Eyes :: Visual impairment fund seeks applications

The Social Welfare Department is seeking applications for funding to acquire advanced Chinese screen readers and Braille displays to help people with visual impairment access information technology and meet their study or employment needs.

The IT Scheme for People with Visual Impairment, set up with a $7 million donation from the Jockey Club Charitable Trust, launched its first round last year. The deadline for applications for the current invitation (the third round) is December 8.

The scheme helps non-governmental and non-profit-making organisations offer services or schooling to people with visual impairment, and tertiary institutions to acquire the equipment. It also subsidises individual people with visual impairment in need to purchase these devices for studies or employment.

Items include advanced Chinese screen readers, such as Chinese JAWS; and Braille display of 40 cells, such as Power Braille or PAC Mate.

Successful organisations will be sponsored in the installation of Chinese screen readers (maximum $9,800 a set) and Braille displays (maximum $36,000 a set). For successful individual applicants, the subsidy for Chinese screen reader will not be more than $9,800 and the one for Braille display will be 75% of the cost, or $27,000, whichever is the less, for procurement of the item.

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