to achieve an inclusive society. This includes regularly reviewing laws, policies and measures in consultation with persons with disabilities and addressing regulatory gaps to ensure that opportunities are accessible to all.
We also recognize that building an inclusive society requires a whole-of-society effort. As Lau emphasized, society’s views of people with disabilities are underpinned by the values we stand for as a society, and influence whether a society is truly inclusive.
Our policies and laws alone cannot achieve our vision of an inclusive Singapore. We want people to be more sensitive when interacting with people with disabilities, businesses to employ inclusively and design inclusive products and services, and people with disabilities to advocate for disability inclusion. continue to encourage Businesses and individuals needing support, or looking to contribute through collaboration or volunteerism, can contact SG Enable, the leading agency for disability inclusion.
Join us in making Singapore an inclusive one.
Lo Ching Hoi
Disabled Section Manager
Ministry of Social and Family Development