Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

As I continue my search for a hero, I came across the term "assistive technology" which i learnt is technology targeted towards persons with disabilities.

In Kenya (and I reckon most of the developing world), if you are blind, deaf or otherwise impared, it means you are dumb. You are generally excluded from formal educational opportunities at an early age and even shunned by your family and community. Although there are numerous technologies to help the blind and visually impaired “read” books, periodicals, and Web based content via computers and mobile devices in the developed world, the major roadblock to accessing digital content in the developing world, where more than 90% of the world’s visually impaired live, are affordability and access.

However, because of the high adoption of cellphone technology in the developing world, this cellphones offer a potential solution to address the challenges of content access and learning for the visually impaired. Imagine visually challenged children and adults having 24/7 access to up to date books and periodicals and specially designed learning software on their phones?

The vision to bring millions of visually impaired individuals into the mainstream reading community, literally allowing them to carry learning in their pocket, is a grand one brought to the fore by ManOnAMission Paul J Lamb. Any social innovators out there willing to take up this vision?

Views: 20

Comment by Caroline Meeks on March 6, 2010 at 5:12am
There is also a person in Brazil working on bootable USB sticks that have software for the blind. The sticks will boot different computers so you can use it at an internet cafe, or a friends house. It is all open source software and will work with older hardware. F123.org

http://edutechdebate.org/assistive-technology/we-need-an-assistive-...
Comment by Linda Holt on March 8, 2010 at 6:39am
Another aspect that I was unaware of! Thanks for this share. It makes me think of how I have come to use Google to find out anything I want to know - at any time, as you say 24/7. How awesome for someone who has been disadvantaged to potentially become a community leader via access to information.
Comment by Bongumusa on March 9, 2010 at 9:07am
You sound as if you have something to share. That is good. I enjoy what I read .
Comment by Mita Williams on March 11, 2010 at 5:42pm
A co-worker of mine - a professor of social work - is legally blind and as I read your thoughtful post, I remembered a particular conversation I had with him.

He said that as the populations of America and Westen Europe ages, there will be a demand for better and more available assistive technologies associated with sight and reading. Here's hoping that such developments spread around the world!
Comment by Caroline Meeks on March 11, 2010 at 6:57pm
I just found this product: http://www.knfbreader.com/index.php

Looks interesting. I wonder how much it costs.
Comment by John D. Boyden on March 17, 2010 at 5:36pm
+1 spark. Nice challenge!

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