The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated Singapore’s digitalisation efforts, and likewise expanded the methods wherein Singaporeans might be empowered by digital applied sciences.
Supported by the Infocomm Media Growth Authority (IMDA), Digital for Life is a nationwide motion that goals to galvanise the group to assist Singaporeans embrace digital as a lifelong pursuit, and use digital to counterpoint our lives.
Because it began in February 2021, there was optimistic help from the non-public, folks and public sector, with greater than 100 companions from the enterprise firms, authorities entities, charitable organisations and non-governmental organisations all coming collectively to contribute to the motion.
From educating underprivileged kids primary laptop computer entry abilities to refurbishing laptops to cross it on to low revenue households, going round colleges to teach kids on cyber wellness, or creating assistive tech to assist seniors and individuals with disabilities, there are extra methods than one for everybody to play a component in serving to to construct a digitally inclusive society for all.
Singtel: Empowering the aged to go digital
Singtel is without doubt one of the three main telcos concerned within the Digital for Life motion, significantly focusing on seniors.
In help of the motion, Singtel launched a brand new digital inclusion initiative in March 2022 to bridge the digital hole for seniors and supply them with free information to entry the Web and keep linked with household and pals.
Known as Donate Your Knowledge, the scheme is presently open to GOMO subscribers – who can select to donate their information to needy seniors through the GOMO cellular app – although will probably be progressively prolonged to different Singtel cellular prospects as nicely.
Partnering with NTUC Well being within the pilot launch, Singtel consolidates the donated information into pay as you go hello! SIM playing cards to be distributed to needy seniors throughout their 13 Senior Exercise Centres.
This newest initiative enhances its ongoing Singtel Digital Silvers Programme, which goals to advertise digital literacy amongst seniors.
First launched in September 2020, the programme sees Singtel staff volunteer at Senior Exercise Centres and Energetic Ageing Centres each week to show the aged primary digital abilities.
“By our Singtel Digital Silvers programme, seniors are outfitted with the digital data and abilities similar to the best way to use their smartphones and make e-payments, to allow them to lead extra fulfilling and engaged lives,” mentioned Anna Yip, CEO of Singtel’s Shopper Singapore.
“We frequently champion digital inclusion throughout varied group segments as a result of we would like everybody to learn from digitalisation – no person ought to be left behind as a result of they don’t have the correct data or sources.”
In accordance with Yip, these initiatives have been well-received to this point and the telco will proceed to hunt new methods to empower extra folks to get linked and reap the advantages of know-how.
On the upcoming Digital for Life competition organised by IMDA, Singtel could have a sales space to permit the general public and senior beneficiaries to seek out out extra about their group programmes. They are going to be positioned at Suntec Principal Corridor on 21 and 22 Could from 10am to 7pm, and Heartbeat@Bedok Principal Corridor on 28 and 29 Could from 10am to 6pm.
Mercurics: Constructing an app that acts as a navigation map for wheelchair customers
Mercurics is an AI firm that builds computational fashions to raised perceive folks at scale in numerous software domains similar to human useful resource, retail, finance, and extra.
On the identical time, they’re additionally a social enterprise that harnesses information and know-how to deal with #techforgood tasks.
In 2020, they constructed a free software for company purchasers to evaluate the psychological wellbeing of their staff through its selfi.ai platform so employers can take obligatory intervention measures.
Presently, the tech startup is working with varied public and charity organisations to determine barrier-free paths in Singapore as a part of the Good Barrier Free Entry (SmartBFA) undertaking, which is partially funded by the Tote Board’s Enabling Lives Initiative Grant and supported by SG Allow.
“Most navigation apps in the present day shouldn’t have an possibility for wheelchair-accessible routes. Even when they do, it supplies solely wheelchair-accessible public transport choices – not accessible first/last-mile choices,” mentioned the founding father of Mercurics.
Wheelchair customers could subsequently encounter inaccessible routes with stairs, kerbs or steep slopes, inflicting them to must take lengthy detours. It’s nonetheless a work-in-progress, however the app will quickly permit wheelchair customers and/or their caregivers to seek for accessible routes by avoiding such obstacles.
