Deaf Access Services in Higher Learning ► Equal Dreams

What are the types of access services available for Deaf or Hard of Hearing (HoH) students in Higher Learning? What are the funding sources available, if any?

Here’s an overview of the current landscape of access options in Singapore, and possible funding sources that students can tap on.

1. Availability of Access Options

This list shows some common services, and here we’d like to highlight that what works best for each individual may differ — depending on factors such as the nature of the course, and the student’s communication preference. 

Equal Dreams provides two access services for the Deaf/HoH students: sign language interpreting and speech-to-text interpreting (more commonly known as notetaking). You may book an accessibility consultancy session with us to find out more, or get linked up with our partners who provide other forms of access services. Contact us at



2. Ministry of Education (MOE)’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) Fund

MOE set up its SEN fund in March 2014 so ITE and polytechnic students with ‘physical or visual impairment (PI/VI), hearing loss (HL) or learning and behavioural (L&B) difficulties’ can get equitable access to their school’s programmes and services.

Each eligible Deaf/HoH student can claim up to $25,000 from the SEN fund for Assistive Technology (AT) devices and access services, as seen in the table below. Deaf/HoH students who have been assessed by a relevant professional to require Communication Access Services like STTI and sign language interpreting qualify under the High Needs category, and can claim up to the full subsidy cap of $70,000.


Assistive Technology Communication Access Services
  • Digital/FM listening devices and related accessories
  • Speech-to-text software
  • Text-to-speech software
  • Sign language interpretation service
  • STTI service

Both autonomous universities and art institutions have various levels of financial support for students with special educational needs as well.

To find out more about the SEN fund and support services available in each Institute of Higher Learning, head over to the MOE page on Special Educational Needs support at Institutes of Higher Learning.


3. Other Funding for Access Services in Higher Learning

Those who don’t qualify for the SEN fund may consider other sources of financial support for Higher Learning.

You can contact us at to find out more information, or get advice on the application process for the above two funds.


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