GSMA Innovation Fund for Assistive Tech: Meet the start-ups
The GSMA Innovation Fund for Assistive Tech was set up to find start-ups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises in Africa and Asia that are driving the digital inclusion of people with disabilities.
This initiative was launched in 2021 with the support of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and supported by the GSMA and its members.
DeafTawk is an assistive tech start-up based in Pakistan, with a mission to empower the global deaf community. Through innovative online solutions available through their app, they are providing high quality, real-time sign language interpretation services to the deaf community, allowing them to communicate effectively and access the services they need.
I-Stem’s mission is to empower students and professionals with disabilities to realise their potential by enabling equal access to information, resources and opportunities. They’ve developed a mobile app that uses AI to provide accessibility conversion services for documents and visual and audio media files, as well as a currency reader for blind persons.
Signs Media, Kenya
In Kenya, there are only 500 sign language interpreters serving over 260,000 people with hearing impairments. With most of the interpreters based in urban areas, many services remain out of reach to low income and rural populations. Signs Media Kenya Limited is on a mission to change this. Through their assistALL app, they are providing affordable, high quality sign language interpretation services to the hearing impaired. The app also enables businesses and organisations to better communicate with customers who are hearing impaired or deaf.