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First Sign Language App Unveiled In Kenya

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First Sign Language App Unveiled In Kenya. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can now use their mobile phones to receive critical services at little cost, without the need for a sign language interpreter on board.assistALL, a Signs Media Kenya Limited invention, is the first mobile phone app in Kenya to provide sign language interpreting services.The software, which was created to overcome the communication gap between deaf people and healthcare providers during the Covid-19 epidemic, is now being used in other areas including as higher education, general healthcare, the court system, government services, and finance.assistALL is also creating job opportunities for sign language interpreters, who have the potential to earn a consistent income because the app brings them closer to their customer base without having to consider travel logistics, allowing them to serve deaf people, an important step toward promoting deaf inclusion by allowing them access to essential services.During the unveiling, ICT and Broadcasting Chief Administrative Secretary Maureen Mbaka stated that the assistApp will help health care practitioners overcome communication issues.“From now henceforth, doctors or nurses who don’t understand Sign Language, can diagnose illness and administer medication to the people with hearing loss via this app, hence improving delivery of healthcare to this critical population,” said Mbaka.She went on to say that the app would ensure that communication between hard of hearing providers and government entities is easy.The CAS noted that the app’s absorption and employment of all qualified sign language interpreters across the country to work as assistive service providers elevates the app to the level of major employers in the ICT space, such as Uber, who have provided equal opportunity employment to Kenyan youth.Mbaka stated that the participation of over 260,000 people with hearing impairments in the market, whether as contenders or voters, is a right that cannot be denied, and urged assistAll stakeholders to consider enabling the IEBC through this app, to facilitate communication of voters with impaired hearing and aspirants during the upcoming general election.“The Government of Kenya has invested heavily in Technical and Vocational Training institutions for the youth, aimed at creating well rounded and work-ready individuals. “Now with assistALL, the participation of the hard of hearing in our TVETs should increase, ensuring equal education opportunities for all,” added Mbaka.Speaking on behalf of PS Nelson Marwa, Social Protection, Senior Citizens Affairs, and Special Programmes, Director Administration Samson Wangusi stated that the assistive technology App will increase the involvement of people with disabilities in the country’s social and economic growth.“We are happy to note that assistALL App, will ensure that persons with hearing impairments who are greatly impeded by communication barriers will now attain their highest aspirations,” said Marwa.He said that the App will also help the government with its disability mainstreaming mission.Marwa promised that the government is committed to assisting partners like as Signs Media, which plays a critical role in enabling access to information for those with hearing impairments.He commended development partners such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Foreign Commonwealth Development Organization (FCDO), and Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) for their assistance in facilitating the various stages of assistALL development.assistALL runs on a per-second pricing model, and a sign language interpreter may be reached for as low as sh.30. On Android devices, the app may be downloaded via the Google Play store. The goal is to get 10,000 downloads by the end of 2022, and more than 500 people have already downloaded the app.ALSO READ:According to Signs Media Kenya Limited study, the mobile ownership disability gap in Kenya is 11%, which means that individuals with disabilities are 11% less likely to possess a cell phone than those without disabilities.The report also finds that the disparity in smartphone ownership worsens, with those with disabilities being 72% less likely to possess a smartphone than people without impairments.First Sign Language App Unveiled In Kenya

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