SINGAPORE – Despite a visual impairment that prevents him from reading his own handwriting, Gerald Bartholomew is able to hold a job as a stock controller with the help of Assistive Technology (AT).

Video | Royson Poh

Gerald uses a desktop video magnifier for reading documents, and a handheld video magnifier to read the fine print on product labels. In order to read from his computer monitor, Gerald uses screen magnification software to enlarge the computer display. These assistive devices enable him to manage the inventory for all three branches of The Animal Clinic in Singapore.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development provides various schemes to help employers and individuals afford AT. The Open Door Fund provides financial support for employers to purchase AT for their employees with disabilities. For individuals, the Assistive Technology Fund subsidizes up to 90 percent of cost, up to a maximum of S$20,000 for the purchase of AT.

The Assistive Technology Centre (ATC) at the Society for the Physically Disabled is the appointed Centre of Specialization for Assistive Technology by the National Council of Social Services. ATC provides assessment, training as well as loan of AT devices and software to people with disabilities as well as professionals from the health and disability sector.