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November 1, 2003

MCDS launches $2m fund for disabled to buy assistive devices

From: Channel News Asia, Singapore - Nov 1, 2003

By Camie de Souza, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : The disabled in Singapore are getting a $2 million boost to help them better integrate into society.

Community Development and Sports Minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim announced a new fund to help them buy special devices for work or studies.

"While such devices are promising, their usage remains sporadic. The main reason is cost, and cost puts these devices beyond the reach of many who could benefit from them," said Dr Yaacob.

For example, a braille-note laptop costs about $10,000 while a cochlear implant can cost up to $30,000.

Under the fund, each person can apply for a subsidy of up to $10,000 per device.

Other funds for the disabled include the Special Assistance Fund and Computer Access Trust Fund.

"Pairing up with training and education, these all come hand in hand in getting disabled individuals back into society," said Dr Wong Meng Ee, Senior Executive at the National Council of Social Service. - CNA

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