• Friday, Feb 03, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

A homegrown app help assist blind people with education

  • Published at 08:56 pm October 6th, 2019
The app also has an option, where people with disabilities can have access to 999 or emergency services if they encounter any problems Collected

'I had a computer and an internet connection back then. So I decided to do something by using these tools to make a change in the society'

Two and a half years ago, Iftekhar, now 17, planned to do something incredible in the field of entrepreneurship that may shape people's lives by addressing their problems.

As he puts up efforts to dig deep into his ambitious plans, he discovered a trend that entrepreneurship was flourishing in Bangladesh; however, those were for the most part focused on maximizing profits and or generating increased revenues, as opposed to the social entrepreneurship, a normative value driven efforts, that can help people with their lives and livelihood. 

With a strong resolve, Iftekhar, then a 10th grader at the Ideal School and College in Dhaka, started to study computer programming knowhow and relevant skills to come up with something innovative.

“I had a computer and an internet connection back then. So I decided to do something by using these tools to make a change in the society,” said Iftekhar Ahmed Tonoy, with slight vision impairment. 

Tonoy's  limitation has led him to observe from a very young age, how everyday essential things are inaccessible and expensive for the blind. 

Within seven months, he learned programming languages and developed a website; Software for Blind. The software helps people with visual impairment to get answers, if questions are made in English.

The app will automatically open when the computer is turned on. Users can order for work or different tasks including weather forecast, sending signals to close ones, sending messages from contact lists, reading books and newspapers, searching words in dictionary and Wikipedia, setting alarms, etc using the app.

But shortly after, Iftekhar realized the fact that computer and an internet connection are not always readily accessible to all. At this stage, he decided to develop a mobile application called 'Blind Eye'.

The app offers similar facilities to users - when posed a question to the app in English.

The app also has an option, where people with disabilities can have access to 999 or emergency services if they encounter any problems.

The app brought home the champions award in the school project category in BASIS National ICT Award in 2017. 

But the app is also not accessible for all. This is when he decided to create a technology that could provide a sustainable solution for the education of blind children worldwide, especially the poor ones. 

So, Iftekhar created a program that can help the blind people with their education. He assembled different pieces of hardware to create an easy to operate and cheap device. A Braille Board costs $70 and a Braille Board Lite version costs $40.

The Braille Board contains over 10,000 books which help the blind to read and learn.  

Iftekhar was also selected as a finalist and the only Bangladeshi in the shortlist at the International Children's Peace Prize 2019 held recently. The annual prize is awarded to a child who fights for childrens' rights.

“But making it accessible to all the people with vision loss needs funding. I have approached  investors, but they are more preoccupied for revenue generation than on social impacts,” said Iftekhar, now a student at Birshreshtha Noor Mohammad Public College.

Currently, he is working to develop his own business in an effort to generate funds and utilize some of those resources for the advancement of the social development apps that can help provide more services to the physically disadvantaged groups.

“I hope the device can be provided to all blind students of Bangladesh someday, so that it will surely help them access to learning and education,” said Iftekhar.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail