Survey on inclusiveness for special needs kids shows S’porean parents are still self-interested

Tut, tut.

By Jeanette Tan | May 31, 2016

Singapore’s Lien Foundation — a bunch of people who manage heck of a lot of money for good causes — released findings of a survey on special needs children they commissioned in the month of April this year.

Among the questions they asked roughly 1,000 Singaporeans were:

1. How supportive are you of the idea of inclusive education?

and

2. How comfortable would you be if your (typical developing) child were a) attending the same school, b) in the same class and c) seated next to a child with special needs?

Their findings were unsurprising — if you’re a cynic — and immensely discouraging, if you’re an idealist:

To question 1, some 71 per cent voiced their vociferous support for this great concept.

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Screenshot from here

Unfortunately, this didn’t translate into reality. Here are the responses to question 2:

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That’s a 13, 18 and 21 per cent discrepancy respectively for parts a), b) and c), between questions 1 and 2.

Here’s another interesting example of this phenomenon — one question asked how much respondents agreed with this statement:

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Screenshot from here

Meanwhile, here’s what they said in response to the question “How much do you agree with the statement: I want my child to have more avenues to interact and spend time with children with special needs“:

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Screenshot from here

That said, Singaporeans do seem pretty self-aware of this inherently ironic state many of us exist in.

These were the respondents’ level of agreement with the statement, “Singapore is an inclusive society”:

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Screenshot from here

And the findings for these four statements explain themselves:

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The respondents also understand that most of us wouldn’t be bothered to go out of our way to make a child with special needs feel welcomed and included:

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Screenshot from here

Interestingly, a question in the survey that touched on the need for more laws to protect the rights of special needs Singaporeans triggered super-Singaporean responses.

Here’s the question and their response:

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Screenshot from here

And here are some typical comments respondents left in response to “Why?”:

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Screenshot from here

“they need laws to guide them”
“they can interact without any worry”
“Don’t know if laws can help”

Forever the story of our lives.

 

Top photo: Thinkstock

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About Jeanette Tan

Jeanette takes pride in her ability to sing the complete lyrics to Hakuna Matata and a host of other Disney songs. She holds out hope to someday be talent-spotted to do voice-overs for documentaries, lifts and automated telephone answering systems.

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