SWD to invite applications for IT schemes for persons with disabilities
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     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) will tomorrow (October 26) invite eligible individuals and organisations to apply for the Jockey Club IT Scheme for People with Visual Impairment (21st Round) and the Central Fund for Personal Computers (33rd Round). The deadline for submitting applications to the Scheme and the Fund is November 30.

     The objectives of the Jockey Club IT Scheme for People with Visual Impairment are to support non-governmental and non-profit-making organisations providing services/schooling for people with visual impairment (PVI) to acquire advanced Chinese screen readers, Braille displays and accessories to facilitate PVI's surfing on the Internet, and to subsidise individual PVI in need to purchase these devices for the purpose of studies or employment. Previous beneficiaries of the Scheme can apply again if they demonstrate genuine financial difficulties and need for study/employment purposes. The Jockey Club IT Scheme for People with Visual Impairment has been further enhanced since October 2015, including expansion of coverage on subsidy to purchase accessories/portable devices for PVI.

     The items supported under this scheme are advanced Chinese screen readers, Braille displays of 40 cells and accessories/portable devices.

     Successful organisation applicants will be supported in full for purchasing a high-performance Chinese screen reader set (capped at $9,800) and/or Braille displays (capped at $36,000) and/or accessories (capped at $66,300) in the reference list in the Appendix of the Information Note on the Jockey Club IT Scheme for People with Visual Impairment. Successful individual applicants will be supported for a high-performance Chinese screen reader set with an amount of not more than $9,800 and/or accessories/portable devices in the reference list in the Appendix of the Information Note on the Jockey Club IT Scheme for People with Visual Impairment with an amount of not more than $49,600, whereas the maximum support level for Braille displays will be at 90 per cent of the price or not more than $32,400, whichever is the less.

     Eligible organisations may complete the designated form to tender their applications. Individual applications must have a nomination from a subvented non-governmental rehabilitation organisation, the student affairs office of a local tertiary institution, the principal of a local secondary/primary school, or the Selective Placement Division of the Labour Department (LD), and should be submitted with a designated form together with the quotations for the items concerned from the nominating organisation. The SWD has sent letters to the relevant organisations to invite them to tender nominations.

     The Central Fund for Personal Computers aims to assist eligible persons with disabilities in acquiring the required computer facilities for self-employment or receiving supported employment services at home with guidance and follow-up services to be provided by the referring rehabilitation organisations or the Selective Placement Division of the LD. As for the criteria, applicants must:

(a) be users of rehabilitation services of and nominated by rehabilitation service organisations or the Selective Placement Division of the LD;
(b) have difficulties in engaging in open employment;
(c) provide a viable business plan which requires the use of computer facilities;
(d) have financial difficulty in acquiring the required computer facilities;
(e) be capable of using computers to carry out the business plan; and
(f) have the consent of the nominating organisations or the LD to provide guidance and follow-up services after applicants' acquisition of the computer facilities.

     For enquiries of the above schemes, please contact the Rehabilitation and Medical Social Services Branch of the SWD at 2892 5156, through email to [email protected] or by fax to 2893 6983. Members of the public can also visit the SWD website (www.swd.gov.hk) or CyberAble.net (www.CyberAble.net). Information Notes and Application Forms can be downloaded from the websites.

Ends/Sunday, October 25, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:00

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