Pakistani startup “ConnectHear” has won big at World Summit Awards this year for a smartphone app for “connecting the deaf to the world.”. This particular app offers its users with hearing loss virtual sign language interpreters. The app was created 4 years ago by Azima Dhanjee and Arhum Ishtiaq.
Any person with hearing loss can connect to this user-friendly app and instantly/remotely will be connected to an interpreter. For its meaningful innovation, the startup won the Young Innovators Award, specifically for people under the age of 26 who take action on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Ishtiaq, the creator of the app, spoke to an international publication. He said, “I believe it is that and the continuous innovation that helped us win this award. We were really hopeful that this time they would recognize our struggle and consistent work for the community.”
Dhanjee, whose parents are deaf, said, “Once they announced ConnectHear as the global winner, my mom hugged me tightly as I was screaming. My parents were my inspiration for this idea. Growing up, I never felt my parents were different as we led a very normal life just like my friend’s families did. But once my schooling started and I interacted with more people, I realized how quickly people would stare at us at hospitals, parent-teacher meetings, malls, just because we would talk to each other in sign language.”
Initially, the duo helped deaf people through a Facebook page but later invented the digital tool when a deaf individual asked for help with some documents to create a credit card. Until now, the app has provided 100,000+ minutes of sign language interpretation. Other than that, they have made 600+ videos that were viewed more than 2 million times and trained over 700 people in sign language.
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