- 'Inclusivity is about involving not just some of us, but all of us."
“Being partially blind helps me see the challenges and the potential of people like myself.”
The visually impaired have tools to help us navigate everyday life and do things most people take for granted. Something as simple as crossing the road or using a smartphone is a challenge. As an IT Trainer in the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, I help others like myself use software and tools on computers and smartphones — technology that has changed my life. But there’s more to be done.
That’s why I volunteered to be an advocate, actively making Singapore friendlier to the visually impaired. When the Enabling Masterplan 3 Steering Committee invited me to join them, I accepted, and joined these workgroups to advance this agenda.
The needs and input of the visually impaired community have been missing from policy-making for a long time. Propagating inclusivity can start with, but should not stop at asking persons with disabilities (PwD) or having spokespersons so as to have the appropriate representation of concerns. These concerns need to be heard and addressed on a national level. I’m encouraged by the greater commitment to inclusivity these days, and there’s proof of this in the workgroups. By forming a committee of representatives from various disability communities and the organisations that serve them, the initiatives suggested during the engagement sessions are more relevant and helpful.
This people-government partnership is needed if we want Singapore to embrace inclusivity in all areas of our lives. And it’s happening right now. Our mindset is changing to one where everyone is starting to understand that PwDs can integrate into mainstream society. Now, more than ever, we need more people to share their ideas on how we can accomplish this, and be prepared to make it happen. Everyone’s opinions count. I didn’t expect mine to, but I’m excited to witness our collective ideas materialise and improve the lives of everyone.
Learn how we can all work together to make more happen: www.sg #SingaporeTogether
Mr Chong Kwek Bin