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People with disabilities might have problems achieving independence and employment. However technology can help change this.

Assistive Technology (AT) improves functional capabilities of people with disabilities so that these individuals are able to engage in daily tasks. It comprises software, equipment, devices and product systems that overcomes their physical or cognitive deficits like speaking, typing, writing, remembering, pointing, seeing, hearing, learning, walking, and others.

Choosing the Right Assistive Technology

The decision lies in a team of occupational therapists, assistive technology specialists and the user. It also includes other specialists like the consultants from manufacturers. Matching an individual’s specific needs with the most appropriate tool is a collaborative process, not a one-time assessment by a specialist.

Where to Find Assistive Technology

At SPD (formerly known as Society for the Physically Disabled), the Specialised Assistive Technology Centre (ATC) provides the following services:

  • AT assessment
  • Training on use of AT devices
  • Trial/Loan of devices 
  • School/Work area assessment
  • Technical support
  • Sales co-ordination support
  • Inclusive Technology Portal

A new facility, Tech Able, enabling people with disabilities to live and work independently was opened by the Ministry of Social and Family Development in 2015. Within the Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru, Tech Able has two centres - the Singtel Enabling Innovation Centre and the ST Engineering Enabling Technology Centre.

Innovation Centre is a gateway for training and employment opportunities. It offers training in communications technology, such as call centre operations, online and social marketing. The Technology Centre specialises in assistive technology. A team of specialists will evaluate needs, match and lead the trials of assistive equipment, as well as proffer advice on purchase subsidies.

Technology makes the world a better place for everyone—including the less privileged. But all the technology in the world will never replace a helping hand. Help others reach their goals and you will reach yours too.

Tags: Health Matters /Caregiving