Category: Education, Made in India,
Organization name: Cisco System
Launched Date: 2015-09-30
Who has created it: Savita Thakur
Problem statement and how the Accessible Innovation solves the problem.
Spelling is an integral part of the reading and writing process and one which poses unique challenges for students with visual impairment. There was a need for an open source spelling tool which is free and handy for all persons with visual as well as physical impairment to improve their English. With our tool, the user has an ability to practice basic words, common words, commonly confused words, and professional words with a lesson based structure for different skill levels with review system for each grade level.
Application was built because of EnAble India's mission to empower persons with disability. As a non-profit organization, they train and counsel persons with disability and prepare them to join the mainstream workforce as confident individuals. Spelling is an integral part of the reading and writing process and one which poses unique challenges for students with visual impairment.
Spell Tree Beta version was published on 30th Sept 2015 for Enable India's Bangalore center students. After receiving good response by the students, the application was launched on 20th Nov 2015 at the two-day India Inclusion Summit held in Bangalore.
Application has been architected and developed by a team of Cisco Engineers comprising Archana DS , Piyush Lashkari , Sarath Babu R Hemachandran, Sagar Shukla and Bakul Mittal. The team was led by Savita Thakur and Product expert is Mohith BP from EnAble India.
Tell us who is the target audience and how the accessible innovation will benefit them. Please specify the different target audiences groups and provide numbers and statistics of your current clients as well as what is the potential number of people that the innovation can impact and empower:
The tool currently has a userbase of around 100 students at Enable India's Bangalore training center. To be recognised as a valuable member of the global workforce, a good command over English language is a must. Using our tool, students can learn and practice spellings of common words and enhance their knowledge. Since this tool is available free of cost at Android play store, is it easy accessible and usable. The vision is to make sure that no one feels incompetent because of lack of command over english language. For specially abled, communication skills have been the biggest hurdle when it comes to succeeding in the workplace. With our application reaching the masses, anyone who has the will to learn can do so at their own pace.
How is the accessible innovative solution different from current practices or ways of solving the problem?
Most of the accessible spelling tools available are paid and the licenses are not affordable by Individuals. With per machine license being as high as $300, there are only about 3-4 machines per school. So students have to take turns using the tool. It was not feasible to install the tool on individual machines. Enable India was using a desktop spelling tool earlier. Students could take tests and practice only when they were in Enable India's office. The old tool also had capability to support only a few words. Sentence and Paragraph support was not available.
How is the accessible innovative solution new, different or unique in terms of the technology or implementation?
Spell Tree is a open source tool built for Android OS and can be downloaded and used by anyone having a smart phone.
Spell tree is developed using android studio and is built on light weight sqlite db. Android Text To Speech libraries are used for speech synthesis and dictionary-apis provided by Open Dictionary API Alliance are used to fetch the meaning of the words.
Users can interact with app via touch gestures and app is more effective when mobile talk back is enabled. App is compatible with all android versions above 4.
How do you get the innovative solution to reach the target audience? Please elaborate on the your go to market strategy and which geographies do you currently work in and what are your future plans for marketing your innovation.
The tool is developed as a mobile application for Android platform available on Google Play Store free of cost. Mobile computers are spreading at an unprecedented speed. Smartphone manufacturing is becoming increasingly cheap and simple. With the market being flooded with affordable smart phones, they are no longer a luxury only few can afford. In order to make sure our application has the maximum reach, we choose mobile applications as our preferred solution.
Spell tree can be downloaded and used by anyone with a smart phone. We plan to launch spell tree for IOS and also as a web application in future to further out reach.
The team has been visiting Inclusion summits and other conferences being organized and showcasing our product to bring about more awareness of the application and to bring it to the attention of organizations and individuals who have felt the need for such a solution.
What is the potential impact of the innovative solution on the lives of the target audience? Please elaborate by providing statistics of the current impact and the potential impact.
Spell tree was developed as part of a requirement from Enable India. Enable India is a non-profit organization that trains and counsel persons with disability and prepares them to join the mainstream workforce as confident individuals.
The application is being used daily by around 100 students at Enable India as part of their curriculum. With the application now available on Google play store, we anticipate many more users.
Stories of how the Innovation has touched lives.
Students at Enable India felt a bias everytime they went for any interviews. People have a mentality that specially abled have a week command over english because of lack of resources and education.
Using our application, anyone with a will to learn can practice words they get wrong often and improve their communication skills. They can now compete with their counterparts as equals.