A mobile application that enables accessibility of health care for marginalized groups in society
Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)
Lower understanding of sign language has left the deaf community marginalized and unable to access basic health care services. This has been attributed to the fact that Global hearing aid production only meets 10% of the Deaf population and Number of professionally trained Sign Language Interpreters is way too minimal to serve the 446 Million deaf population. As a result, Alfred Weinrib, an 83-cancer stricken deaf person died without even knowing his diagnosis after 3 long hospitals failed to provide a sign language interpreter for 7 months. Alfred is not alone, there are more than 10,000 cases reported every year in Africa.
Beacon chat is the solution, built on Internet of Things, we provide an inclusive communication platform for Deaf and Hearing that uses Natural Language Processing to translate between Sign and Text. This way, individuals like Alfred can access basic health care without the need of a sign language expert.
Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)
Hospitals: they will be able to provide inclusive health care at low cost since consultation of Sign Language is expensive and Beacon Chat provides a cheaper option, thus advance in the achievement of universal health coverage.
Deaf Community: They will be able to communicate with medical practitioners that will result into better health diagnosis and treatment and will be able to participate in an inclusive world
Hearing Community: It will be now possible to interact with a deaf individual, and thus opening up for new possibilities for Innovative Collaboration and Economic Growth.
How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)
Beacon Chat is universally designed, making it inclusive and operates at no cost regardless of network or Wi-Fi coverage, making it cheap and available. Compared to Hearing Aid, whose production only meets 10% of the deaf population, SignAll who have a Translation booth which is not portable and is expensive, Sign Language Interpreters, who are hard to find and expensive to consult on hourly fees
Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)
Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.
Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)
Beacon Inc is a Kenya based social enterprise that seeks to reboot equality by catalyzing Low cost Internet of Things technology to foster inclusion for vulnerable groups in society, enabling access to health, education and civic engagement.
Organization Filing Status
No, but we are a formal initiative through an accelerator, hub, or other entity.
In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.
In 2017, I was diagnosed with partial hearing loss after a musical career working as a DJ like Avicii. What followed next, was a distressing time in life, where I underwent isolation and distress. Not to be defined by my disability, I developed the MVP for Beacon Chat to help me with the basic communication, but it is the Alfred Weinrib story, that led me to pursue Beacon Inc. When I look back, I see it was a tough decision leaving Djing, but Beacon Inc has given me fulfillment
Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).
Health is core to Human development and prosperity, since heathy people are better able to contribute to the social, political and economic development of their communities and countries. Studies show that good health has a positive effect on development and that decreases in overall morbidity and mortality can help drive productivity and economic growth. Our project addresses inequalities and exclusion that act as barriers to accessing health services for the most marginalized and vulnerable people. healthy community lead to better economic growth and as a result lead us to a path of prosperity.
When people are barred from enjoying particular rights, conflict arises as a result and further leads to violence. Vulnerable Groups have been marginalized by society and thus unable to access basic services like education and health care. This has further scaled levels of gender based violence on vulnerable groups since they are unable to ask for help.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
In Nairobi, Kenya the deaf community at the moment are fragmented in special schools where they get special education and in this schools are managed by Government sponsored initiatives and Non-Governmental Organizations. One that stood out during the research is Liverpool VCT, they are an NGO that provides sexual and reproductive health consultation to persons with disabilities and have a wide coverage in the city. Beyond that, I have worked with some of their employees who are deaf and will be easy to foster ultimate partnership that will ensure scalability of the impact across the 780,000 deaf individuals across Kenya.
Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)
Working with Liverpool VCT will be beneficial to the project, since they employ both deaf and hearing in their workforce and more to that have VCT Centers (Locations for Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Testing) across the country. Their setup will be able to test applicability of the application. More to that, is that there is love between deaf and hearing and that gives hope to the chance of inclusion
East African Community, with more than 1,000,000 deaf individuals
How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)
Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)