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  • 23rd July 2018, 05:26 PM
    Redeveloped Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic officially reopens with new wheelchair tilter

    SINGAPORE: The redeveloped Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic officially reopened on Saturday (Jun 30), with bigger floor space, special features and a new model of care to better serve residents, especially the elderly.

    It is the first polyclinic in Singapore with a “wheelchair tilter” for dental patients, so that wheelchair users do not need to transfer to a dental chair to receive treatment.

  • 23rd July 2018, 05:24 PM

    Hands-free fare gates on trial at 4 MRT stations

    Hands-free fare gates on trial at 4 MRT stations

    People with disabilities can breeze through gates in MRT stations without having to tap their fare cards, as part of a trial that started yesterday.

    At gates in Bedok, Kembangan, Redhill and Tiong Bahru MRT stations, selected commuters can pay their fares with a radio-frequency identification card or a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device with a specific application.

    The device and card do not need to be put in close contact with the fare reader and can be kept in a bag or a pocket.
  • 9th June 2017, 04:32 PM
    Edit videos - without touching mouse, screen or keyboard

    ST, Jun 8 2017

    Mr Christopher Hills, 21, can edit videos using Apple devices - without touching a screen, mouse or keyboard.

    The Australian, who was born with athetoid cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic, has limited control over his muscles and speech, and involuntary, convoluted movements of his limbs.
    But, he can use his neck muscles and a button on his wheelchair headrest to use Switch Control, an accessibility tool that helps him to type, select, tap and drag items in Apple devices without touching a screen.

    Mr Hills - who started his own video-editing business in 2014 in his home country - and his father Garry, 57, conducted a workshop in Singapore yesterday, to show about a dozen people with physical disabilities how to use Switch Control and other accessibility tools in Apple devices. These tools are already on Apple devices such as iPads and iPhones. The workshop was held at the Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru. Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim also attended the session.
  • 1st June 2017, 02:47 PM
    BCA Universal Design Award winners showcase facilities for less mobile users

    Today, 15 May 2017

    SINGAPORE — Wheelchair-friendly weight machines at the gymnasium, staggered platforms with handrails at the swimming pool, extensive braille indicators, step-free entrances to units and bathrooms.These are just some of the features that won serviced residence Ascott Orchard Singapore and Cairnhill Nine condominium the Universal Design (UD) Mark Platinum award, given out by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

    Ascott Orchard Singapore, a 220-unit serviced residence that operates with a hotel licence, and Cairnhill Nine, a 268-unit condominium, make up the integrated development which sits atop a multi-storey carpark and the Al-Falah Mosque on Cairnhill Road.
    It is the only project to win this top award out of the 30 awardees this year, the BCA said on Monday (May 15) during a viewing of two selected projects.

    It is not just wheelchair-users who can benefit from the development’s thoughtful features. Braille indicators are used extensively at navigation points to help the visually challenged find their way, as opposed to being just in elevators, the way it is in most residential areas today.
  • 1st June 2017, 02:43 PM
    Singapore trials its first self-driving wheelchair at Changi General Hospital

    ST, 26 may 2017

    SINGAPORE - The Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (Smart) is making improvements to Singapore's first self-driving wheelchair, after testing it at Changi General Hospital last September.
    The autonomous vehicle (AV) is a collaborative project involving Smart, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National University of Singapore (NUS).
    Ten researchers worked on the device, which was first conceived about 18 months ago. The team mapped out routes in the hospital for the single autonomous wheelchair to run.
    The wheelchair is able to detect stationary and moving obstacles, and is not programmed to reverse. However, during the 10-hour trial, the team found that the main sensor was not able to detect glass.
  • 15th May 2017, 12:37 PM
    Bringing care, therapy to homes

    ST, 14 May 2017

    At the age of 28, Mr Muhammad Idham Fayumi Ruslan feels trapped by his debilitating illness - he is totally dependent on his parents for his every need.
    He suffers from mucopolysaccharidosis, a metabolic disorder that affects different parts of the body, and his muscles are wasting away. The young man has to use a wheelchair, and his sight and hearing are deteriorating.

    With nothing much he can do to occupy his time at home, the brightest spot in his life is when he goes on outings organised by Awwa to places such as Gardens by the Bay and Science Centre.

    Awwa is a charity serving people with disabilities. Two to three times a week, its staff visit Mr Idham at his home for physiotherapy and other therapy sessions, to prevent his muscles from weakening even more.
    In 2014, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) piloted home-based care services for people like Mr Idham.

  • 8th May 2017, 12:24 PM
    'Telerehab' system allows patients to do physiotherapy at home

  • 8th May 2017, 12:16 PM
    Census to boost inclusiveness

    ST, 28 Apr 2017

    In Singapore, people with disabilities have been an invisible population for the longest time.

    When Singapore was not as disabled-friendly as it is now, one hardly saw wheelchair users out and about because of a lack of amenities in places such as the MRT stations or shopping centres. And jobs for them were hard to come by.

    The lack of data and statistics on disability contributes to invisibility, says the UN Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The paucity of data hampers planning for policies and services to improve the lives of the disabled, the UN says.

    But things are changing here.
    In the past decade, since the first national blueprint for disability services was launched, education and services to support people with disabilities have received a great boost.

    However, for years, it has been a mystery how many people with disabilities there are here. The best available estimate is from a National Council of Social Service survey in 2015, which randomly polled 2,000 citizens and permanent residents.
    It found that the prevalence rate of disability was 3.4 per cent of the resident population aged 18 to 49 and 13.3 per cent for those aged 50 and older.
    But the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) is now working with the Department of Statistics to find out the number of people with disabilities in the next census, in 2020.
    It also hopes to uncover the type of disabilities they have, their age and their household structure.
    The MSF says the data will enable government agencies to plan sufficient services for the different groups of people with disabilities, among other aims.
    Data helps draw attention to problems and helps to identify gaps in policies and services. Definitive data on disability is especially crucial with an ageing population (the chances of having a disability increase with age and illness) and more children are diagnosed with developmental problems like autism.
    It is high time to use our first-class data-gathering capability to shake off the invisibility of disability.
  • 8th February 2017, 01:03 PM
    University students with special needs

    Date: 04 Feb 2017


    Amid the nationwide push to be a more inclusive society, local varsities are ramping up their support for students with special needs.
  • 8th February 2017, 12:52 PM
    Taxi drivers face £1,000 fine for refusing to pick up wheelchair users

    Date: 7 Feb 2017

    Taxi drivers who refuse to pick up wheelchair users or attempt to charge more for transporting them could be fined up to £1,000 under new laws tackling discrimination.

    The penalties will come into force from 6 April and will oblige taxi and private hire cars to take wheelchair users in their wheelchair if their vehicles are able to, as well as providing appropriate assistance. It will be an offence to charge any additional fare for the service.
    The rules will apply across Britain for taxis and private hire vehicles designated as wheelchair accessible – including all black cabs in London and taxis in many other cities.
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