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Graduates team creates an app to help visually impaired in their education

Shared by Sara Di Fabio on 2020-02-11 10:51

About the solution

Many visually impaired students from India struggle to find inclusive schools to pursue their education. The main reason relies on the lack of resources of the education system that miss giving these students the support they need. Lack of education affects also employability of visually impaired people. To overcome the social challenges stemmed by a weak education system, a team of recent graduates, Akshita, Bonny, and Abhishek, developed ‘Kibo’ to help the visually impaired access written content.

The team met at the Digital Impact Square centre where graduates are trained to create social innovations. Because of previous volunteering experience, Akshita, Bonny, and Abishek already had some ideas on how to help visually impaired people. However, “as part of the project, we spent around eight months interacting with the visually-impaired from all age groups across five cities. A lot of our assumptions and doubts were cleared. It was an enriching experience for all of us,” said Abhishek. The turning point that led them to develop Kibo was the daughter of a blind couple. The visually impaired parents administered to their daughter an expired medicine because they were not able to read the expiration date, in turn, their daughter had a bad reaction to the medicine.

Kibo is composed of a low-cost portable device and an application able to scan and read aloud printed, handwritten, and digital text. The scanner can translate the text in over 100+ languages. The Kibo web-portal ensures the device's compatibility with laptops and PCs. “We received a lot of feedback from our users. One of the biggest criticisms was the device translating only English books. For the next couple of months, we worked on integrating several regional languages like Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu,” said Bonny.

“Through the audio files, the self-learning process became very easy. I am confident now, more than ever, to clear my third year,” a student using Kibo said.

The team founded the company Trestle Labs in 2017 to promote inclusivity and accessibility. Trestle Labs now has a wide range of clients, from NGOs, libraries, and universities like Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad.

Adapted from: https://www.thebetterindia.com/189988/lifestyle-india-innovation-visuall...
More information: https://trestlelabs.com/

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Abishek, Akshita, and Bonny were recent graduates when they invented Kibo, a device to help visually impaired people to access the written content. The team founded the company Trestle Labs in 2017 to keep working with communities of visually impaired people, helping them to pursue their education.

Abhishek Baghel, from Delhi, India, holds a degree in Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineering.
Akshita Sachdeva, from Haryana, India, holds a degree in Computer Science and Engineering.
Bonny Dave, from Gujarat, India, holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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