Hong Kong rolls out gov’t-funded mobile apps for digital inclusion

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Hong Kong’s Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) recently introduced a new batch of government-funded mobile apps developed by non-profit social service organizations.

The apps were developed by non-governmental organizations that have been serving the relevant target groups, including persons with visual or hearing impairment, elders, and children with learning difficulties or Down Syndrome.

With a good understanding of the target groups, the apps can better cater for their needs in terms of contents and services, thus enhancing their quality of life and learning abilities. 

The five mobile apps are as follows:

Tap My Dish - Developed by the Hong Kong Blind Union, it provides speech augmented food menu information for persons with visual impairment.

Smart and Fit DS Kids - Developed by the Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association, it provides training for children with Down Syndrome on their muscular and co-ordination abilities.

AngeLINK - Developed by the Hong Kong Young Women's Christian Association, it assists elderly persons to produce booklets of life memories.

Early Literacy - Developed by SAHK, it provides training for children with learning difficulties on their reading and writing abilities.

Silence Sign Language Interpretation App - Developed by Silence Limited, it provides an instant sign language interpretation service for persons with hearing impairment using video communication.

The OGCIO said in a report on its website that since 2012, the government has launched three rounds of application for the OGCIO's funding scheme to support non-profit social service organizations to develop mobile apps that cater to the needs of the underprivileged groups. A total of 17 mobile apps has been funded and developed for free use.

"Information and communications technology (ICT) such as mobile apps brings convenience to our daily lives. However some people, like the elderly and the underprivileged groups, may not be able to enjoy fully the advantages of technology advancement,” the OGCIO said in a statement. “In this regard, the government has been implementing various initiatives to facilitate needy groups to improve their quality of life with technology. These include funding support for non-profit social service organisations to collaborate with the ICT industry in developing customised mobile apps to provide practical and user-friendly contents and services.