Tech Solutions for Youth with Disabilities in Singapore
Program Year: 2020
With support from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, The Asia Foundation partnered with Engineering Good to engage with student teams from high schools and junior colleges to create simple, user-friendly solutions for youth with disabilities to improve their employability. Mentors from Google, Engineering Good, and local community partners guided the student teams through the design thinking and prototype development process, culminating with teams presenting their solutions to a virtual panel of assistive technology experts in an Innovation Challenge in September.
Three projects were selected for continued development for public use in 2021:
- Public transit for persons with down syndrome – A team from NUS High School of Math and Science worked with feedback from Down Syndrome Association to create an application designed to relieve the distress and angst faced when traveling alone on public transit.
- Improving face-to-face communication for the hearing impaired – Students from National Junior College designed an app that converts speech-to-text on smart glasses, allowing users to look at the person communicating with them, while simultaneously reading the text.
- Reading computer notifications for the visually impaired before screen readers run – Participants from Tampines Meridian Junior College developed a camera feature for smartphones that detects a computer screen—whether it is on or off—and records the data on the screen. This enables visually impaired users to follow computer prompts independently to get their computers up and running for their work.
The Go Digital ASEAN initiative focuses on closing the digital gap across ASEAN and approved for implementation by the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises during its 8th Meeting in November 2019. The initiative will train up to 200,000 people from rural regions and underserved communities—including entrepreneurs, underemployed youth, and women. Working with local partners in across ASEAN, the USD$3.3 million grant from Google.org will broaden participation in the digital economy to include groups that have the most to gain from digital literacy skills and online safety awareness.
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