Inclusiveness. Perception.

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June 6, 2016 by alansoh79

A recent survey commissioned by Lien Foundation reveals that in these 1000+ respondents, only 1 in 10 Singaporeans is confident of interacting with a child with special needs. 50% of the adults polled are comfortable with having a child with special needs in their children’s class. And finally, only 8% of the people polled are willing to make a child with special needs feel welcomed.

What does it say about us? Why? Why this discomfort? Is it because of misconception, pre-judgement or stereo-typing? Thinking that people with special needs among us are “stupid”, “unable to contribute to society”, “always depending on others for help”, “can’t achieve much in life” or “better not to be seen and heard”? Why are there Singaporeans not walking the talk about inclusiveness in the Lion City?

In my course of work, my interactions with Singaporeans with special needs often made me go awe. Because I discovered some of them have hidden talents. Most importantly, these people are easy to get along with. They are very friendly people. I feel at ease talking to them.

We should focus at what these people can do, NOT what they cannot do. Like anyone of us, some of them are born with different gifts. From there, we can redesign job-scopes to cater to their strengths. They are a hidden pool of potential talents, if we give them opportunities to develop their abilities. They are raw diamonds.

I always believe disability happens only if I am disabled in the mindset, not my physical limitations. Of course people are entitled to their own opinions at the end of the day.
This is beyond my control.

At the end of the day, it is about our perceptions. How we see this special group of people. It is a matter of our willingness to understand these fellow Singaporeans with special needs.

Let us open our hearts and minds.  They might just surprise you with their abilities. 🙂

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Back at alma mater this morning, attending YTSS 31st Speech Day Prize-giving Ceremony as an invited guest. The theme is "Towards the Future". #ytss #yishun #yishuntownsecsch #neesooneast #singapore #singaporean #ytzens #march2017 #fridaymorning #exstudent Given my face, yes I know I somehow still look like a schooling boy rather than a suave-looking Oppa.. #singapore #singaporean #lgclass #asia #workingclass #style #selfie #march2017 Drank 4 glasses of heineken beer tonight, with another 2 guys. Tuesday post-dinner drinks. #heinekenbeer #singapore #march2017 #coffeeshop #singaporean 邱德保医院刚翻新装修好食阁,把它变成两层楼式、以便腾出更多空间给前来填饱肚子的访客。楼上的座椅装潢好舒适!你可以眺望看到义顺湖! 我觉得这是一个吃了饭后温书、讨论工作、或拍拖谈心的好地方。

A newly renovated foodcourt at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. It has just been upgraded to a 2-storey one, creating more spaces for hospital visitors who come here for food. Talking about customer experience! The benches and tables upstairs are so nice. The warm yellow lights! Able to see the Yishun Lake. I find it a conducive spot for work discussion, studying as well as for dating. lol. #ktph #khooteckpuathospital #yishun #singapore #sg #asia #sgfood #sgig #instasg #lgclass #march2017 Took alone walk around Marina Bay area last night. For iLight installations. #ilightmarinabay2017 #singapore #saturdaynight #singaporean #sg #asia #lgclass #marinabaysg #march2017 We were lost in a Japanese forest near Mt Fuji! 私たちは富士山の近くの日本の森で失われました!Photo credit: Eddie. #peacecentre #singapore #sg #singaporean #tgif #march2017 #lostsg #escaperoom #asian #fridaynight #game

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