New centre for people with disabilities to learn how to use technology to help them

SINGAPORE -People with disabilities can now go to an assistive technology facility to learn how to use such technology to improve their lives and help them gain employment.

Called Tech Able, the facility houses two centres that, apart from training people with disabilities, will also showcase and house research on assistive technology.

On display are a range of wheelchairs, for example; some can climb stairs while others came elevate so that users can reach higher shelves.

Launching the facility on Tuesday, Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said that while technology can help people with disabilities participate more in society, schools and workplaces, many are not aware of how they can use such technology.

"So I expect Tech Able to not just serve those who come to them, but also to work with voluntary welfare organisations, schools and professionals to actively reach out to as many beneficiaries as possible," he said.

Tech Able will be co-managed by SPD, formerly the Society for the Physically Disabled, and SG Enable, a government-established body that offers services for people with disabilities.

It will also feature a loan section in which more than 1,000 devices ranging from screen readers to hearing devices can be borrowed from $11 to $43 a week.

Two centres at the facility are the Singtel Enabling Innovation Centre and the ST Engineering Enabling Technology Centre.

kxinghui@sph.com.sg