Special-needs students here 'not treated equally'

BY GERRARD LAI

MORE appropriate investments must be made to safeguard the rights and quality of life of disabled persons in Singapore, said Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Sylvia Lim.

Ms Lim pointed out that Singapore, which has yet to sign the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, falls short in several areas by international benchmarks.

Making references to the convention which has been signed by 147 countries, she noted that special-needs children in Singapore are not enjoying the same rights to education as others.

She said: "It is largely left to volunteer welfare organisations to educate special-needs children."

While government subsidies are provided, parents of specialneeds students still bear a substantial portion of school expenses, as opposed to other parents.

She added: "Early intervention is critical for special-needs students to mitigate the effects of disabilities. There are waiting lists for special schools and therapies... losing precious time for the child's cognitive years."

Ms Lim asked for more to be done to ensure that disabled persons have full access to transport, communications and electronic services and other facilities.


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