Nanyang Technological University (NTU) undergraduate Ang Chin Hao was born with macular dystrophy, a rare genetic eye disorder that causes vision loss. Due to his diminished eyesight, Chin Hao struggled with his studies during his earlier years of education but is coping better now with the use of assistive technology. Today, the Microsoft YouthSpark Scholarship recipient uses the E-Bot Pro Magnifier which NTU purchased upon recommendation by SPD’s assistive technology specialists. The device magnifies content shown on screens, making it easier for Chin Hao to read and complete his assignments.
Chin Hao’s story was mentioned in Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim’s opening address at the inaugural E2 Connect 2016 forum held at the Enabling Village on 21 and 22 July. The two-day forum involved industry experts and representatives from the disability care sector who came together to raise awareness of the positive impact of technology on people with disabilities, and of opportunities in terms of education, training and independent learning.
Dr Yaacob then announced two changes to the eligibility criteria for the Infocomm Development Authority’s (IDA) NEU PC Plus programme, which allows students and persons with disabilities from low income households to buy new computers with subsidies of up to 75 per cent, bundled with three years of free broadband access. With effect from 1 September 2016, the monthly household income cap for eligible households will be raised to $3,400, allowing more families to benefit from the programme. Recipients of the Ministry of Education-funded Special Education Financial Assistance Scheme will also automatically qualify for higher subsidies.
Among other subject experts from SPD who shared on topics relating to improving lives of people with disabilities through technology, principal occupational therapist Tan Chuan Hoh and senior occupational therapist Ng Shixian spoke on assistive technology and workplace accommodations for people with disabilities.