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$3,182 Total funding received

Painting a bigger picture for the speech impaired

OTTAA Project allows people with speech impairments to communicate using pictograms to quickly and effectively put sentences together. Our technology gathers data as it's being used, to 'learn' and suggest the most suitable images for the user, relevant to the context.

Approximately 1.5% of the world population lives with speech disabilities, locked in their bodies because of medical conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Aphasia, Autism, ALS or Locked-in Syndrome. The inability to communicate affects not only the sufferer, but also family and friends who cannot understand their wishes or needs.

Our company harnesses the power of technology to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Currently our solution is already creating more than 370,000 sentences, improving the lives of over 2,500 people in South America.

Funding would allow us to...

Continue enhancing the lives of more disabled people by continually improving our platform based on feedback from users. We aim to help upwards of 150,000 users, creating more than 4 million sentences.

Funding will also allow us to finish the prototype for our new 'helmet' technology which uses sensors to capture brain activity and translate it into words - so that paralyzed users can also have access to communication. It is in the beta testing stage at the moment and we hope to have it ready this year.

A hospital visit put things in perspective...

To get an understanding of the situation, we visited a long-term care facility where a paralyzed man, connected to a ventilator was in residence. His mother and personal carer invited us to communicate with him using the only method they had- a whiteboard with the alphabet written on and a marker. We started pointing to letters, waiting on him to blink his response to slowly spell out each word.

This method, in today's digital age, is just not acceptable. On our way home from the facility we got to thinking about how we could close the gap between paralyzed patients and communication.