Innovative Practice 2019 on Independent Living and Political Participation

Learn, try, and test assistive technology

SG Enable is a Singapore-based NGO that in 2015 started the Enabling Village to support persons with disabilities. As part of the space, Tech Able was set up to let visitors experience assistive technologies (AT) and encourages innovators, manufacturers, and marketers to collaborate on projects. Tech Able also houses a communications lab where persons with disabilities try out computers equipped with assistive technologies. Partnering with another NGO, SPD, to provide assessment and training, more than 800 people with disabilities have benefitted from Tech Able between 2015 and 2018.

“Through Tech Able, I have received assessment and training services on assistive technology, which helped me greatly in terms of mobility. Most importantly, with greater independence, I am better able to meet the challenges at work and enjoy a more independent lifestyle.”

Alister Ong Tjoebeneficiary of Tech Able
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Tech Able
Organisation:SG Enable
Country
of Implementation
Singapore

FACTS & FIGURES

  • More than 8,000 visitors to Tech Able in 2017
  • In 2017, 300 people with disabilities were trained on various assistive technology devices.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

There is a lack of awareness about assistive technology among persons with disabilities, their caregivers, and various stakeholders who work with them, such as therapists and educators.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

Enable Client with refreshable Braille notetaker.

Tech Able is a centre providing assistive device assessment services, showcasing innovations, and offering training. Visitors can experience AT related to their home and work, and they can receive support to help them make informed decisions about what best addresses their individual needs. Moreover, persons with disabilities can attend various trainings and learn about computers that are equipped with assistive peripheral technologies, such as refreshable Braille displays and assistive listening devices. Tech Able also recommends suitable projects to the Tote Board Enabling Lives Initiative grant (a local grant that supports local innovations) administered by SG Enable, for further development.

Tech Able cooperates with government agencies to encourage them to integrate the use of AT in public services, thereby improving accessibility for persons with disabilities. In 2017, Tech Able had more than 8,000 visitors and trained some 300 persons with various disabilities.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

Tech Able is funded by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Infocomm Media Development Authority, a government entity, as well as through private donors. The centre does not generate revenue.

A team of four SG Enable staff members and nine therapists work in the Tech Able showroom. Tech Able plans to grow organically by increasing its outreach to the disability community and by intensifying collaboration with relevant stakeholders. It also actively supports local innovators through mentorship and recommends relevant funding support, where possible, to boost the development of new local assistive technology like the Tote Board Enabling Lives Initiative grant.

Tech Able believes that the model can be replicated in other countries, but there have been no concrete inquiries to date.

Participants attending an Enable Captioning workshop.

FACTSHEET

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