Finally, SmartBFA goals to be a one-stop platform that highlights each wheelchair-accessible paths and locations.
In accordance with Mercurics, the app passively gathers information on wheelchair accessible paths by way of information assortment by volunteers.
“This passive strategy permits us to gather information in a extra sustainable approach by decreasing volunteer fatigue and energy. Volunteers could in fact, additionally contribute extra information attributes – similar to annotating obstacles – throughout their information assortment train.”
Mercurics goals to roll out the SmartBFA navigation app to wheelchair customers by the tip of this yr. Within the meantime, the app might be showcased on the upcoming Digital for Life competition. Their sales space might be positioned at Enabling Village Corridor (UOB Hall1/TechAble) from 10am to 6pm.
Transferring ahead, Mercurics shared that it additionally plans to deal with different points regarding employment for PwDs, accessibility for different PwD teams such because the visually impaired, and assist generate extra consciousness and empathy for the less-abled.
AiSP: Educating on-line security to counter cybercrime
Just lately, there was a gentle enhance in ransomware, on-line scams and phishing actions in Singapore.
Affiliation of Data Safety Professionals (AiSP) – an impartial cybersecurity affiliation – acknowledged this worrying development, and famous that apart from the speed of assaults growing yr on yr, in addition they elevated in sophistication.
“Digital transformation was accelerated by COVID-19, which created quite a lot of new alternatives for hackers to use weak gadgets and networks. Risk actors and cyber criminals took benefit of those expanded assault floor, therefore the current spate of on-line scams and phishing assaults,” reasoned Religion Chng, AiSP Secretary and EXCO Lead for AiSP Cyber Wellness.
Chng identified that persons are the “weakest hyperlink” within the cybersecurity framework since they’re prone to creating errors and repeating them. As such, she known as out the necessity for up to date cybersecurity consciousness, steady cyber training and an ongoing tradition of placing safety as a precedence.
In keeping with this, AiSP has rolled out a Cyber Wellness Programme that goals to teach residents – particularly the youths and the aged – on the significance of cybersecurity and staying secure on-line.
“With decreased face-to-face engagements, the aged and people with particular wants have turn into extra weak to cyber threats. We are going to attain out to totally different group teams to lift consciousness on the subject of cyber wellness and cybersecurity, and contributors can decide up cyber data by way of interactive studying,” mentioned Chng.
The programme, supported by the Digital for Life Fund, one other initiative by the IMDA, has engaged 2,500 seniors by way of a spread of cybersecurity coaching workshops, a curated interactive portal, quizzes and guidebook.
Moreover the Cyber Wellness Programme, AiSP can be concerned in serving to to boost safety consciousness by way of coaching with Singapore SMEs, internet hosting cybersecurity e-learning programs, participating girls in cybersecurity to bridge the expertise pool hole, encouraging volunteerism amongst college students whereas creating their curiosity in cybersecurity, amongst others.
On the upcoming Digital for Life competition, AiSP along with their companions, Acronis and thrive DX SaaS, will maintain consciousness talks on the best way to spot scams and faux information, in addition to interact the general public on cybersecurity data by way of quizzes and video games. It’s a walk-in occasion, so no pre-registration is required.
Moreover, Acronis will supply premium one-year cyber safety softwares by way of AiSP’s sales space engagement. Their sales space might be positioned at Suntec Singapore Conference & Exhibition Centre on 21 and 22 Could, and at Heartbeat@Bedok Principal Corridor on 28 and 29 Could, from 10am to 7pm.
By selling the event, enhance and unfold of cybersecurity data, AiSP hopes to assist form a extra resilient economic system.
Microsoft Singapore: Upskilling individuals with disabilities to enhance job alternatives
Microsoft has all the time been a agency believer in tapping on know-how to empower everybody to attain extra, and it has labored intently with governments, group, prospects, and companions world wide to assist it attain this objective.
“From the apps we use in our each day lives, to the velocity at which firms have leveraged AI, the cloud, robotics and the likes to navigate by way of the pandemic, one factor is obvious: the longer term is one that’s digital-first,” asserted Pratima Amonkar, APAC Lead for Cloud and AI Enterprise at Microsoft.
