Creating an app for blind and visually impaired people
Narato always likes to meet up with interesting organisations. Recently we me with ICC Belgium. ICC Belgium is the Belgian division of ICC, an organisation that commits to helping the blind and visually impaired people.
ICC Belgium is completely run on a voluntary basis, driven by a dynamic and enthusiastic group of young people, mostly with a visual impairment themselves. They all want to help ICC’s mission for independence and work on integration of people with visual impairments.
One of the things ICC does is organise an international summer camp at a European host location. More than 60 blind and partially sighted youngsters take part in this wonderful experience. Their ages range from 16 to 21 and they come from at least 15 countries. They all have the same purpose and goals for this get-together. In this camp they can unite their strengths and open new ways to more independence and new possibilities for their studies or their employment, as well as their spare time.
In this camp, students exchange experiences about the newest assistive technology. What is new for smartphones and computers, for example, or aids to efficiently use text editing software. They also share social skills and ideas like how to accept or decline help. These youn people also discuss difficult subjects like blindness while pursuing a relationship and how to deal with that .
This year, at the end of July, this camp is organised in Belgium near Leuven from the 23st of July until the 1st of August .
ICC meets Narato
One of employees met Youssri. Youssri is blind and mentioned the the ICC camp, so we quickly came up with various ways we could help out here at Narato. Since we’re coders at heart, we jumped on the idea to create a very specific app. We wanted something that would help the attendees of the camp to navigate through the calendar of the workshops.
How can we help?
If you ever went to an event, a festival or a convention you know that navigating in this new location can be challenging. Not only do you literally need to find your way around, but you also want to make the most of what they have to offer on the agenda. Making sure you get to join and be on time for all the talks or wofkshops requires some planning. People with sight can follow signs and look at brochures or maps. For the visual impaired or blind people, things are much harder. How do they find their way to basic things like toilets? How can they to the right place at the right time? Not an easy task if everything is designed for a seeing audience.
A digital app on their smartphone would help them tremendously. This would give them the means to get organised without assistance. After all, that’s the whole purpose of the camp… For Narato this would also be an interesting challenge because we’ve never created something similar. We have to a take a very specific target group into account and navigate our way around designing an app that everyone at this camp can use. We also need to make sure we comply with the guidance and rules that are already in place. When we do something , we want to do it right and we want to make sure that what we make will definitely help those young peope at camp. Who knows, the work we do know light be useful on other event too.
Fun @ work
So, we decided to combine a bit of fun with the creation of an app for a good cause. We’re proud to work on a PPP project again. We had a few meetings, an official kickoff and now we have started coding. A very motivated group of people at Narato kindly offered to volunteer their spare time to work on this application. Hopefully, they will like the result we’re cooking up. We will keep you posted!