Hudson Asiema from Kenya developed the Fingerspelling Pro for Kids mobile application, an alphabet game in sign language for hearing impaired, deaf children and their families to learn, play and practice handshapes of letters.

This innovation made him the first-ever winner of the Inclusive Africa Conference Digital Accessibility Innovations Award. Asiema won the Kshs 1 million prize contributed by inABLE.org.  This award was announced at the October 9th closing ceremony of the virtual Inclusive Africa Conference 2020 organized by inABLE to promote digital accessibility in Africa.

The launch of the Digital Accessibility Innovations Award is meant to encourage more African software developers and technology experts to create more accessible solutions that have persons with disability at the center of design. Irene also added that, “I am excited about the future of this innovations award and the potential of African developers, like Hudson Asiema and Oluwatomisin Kolawole, who are leading the way for more accessible solutions for people with disabilities, who need it the most” said Irene Mbari-Kirika the Founder and Executive Director of inABLE,

Asiema is a self-taught developer and the co-founder/CEO of Deaf eLimu Plus Limited, a Kenyan startup company that provides innovative educational products and tutorial services in sign language. He has created web apps, mobile apps and bots using Facebook Messenger and he also has a vast experience in Google App Engine. Asiema is also a graduate from the California State University, Northridge, California USA, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree.

The Fingerspelling Pro games include: Learn, Quiz, Handshape Sorting and Puzzles. In the long run, this app not only helps the hearing impaired and deaf kids to learn and play games at home with minimal disruptions. It also enables these kids to communicate with other deaf and hearing-impaired people, as well as communicate with their parents or siblings.

This digital accessibility innovations award is meant to celebrate and recognize the best inclusive African innovations. Out of the 20 submissions received from across Africa, the judges recognized the top two finalists. The first Runner up was Mr. Oluwatomisin Kolawole from Nigeria, who created the Visis by Vinsighte mobile application that uses Visis Artificial Intelligence to aid the visually impaired. The Visis project involves the use of Visis artificial intelligence mobile application and other assistive technology device to aid the visually impaired to read printed books and educational materials, thereby giving them access to convenient, inclusive and sound education like their sighted peers.

Approximately 2,000 delegates, from 43 countries in Africa and globally, registered to attend the two-day inaugural online Inclusive Africa Conference. The purpose of the event was to increase awareness of the needs and rights of people with disabilities to access digital information. This virtual event was sponsored by MasterCard Foundation, Safaricom PLC, Facebook, Ford Foundation, Uber, Google, FSD Kenya, and Eclectics International.

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