When we collectively noticed the struggles that our fellow peers on campus faced due to their disabilities, we were deeply moved to create a novel solution to improve their day to day lives, while also incorporating the technologies we are passionate about.

DyFonts primarily provides a platform through which dyslexic students can improve their mobile reading experience by offering a customizable interface proven to increase reading comprehension. In addition to dyslexia, DyFonts also strives to provide solutions for disabilities such as autism, blindness, deafness, and even conditions such as STIs. Not only do we use technology to solve these issues, but we also aim to destigmatize these conditions through influential social media awareness campaigns such as our dance for autism challenge.

To make DyFonts truly accessible, we decided to create both a website and a mobile application to reach as many users as possible. We used software such as Android Studio and HTML to create these platforms. In addition, to make our system more comprehensive, we incorporated a multitude of APIs into our website and analyzed various data sets, allowing us to gain a better grasp over the problems at hand, as well as the solution’s potential impact. In order to build our Braille Board, we wired an Arduino board to 6 groove buttons to represent the three by two matrix which the Braille system operates on. Then, using the Arduino IDE we created a code to translate the Braille input into English text.

Having little experience with this specific application of the Arduino, we ran into some problems in our development phase of the Braille board. One such issue was the wiring on the breadboard we were using, Faced with a dead end on the wiring, we turned to the community. We found a peer who had plenty of experience with Arduino, and we are thankful he was able to provide us with some useful tips.

In the hackathon, we were able to combine our efforts in a project to achieve a mutual goal: to improve the technological experience for those with disabilities. And we were able to deliver. With a range of products centered around this cause in the specific fields of dyslexia, autism, and visual impairment, we were truly able to make a difference - one whose effects, both short-term and long-term, will benefit society. For that, we are proud.

With experiences such as staying up all night, collaborating with the team for a productive purpose, this Hackathon has provided a learning experience like no other. We were able to communicate not only amongst ourselves but within the broader community and were pleased to receive assistance in our endeavors in the past 24 hours.

Beyond the hackathon, we intend to continue to develop Dyfonts into a more streamlined and personalized version of itself: working beyond helping the community to help the specific individuals. For the application Lexica, we intend to create a PDF-reader with the chosen font and contrast settings to provide an interface to read the phone’s text on a regular basis. For the BrailleBoard, we intend to integrate it with mobile devices, and even to create a 3D-refreshing display. And through research and further expansion in the lab, we intend to create a therapy tool for children with autism.

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