Main ContentDevelopment of Assistive Technologies for Persons with Disabilities
Hong Kong is a well-developed and mature digital economy. Use of the Internet for accessing information and online services has become a part of many people’s daily lives. People who are out of touch with the digital world will find it difficult to integrate into the mainstream community. Advancement in information and communications technology (ICT) has improved the quality of life of the underprivileged groups.
Owing to physical limitations, persons with disabilities (PWD) often encounter many obstacles in using ICT. As such, they need a variety of assistive tools in order to operate and use computer smoothly. However, some of these assistive tools are so expensive that some of the PWD can hardly afford. In addition, as the type and severity of disabilities vary among PWD, different PWD need different assistive tools. Some of them may not be able to find a suitable tool in the market and therefore need a tailor-made one which greatly increases the cost and time required.
In view of the above, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer allocated a one-off funding of HK$3.6 million in 2010/11 to support the development of ICT-based assistive tools and applications for persons with disabilities. The nine selected projects, ranging from software development, input and control auxiliary device, online services and rehabilitation tools, etc, cater for persons with different types of disabilities such as the physically disabled and visually impaired persons.
The funded projects commenced development works in April 2011. All of them were completed in April 2012. The products are now available for free download, distribution to needy groups or use as a basis for further development.
Detailed information of the nine funded projects is given below:
Providing Rehabilitation Exercise
Facilitating Daily Living
Intelligent home for people with physical disabilities by the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Tsing Yi)
This console system is tailor-made for physically disabled persons to control various home appliances using smartphones.
A Mobile, Multi-Modal Human Interface Device for People with Disabilities and Its Application on Home Automation System by the Hong Kong PHAB Association and the University of Hong Kong
This control device, developed under the Android platform, can run on both smartphones and tablet computers. It features with control functions such as eye-ball tracking, touch screen and voice recognition which can suit the needs of people with different level of disabilities.
The user manual (English version) and the research report (English version) can be downloaded from the project webpage.
| User Manual
Facilitating Texts Input
A Novel Chinese Text Input Brain-Computer Interface for Persons with Neuromuscular Disability by the Chinese University of Hong Kong
This portable brain-computer interface prototype enables persons with neuromuscular disability to use electroencephalogram to interact with a computer and input Chinese text to communicate with others more effectively.
The software and user guide can be downloaded from the project webpage.
Easy-Dots2.0 by Hong Kong Blind Union
This project upgraded the Braille input software “Easy-Dots” adopted by the blind people and made it compatible with Microsoft Windows 7 with enhanced functionalities.
The software can be downloaded from project webpage.
QuicKey"Barrier-free input device" by the Keysquare Communication Limited
This is a special-designed small keyboard device with a single-button control mode that can replace traditional keyboard and mouse, facilitating the physically disabled persons in using computer.
The application, user guide (English version) and installation guide (English version) can be downloaded from the project webpage.
Touchscreen text input application for visually impaired by the Freedom Communications Limited and the Hong Kong Blind Union
This is a Chinese input mobile application running on Apple’s iOS devices. Based on the Braille input software “Easy-Dots”, four Chinese input methods are provided by this mobile application.
The iPhone App can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. The user guide (English version) can be downloaded from the project webpage.
Details of the funded projects can be found in " Development of Assistive Technology for Persons with Disabilities Fund" booklet.