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Assistive Technology

With the appropriate choice of an Assistive Technology (AT) device, persons with disabilities can enjoy a more independent life. An AT assessment by a therapist can help identify suitable AT devices and software for a person with disabilities, based on his/her environment and needs.

Key points

  • Persons with disabilities are encouraged to undergo an AT assessment to identify suitable types of AT they can benefit from.
  • AT devices can either be bought from a vendor or borrowed from various organisations.
  • Subsidy is available for those with limited means and require AT devices.


Types of assistive technology devices and software

Actions to take

  • Visit Tech Able at the Enabling Village to learn about different types of AT devices available and how they work.
  • Use the Tech Able web app to learn more about different AT devices and who they might be suitable for.


There are many types of assistive technology devices and software that can empower persons with disabilities. These vary in functionality and cost.

The list below provides an overview of the AT devices and software available. For more information on AT devices, refer to this article on assistive technology by World Health Organization (WHO).


Tech Able is located at the Enabling Village and showcases a wide range of AT devices, highlighting the possibilities of AT for work, learning and living. The centre jointly managed by SG Enable and SPD and provides consultation, assessment and training for persons with disabilities.

The Tech Able web app provides more information about AT devices that may suit persons with disabilities and their caregivers. When in Tech Able, users can select one of the four virtual guides for a guided tour, and they will highlight some of the AT devices that can help lower barriers for persons with disabilities for work, learn, play and living. Users who are interested to purchase or find out more about an AT device may contact the vendors directly. Vendors’ details are listed within.

Obtaining an assistive technology device

Actions to take

  • Request for an AT assessment through your regular therapist or social worker.
  • Make an appointment with therapists from SPD who operate in Tech Able, by e-mailing the Assistive Technology Referral Form to SPD at atc@spd.org.sg.
  • Check your eligibility for the various financial support schemes.


An assistive technology assessment evaluates the needs, abilities and limitations of a person with disabilities, so that the most suitable assistive technology devices or software can be recommended. This assessment is typically carried out by therapists in hospitals and social service agencies (SSAs).


Why an assistive technology assessment is recommended

An assistive technology assessment ensures that a person with disability adopts an assistive technology device or software that is most suitable for his/her intended tasks. An inappropriate choice could affect quality of life or even injury.

In the course of a user’s life, his needs, capabilities and environment will change. It is therefore strongly recommended that persons with disabilities undergo periodic assistive technology assessment (no longer than five years apart) to ensure that they continue to benefit from the assistive technology devices or software.


How to get an assistive technology assessment

Persons with disabilities who receive support from disability service providers (SSAs, special education schools) or hospitals should request for an AT assessment through their therapists or social workers.

Those who are not receiving regular support may make a appointment with therapists from SPD who operate in Tech Able, a centre showcasing various AT devices and software. To make an appointment for an AT assessment, download, fill in and e-mail the Assistive Technology Referral Form to SPD at atc@spd.org.sg.

 
Buying or borrowing an assistive technology device/software

After an assistive technology assessment, persons with disabilities can purchase assistive technology devices/software from any vendors.

Some organisations lend assistive technology devices to persons with disabilities who are awaiting the delivery of their own device, or who want to try out a particular device before buying it. SPD operates an assistive technology loan library at Tech Able, where users can borrow the devices for a small fee. There are also satellite assistive technology centres in the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Support Offices in Institutes of Higher Learning which lend assistive technology devices to students.

 

Financial support

Various funding schemes are available to defray the costs of purchasing assistive technology devices and software. Eligibility criteria vary, but in general:

  • Assistive Technology Fund (ATF) is for persons with disabilities who come from low-income families, and helps defray up to 90 percent of the cost of buying, replacing or repairing assistive technology devices used for education, employment, training and independent living.
  • Special Education Needs (SEN) fund is for Singaporean students in polytechnics and ITE colleges. Some universities and arts institutions may have SEN fund-equivalent support
  • The Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) is for seniors aged 60 and above.
  • Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) programme enables eligible households to install AT devices which make the homes more elderly-friendly, at a subsidised cost

For more details, go to the Money Matters section on this website.

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