How AskBlee is Bridging Knowledge Gaps for People With Hearing Disabilities | woman at work

How AskBlee is Bridging Knowledge Gaps for People With Hearing Disabilities

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For most of us, if there’s an answer to a query it’s on Google. It might be lost somewhere within layers of search results but the right keywords can get you there faster. However, things change when it comes to people with disabilities. Unlike many in society, social entrepreneurs Janhavi Joshi and Nupura Kirloskar understood early on how the internet wasn’t exactly disabled-friendly. Their understanding of the needs of physically-challenged is what inspired the two to co-found BleeTech Innovations, a company focusing on creating products for people with disabilities.

Where It All Started

Alumnae of MIT Institute of Design in Pune, Janhavi and Nupura have designed a host of products that have helped blind and deaf people to become independent. One of the most famous products launched by BleeTech Innovations is AskBlee, which is an encyclopedia exclusively designed for people with hearing disabilities. The two friends designed this low-cost encyclopedia over a period of six months. In an interview with English daily Asian Age, Nupura said that it wasn’t necessary that a language or information is perceived by everyone in the same manner. “People with hearing disabilities do not perceive the English language the same way as the rest of the crowd. And our aim is to make this information accessible to people with hearing disabilities,” said the 25-year-old social entrepreneur.

The encyclopedia features short videos with information on a host of topics. Be it ways to impressing a girl or learning more about Mahatma Gandhi, there’s a little a person with hearing disabilities wouldn’t get on AskBlee. What’s more is that the information is available in many languages including the Indian Sign Language (ISL).  To use AskBlee, all one has to do is to send their question to a WhatsApp number 8828983830 and the founders get back to the sender with a small informative video. The two also have a Youtube channel, wherein, they seek to bridge knowledge gaps for people with disabilities by making short informative videos.

The Future Is Bright

Both Nupura and Janhavi were recently featured in the ‘Forbes India 30 Under 30’ list of achievers and have also devised a wearable watch for hearing impaired, BleeWatch. While the start was certainly not easy, but the two entrepreneurs have big plans for the future. Nupura said that there is a lot of potential in the facility and BleeTech Innovations was on the lookout for collaborations with corporate houses in sectors like healthcare, banking, and e-commerce.

Image credit: India Today

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