Voices

Accept and treat the disabled as equal members of society

From

Abhimanyau Pal

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Published: 4:02 AM, August 7, 2013
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Executive Director, Society for the Physically Disabled

We agree with Ms Pang Hei Mun that public transport plays an important role in the independence of people with disabilities and their integration in the community (“The way ahead for people with disabilities”; Aug 5).

We are also happy that Singapore has taken a step towards a more inclusive society by signing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

As the Government steps up efforts to provide the physical infrastructure for a barrier-free, inclusive society, and community organisations such as the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) provide affordable, accessible services for people with disabilities, the public has a role to play, too.

Accepting and including people with disabilities as equal members in school, the workplace and the community is a first step and a big social and mental hurdle that we must overcome.

Simple courtesies in our day-to-day activities, like allowing people with disabilities to board trains and buses first and holding the lift for them, are a good start to a more gracious society.

As part of SPD’s efforts to help people with disabilities integrate better into the community, we encourage and train our clients to use public transport.

Hence, we arrange shuttle services to and from Tiong Bahru MRT Station for clients who are able to commute independently by bus or train and are attending our regular programmes.

Dedicated door-to-door transport services are provided to clients who are unable to take public transport to our centres due to the severity of their disabilities or inaccessibility of their travel routes.

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