Giving Ability to everyone.
India, June 4 -- Bipin Agravat was teaching some children computer skills at a village near Ahmedabad, when he found that Rekha, a 12 year old differently abled girl was finding it difficult to master using the mouse and keyboard. "It made me realize that there are millions of people who face similar problems in communicating and handling even basic technology", he said. With that thought in mind, Agarvat decided to set up "Willager" an IT company that specializes in engineering a software that they call "Ability". Ability is designed to help people like Rekha overcome the challenges they currently face.
Ability logoWhat "Ability" essentially does, is convert typed text into sign language. The software can convert text into both one handed sign language (used in America) and two handed sign language (used in countries like Britain and India). Many differently abled people are taught to communicate in sign language so the software translates typed letters into language they can now understand and interact with. The company's logo showing sign language sequence for two hands also denotes the same. " With one hand for technology and the other for help, we aim to remove this disability barrier from communication and make it available for all", said Agravat. So now Rekha can understand things better by just receiving a message that will be automatically converted into sign language for her by the technology.
"Our research has revealed that there is lack of local custom build software which can satisfy all the needs to bridge the digital divide from text to sign language to voice and vice versa. The idea is to promote "ability" rather than "disability" and provide equal opportunities for persons with disabilities to be active and interact in a positive social circle." said Agravat.
Ability is presently available in the English language but Agravat and his team are working to develop it into 6 major Indian languages including Hindi and Punjabi in order to cater to the domestic market.
The company is currently working with Blind People's Association, Ahmedabad and has approached the institute of Special Able Person, Gujrat. "We are also in talks with Angel Funding and various several mobile handset providers, service providers and application providers to incorporate our software but these are at a very initial stage," added Agravat.
The software will be commercially introduced in November and users will also be able to download it on their mobile phones. But phones will need to support platforms like JAVA, Flashlite, and Symbian. It should also have an audio channel.
Ability has received Gold medal from CII, CIIE-IIMA, Yong Indians and Agilent technologies in 2009. UNESCO, ITU in Geneva, also invited product Ability for presentation last year.
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