As an ongoing dedication to the Digital for Life motion and as a part of Microsoft’s international digital literacy initiative, Microsoft Singapore has partnered with SPD and SG Allow to develop the Digital Enablement Programme (DEP).
“The DEP goals to shut the digital divide and allow folks with disabilities to take part within the workforce. That is accomplished by way of a three-pronged strategy to upskill individuals with disabilities, join them with employment alternatives, and enhance their accessibility within the office,” defined Pratima.
She additionally harassed the necessity to entice extra folks with disabilities within the workforce to assist develop “the subsequent technology of accessible know-how”.
To make that occur, they should first create an inclusive office to nurture such expertise, and this begins with equipping folks with the required abilities. In keeping with this, Microsoft supported a pilot SPD digital abilities coaching course for individuals with disabilities in January 2021 to assist increase their employability.
The DEP is an extension of this pilot, and it features a 35-hour coaching course that’s structured into varied tiers catering to totally different digital literacy ranges.
Within the first tier, contributors be taught primary abilities like the best way to use TraceTogether, WhatsApp, and make medical appointments on their telephones. Within the superior courses, contributors be taught to entry on-line authorities providers, safeguard their private information, and use productiveness instruments together with Microsoft Groups and Microsoft Workplace on their digital gadgets.
Of the 17 contributors within the 2021 pilot, 11 efficiently secured employment upon completion of the programme. Spurred by these encouraging numbers, Microsoft goals to work with companions to coach 140 individuals with disabilities by 2023.
Moreover serving to them to upskill, Microsoft additionally helps match jobseekers to potential employers by way of the Microsoft Enabler Program. Launched in 2020, the initiative helps to offer full-time roles, internships, mentorships, and coaching alternatives to individuals with disabilities.
As well as, Microsoft connects companions with SG Allow’s Job Placement Job Assist programme, which gives employer consultancy and capability-building programmes to organisations which might be eager to rent individuals with disabilities.
“Fairly often, we have a look at only one facet of the fence – how we prepare folks to have the correct abilities. However on the finish of the day, if employers don’t perceive the best way to work with an individual with a incapacity, all of it falls aside,” mentioned Pratima.
Since individuals with disabilities characterize one of many largest untapped expertise swimming pools in Singapore, Microsoft hopes that by way of continued public-private partnerships like DEP, it might probably higher obtain its ambition to make know-how accessible for all and assist create a resilient, digitally-inclusive nation.
On the upcoming Digital for Life occasion, Microsoft might be internet hosting on-line webinars on 24 Could from 2.30pm to three.30pm, and 25 Could from 10.30am to 11.30am.
The webinar will cowl topics similar to the best way to improve private productiveness with assistive tech options of Microsoft instruments, together with reside demos, in addition to ideas and methods to organize for a digital profession. Pre-registration is required for this digital occasion.
Constructing a digitally inclusive society is a collective effort
“Because the digital panorama adjustments quickly, we want your complete group to come back collectively to construct and strengthen our digital resilience,” mentioned President Halimah Yaacob when she delivered her speech finally yr’s launch occasion of the Digital for Life motion.
“To take action, we have to perceive and collectively handle the digital wants of various segments of our society. Solely then can we be nearer to realising our imaginative and prescient of turning into a digitally inclusive society.”
It’s essential to notice that everybody may help play a component to construct a digitally inclusive society, regardless of how huge or small an organization could also be. Collectively, our collective efforts will assist to make know-how accessible for all, and digitally enrich the lives of the group.
Actually, there are various methods in which you’ll be able to contribute – donate to the Digital for Life Fund, volunteer with current tasks, or begin a ground-up undertaking by way of collaboration with different Digital for Life companions, all to assist the digitally less-abled to embrace digital.
You may also take a look at who’re the opposite companions supporting the motion, head all the way down to the Digital for Life competition to talk to them, get some inspiration on how one can additionally “play” it ahead, in addition to participate within the actions to have digital enrich your life too.
No matter your organization dimension or contribution, everyone seems to be welcome to hitch on this significant trigger to construct an inclusive digital society.
This text was written in collaboration with Infocomm Media Growth Authority (IMDA).
Featured Picture Credit score: Microsoft / AiSP / Singtel / Mercurics