57. Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information whether there will be regular reviews of Smart Nation initiatives on improving reach and access to persons with disabilities.




           A key priority of Singapore’s Smart Nation strategy is to ensure all Singaporeans can participate in and benefit from our digital transformation journey. This is reflected in the Digital Readiness Blueprint that MCI launched last year.

2          Over the years, the Government has ensured that vulnerable segments of our society are included in our digital transformation journey. Initiatives such as IMDA’s NEU PC Plus and Enable IT programmes, and the Assistive Technology Fund administered by SG Enable, provide support for persons with disabilities in their use of technology. For persons with disabilities living in a low-income household, the NEU PC Plus Programme enables them to buy a PC at a subsidised rate, while the Assistive Technology Fund subsidises the cost of assistive technology for purposes such as early intervention, education and training. In addition, the Enable IT programme encourages the adoption of Infocomm and Assistive Technologies (IT/AT) to enable independent living.

3          We regularly refine and update our initiatives, and are ready to tap on opportunities to deliver better outcomes. The development of assistive technology is such an opportunity that has the potential to make big improvements to the way persons with disabilities complete tasks and activities. As a new initiative to enhance the Enable IT programme, IMDA recently supported SPD, a charity which supports people with disabilities of all ages, to set up 4 IT/AT satellite loan libraries to better provide polytechnic students with access to IT/AT.

4          The Government has also adopted the Digital Service Standards to ensure that digital Government services are inclusive by design, and accessible to groups such as the visually impaired. These standards were recently enhanced and published in Oct 2018, and we regularly review them to ensure that all Singaporeans can benefit.

5          We are committed to continually ensure that our Smart Nation journey is inclusive to all Singaporeans, including persons with disabilities, and we will do so by working with the people, public and private sectors. One such platform is the cross-sectoral workgroup that MSF launched this year to promote independent living through technology and design, in the home setting as well as within the community. The workgroup is co-chaired by the Minister of State for Social and Family Development, Mr Sam Tan, and President of SPD, Ms Chia Yong Yong.

Speech by Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, at the Singapore Tech Industry Gala Night on 5 Nov 2019 Speeches Digital Readiness, Infocomm Media 05 Nov 19
Brief Remarks by Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, at the Launch of Central Singapore CDC's ‘My Digital Bootcamp’ Speeches Digital Readiness 03 Sep 19
Opening Remarks by Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, at the IPS-IMDA Symposium, Digital Inclusion Festival 2019 on 26 July 2019 Speeches Infocomm Media, Digital Readiness 26 Jul 19
Speech by Minister for Communications and Information Mr S Iswaran at MCI Workplan Seminar 2019 on 10 July 2019 Speeches Cyber Security, Digital Readiness, Digital Defence, Infocomm Media, Libraries, Personal Data 10 Jul 19
MCI's response to PQ on Efficacy of Home Access Programme and NEU PC Plus Programme Parliament QAs Digital Readiness 08 Jul 19
MCI's response to PQ on review of initiatives to improve access and reach to Persons with Disabilities Parliament QAs Digital Readiness 08 Jul 19
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