With 18.5 million people worldwide who bear disabilities affecting their communication and interaction with others, it’s a wonder how support for the disabled community is lacking.
While support for the disabled exists, these resources are not as accessible to those not “disabled enough,” whether in terms of degree or in a timespan.
The world ultimately perceives disability as a binary when it is meant to be a spectrum. These issues have translated into the assistance available for the disabled being hard to access.
For the disabled community, our insensitivity has translated into inaccessibility.
It is how Ease came to be as the support that is easy to access and eases the needs of those with physical disabilities.
What it does
Ease is an assistive mobile application that provides easily accessible support to those with physical impairments. It involves a combination of assistive technologies for sight, hearing, speech, and mobility features.
For one, Ease supports your sight by dictating your surroundings and alerting you of nearby obstructions through a camera with LiDAR technology. Besides that, it can assist with your hearing by translating voices into captions with automatic speech recognition. Ease can additionally support your speech by converting what you type into what you would like to say and clarifying your speech impediments with machine translation and speech synthesis. For scalability in the future, it can also assist the physically disabled by providing remote control access to home appliances without the hassle of standing up and utilizing the devices themselves.
Ease equally employs external app integration to help you navigate the digital space with dictation features, navigation support via speech, and subtitles on your very screen. Ease can also be used by people without disabilities so as to promote inclusivity in our daily interactions with them in the world.
Overall, it is an app sensible in function and sensitive to your special needs no matter what form they take and what point in life they affect you.
How we built it
We started by conducting UX research to dictate our app’s human-centered design direction.
Afterward, we conceptualized our application using affinity diagrams, crafting a user persona, and mapping a user journey. Our ideation process fundamentally addresses the inaccessibility of assistive technology for those with multiple physical disabilities unrecognized for the extent and duration of their special needs.
Finally, we utilized a multidisciplinary approach to mobile app development prototyping with graphic design and UX/UI design on Figma.
What's next for Ease
After Ease's development, we can scale the application to the physical world through Ease Hubs. Especially pertinent in a post-COVID context, an Ease Hub is an innovative public safe space for commuting disabled individuals that allows them to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of the city. With these hubs, the support we can provide in the future to the disabled community further extends beyond our homes, our individual interactions, Ease's original scope of physical disability, and the COVID-19 context. Other than this, Ease can extends its assistance as a website to accommodate those who work mainly using desktops during the pandemic to expand our scope of access.