In a country with around 10 million deaf citizens, Wamiq Hassan, Pakistan’s first deaf software engineer, has developed an app to help deaf and hard of hearing Pakistanis, especially women, communicate more easily.
The app aims to bridge the gap between people with hearing loss and their respective communities by providing a “real-time sign language solution at your fingertips”. It allows deaf users to register, connect with trained interpreters, and use the service to communicate with anyone, including doctors, teachers, taxi drivers, and relatives.
“The basic inspiration behind the development of this app is to uplift the deaf community and make this world inclusive for everyone with the help of mobile technology,” founder Hassan told Arab News.
“From my personal experience, I know that deaf people face extreme communication barriers in Pakistan and there must be a solution to that, so we are trying to bridge that gap through this app.”
“Our goal is to empower Deaf people, especially women, to connect with their communities, receive an education, and enjoy all the festivities like a normal person,” said Tehmina Zafar, program manager for DeafTawk. , to Arab News.
Sakina Batool, a deaf fashion design student in Islamabad and an ambassador for DeafTawk, said the app was “nothing short of a revolution”, especially for women in Pakistan.
“We are a marginalized community, especially young girls, but DeafTawk has allowed us to not only communicate effectively, but to participate in all activities without any barriers,” she said.
Batool, who teaches sign language to students, said she knows many deaf students who use the app to communicate with teachers and other students at their respective institutes. Her own goal is to get higher education abroad, return to Pakistan and open an institution to help deaf people get an education and plan their careers.
“All human beings are born equal and no one should be discriminated against,” she said. “It is unfortunate that people with hearing loss are victimized in education, jobs and public places.”
His brother said Batool’s “biggest challenge” had been getting an education as a deaf person. “But we challenged the myth that deaf people can’t do anything and showed the world that they can lead normal lives too,” Hassan said.
To see such exceptional minds working hard to make the world a better place certainly deserves massive appreciation. A 13-year-old boy, Ahmad Jamal from Karachi, has developed an app to help people with speech impairments overcome obstacles in everyday life. Previously, a technology student from Faisalabad invented “smart shoes” for the blind.
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