First Sign Language App Unveiled

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Founder and Managing Director of Signs Media Kenya Limited, Luke Muleka

The official launch of the assitALL mobile application took place on Wednesday 20th of April at the Hilton hotel in Nairobi.

Hosted by the parent organization signs media Kenya limited, the assitAll app will seek to revolutionize how the deaf community participates in the social-economic development in Kenya and beyond.

The assistALL app allows anybody across the world to access sign language interpretation services, enhancing inclusion and breaking communication barriers.

The application, a Signs Media Kenya Limited innovation, is the first mobile app in Kenya to provide sign language interpretation services and can be downloaded from the google play store and AppStore.

The founder and Managing Director of Signs Media Kenya Limited, Luke Muleka said the app was birthed after extensive research on the deaf culture, which he says is different from the hearing and makes interaction a challenge.

“I also learned that there is a strong deaf culture that is distinct from the hearing culture” he stated.

Mr. Muleka further cited covid 19 pandemic as one of the factors that steered the innovation because, in sign language, facial expressions and movement of hands play a vital role in communication. These parts are however covered by the mask and gloves which hinders the process.

“COVID 19 pandemic threw everyone off balance, the wearing of personal protective equipment’s which included masks and gloves would make sign language communication impossible because of the lack facial expressions due to the masks,” he said.

The innovation also aims at helping corporate sectors such as higher education, general healthcare, judicial system, government services, and finance.

Signs Media MD called upon corporates to factor in the hearing impaired in their customer list, as the app will be offering sign language interpretation services 24hrs a day.

Mr. Muleka lauded the partners who collaborated to make it a success, adding that through the support from UNDP-K Disability Innovation Challenge, assistALL app was among the five innovations chosen and supported from ideation to become a minimum viable product (MVP).

The successful event was graced by top dignitaries among them Director GSMA innovation fund and ecosystem accelerator Mr. Martin Karanja, alongside Deputy of the British High Commissioner Julius Court.

Signs Media Kenya Limited Launches The First Sign Language Mobile App In Kenya

Director GSMA innovation fund and ecosystem accelerator Mr. Martin Karanja congratulated Signs Media for being the only African owned and operated startup to be awarded a grant by the GSMA Innovation Fund for Assistive Technologies in 2021.

“Signs Media deserves applause for being selected as the best app from Africa in this field” said Karanja.

Still on the same, Deputy High Commissioner of the British High Commission, Julius Court said the unveiling of the assitALL app will bring about inclusion,innovation and impact in effort to bridge the gap between the demand and supply for quality sign language interpretation services.

Chief Administrative Secretary Ministry of ICT Ms. Maureen Mbaka who was also among the chief guests, noted that the innovation will reduce communication challenges experienced by health service providers.

“Doctors and nurses who don’t understand Sign Language, can diagnose illness and administer medication to the people with hearing loss via this app,” she said.

Deputy High Commissioner of the British High Commission, Julius Court, Chief Administrative Secretary Ministry of ICT Ms. Maureen Mbaka, founder and Managing Director of Signs Media Kenya Limited, Luke Muleka

To access the service on your assitALL mobile app, one replenishes their assistALL wallet via the various payment platforms including Mpesa/Visa/Paypal, one will be charged Kshs. 30.00 per minute with qualified Sign Language interpreters who are professionals.

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