Linatakalam : Let's Speak - لنتكلم

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Linatakalam : Let's Speak - لنتكلم: Speak, Hear, Learn ...

Alger, AlgeriaAlger, Algeria
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Deaf/HoH persons in our society feel often marginalized and cannot easily express their ideas. Hearing aid are not affordable by the vast majority and thus other accessible solutions are necessary. Linatakalam is a free mobile app which assist communication between deaf and other people.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if Deaf people could communicate clearly with everyone ?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There is an invisible communicational wall that exists between deaf and other members of society. This is mainly caused by the absence of any teaching of sign language at schools.As a result, deaf people feel often marginalized in society,and can hardly communicate ideas other than basic ones, such as asking for the time, or for food. this communicational wall restrict deaf interactions with deaf community only, which make their daily life hard.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Linatakalam which means in Arabic “Let’s Speak” is a mobile application built in order to assist communication between deaf people and non-deaf people in the Arabic world. This would be the first such attempt in the Arabic language of this type of platform. This platform would offer the three following services: * Speech to Sign translator : This feature will offer the deaf the possibility to understand the vocal speech and that's by translating it to the Arabic sign language, the signs will be performed by a 3D avatar. * Text to Speech feature : the deaf person can express himself vocally, by inputting his desired message or by clicking in pictures. * Sign Language Learning Plateform : a sign language learning tool.

Awards

GIST TECH-I 2015 Semifinalist
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Samer is 25 years old. Samer has a big intellectual and sociable potential but unfortunately he is not able to express or exploit that because he is deaf and he doesn’t have a simple way to communicate.Samer was advised by his sign language school teacher to use a new application called Linatakalam which is available online.Linatakalam App changed the way of life of Samer,now he is able to communicate with his none deaf friends by emitting a vocal message from his phone to express what he wants. He can also understand what they are saying to him by translating their speech into a sign language sequence. More than that, Samer and all the people around him can now learn the Arabic sign language through the Linatakalam training program.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Actually we're still building the application, and by social networking we are trying to make people aware of this venture. We contacted some of the deaf mutes association, but we still have difficulties to reach the active ones, as they are dispatched all over the country. The aim for the next year, is to be able to implement a first working version. With this working version we would promote the applications through events organized via NGO's. We'll measure our success in the first stage by the number of events organized and by the number of attendees. With the feedback we will update our applications so we can publish the application (via AppStores such as GoogleApps), at this stage we'll measure the impact of the venture by the number of downloads and feedbacks. If we will have a good enough application we will add other languages support so we can reach a larger audience.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The deaf mute community in the Arab world will principally have a full exclusive tool that allows them to communicate using the Arabic language, this target community will be reached progressively starting with the Algerian one,and then the system will be extended to the other Arab countries.The Arab deaf mute and deaf related communities are going to be easily familiar with the tool and those via the different NGO and sign language teaching schools.The application is going to be a vital daily communication and learning tool, especially with constant upgrades that add continuously new features
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

As we are building a mobile application which use a server-side,we'll need to have a full year subscription to app-engine (App-engine is a Google Server Platform where we are managing to deploy our server-side application), App-engine will cost us for the first year 664 $(The full details are present in the first attachments),the promotional company will cost us around 500 $, the learning feature will be monetized and we'll have In-App purshase.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The problem Linatakalam aims to solve concerns faced by deaf-mutes. Despite the lack of any official statistics, the number of deaf-mutes is estimated to be 1,263,000 in 2011. if we consider that we will reach in the next two years only 25% of Deaf having smartphones in the arab world, aswell as 1-2 deaf relatives (Family, Freinds ... ) we'll have over 500000 Users. Our main competitor is the applications Mimics, which is a tool that translates english vocal speech to american sign language. What differ us, is that we offer a sign language training program and we deal with arabic language.
Team

Founding Story

This venture started first as an idea, when GOUTAL met with some deaf people in her birth city, as they were tourists seeking for directions, no one of them were able to make himself understood by my freind, aswell as they were not able to understand my freind. She contacted me in the Summer 2014 telling me about her day story, and what is funny is that, that same day i met with a deaf who was also a tourist in a town 50 miles away from my birth-city, and he was seeking to take pictures, this made us think about something, which is : " What if we had a tool (a free tool) that give us the ability to speak with deaf people and vice-versa ", from that day we started the idea of this project !

Team

BELFODIL Adnene: Team leader, co-founder, Mobile applications developer. GOUTAL Soumeya: co-founder, Marketer. KEDDAM Karim: Avatar designer. KACIMI-EL-HASSANI Achraf: Business analyst. BOUCENNA Redouane : 3D Avatar designer, New member Lately, we contacted "Richard James Catherall" he is creating a venture named Rouya. They will provide us technical and marketing support. We also won a 9 month incubation in a social venture challenge organized by "The Resolution Project" (see http://www.resolutionproject.org/). The provided incubation will help us in the different steps of Linatakalam venture (promotional compaign, app development ...)

Comments

Mentor Dida's picture

Hey friends,

Great job! I loved the story and what you guys are trying to do. This is obviously a serious problem and you all are finding a solution for it. Keep up the positive attitudes and determination to create a wonderful platform for helping others. Think BIG!

Here is my feedback:

Pitch:
Great pitch. Talk more about what kind of problems deaf people face due to this communication wall. Think of telling a story of a deaf person and how your app is going to help with that.

What if:
More simple.What if Deaf people could communicate clearly with everyone?

Problem:
Good. Think of more ways to convey the problem in a more dramatic way – find statistics, use examples. Find a story of a deaf person and what happened to him/her because they could not communicate. Something more relatable would help.
Solution:
I like it. Simply put and most of the details covered. I would add something that shows what benefits that would bring to deaf community.
Example:
All this paragraph is technically one sentence and I ran out of breath reading this. Think of using more individual sentences. This section would be for you to explain an experience of a deaf person using your app. Where do they hear about the app, how do they download it, how do they use it, what kind of features are there?
Impact:
You need to define how are you going to measure success? Is it by the number of downloads or by the number of people helped or how? If you create the perfect app where would you be in 10 years?
Full Impact Potential:
Think of creating a vision statement and if everything goes to plan, what would happen to the communities that you are working with? What is your ideal impact! Where do you plan on expanding? What about Virtual Reality and so on..?

Sustainability
I like it. Think of also ways to introduce other revenue streams or perhaps making a subscription model.
Marketplace:
Think of what other companies are doing to address this issue. Do you have competitors? Why didn’t other people think of this- if someone is doing something similar how are you doing better?
Founding Story:
Wonderful story.
Team:
Great! Think of starting a board of advisors consisting of people who have experience in business marketing and app development.