- 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. An example would be how these five assistive technology devices allows persons with disabilities to live more independently.
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 email@example.com.
- 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 approach any therapists from SPD operate in Tech Able, an assistive technology center jointly managed by SG Enable and SPD. It aims to promote the adoption of assistive technologies, so as to enable persons with disabilities to live, travel and work independently. To make an appointment for an AT assessment, download, fill and email the Assistive Technology Referral Form to SPD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Resources and Support
- Applying for Assistive Technology