We just participated in our fourth Purple Parade last weekend and "Oh boy, what a buzz that was!" This is a wonderful event that has steadily grown in size every year. There were 10,000 participants this year, double the attendance in 2014! In case you do not know what it is, here is an excerpt from their website:
"THE PURPLE PARADE is a unifying national platform to promote awareness and celebrate abilities of persons with special needs. The core of The Purple Parade movement is to ensure that people with special needs are included in the main chapter of Singapore’s growth and have equal access to education, employment, transport and social networks."
The spirit of this event is amazing and very close to our hearts. It is something we truly believe in as an organisation and I very firmly believe in as an individual. It fills us with a great sense of pride every year to participate in this event and march to this wonderful message.
Anyone who has attended one of the events will know that there is no doubt how strong the spirit resonates in the air over that weekend. However, awareness is not just about one big event. So the question is, what can we do to help increase and spread awareness and promote inclusiveness?
If you are a parent, educate your child about disabilities and special needs and teach them how to be inclusive. Remember...you need to model it!
If you are an employer, create opportunities for people with special needs and disabilities.
If you are in education, give every child the best opportunity to reach their full potential.
If you are an influencer, spread the word.....your word counts!
Whoever you are, just STOP, take stock, look at how you can be helpful and more inclusive. Our words are powerful so use them to empower people of all abilities not to segregate. We can always do more.....