The Market Failure in Learning Technology for the Blind – James Andrade

James Andrade

There are 35 million people in the world who are blind. In North America there are 66,000 children under 18 years old who are totally blind. Only 10% can read Braille. The kids who learn how to read often depend on a teacher. But there are very few qualified teachers that can teach Braille.

The existing tools for blind children to learn Braille are either very basic or very expensive. Most learning tools are flashcards with Braille on them, or wooden blocks.

There is also learning tool called the SmartBrailler which is a typewriter that teaches Braille and it costs about 3,000 dollars. Some schools for the blind have one SmartBrailler in the classroom but it is expensive for families to have at home. With our research we discovered that in the existing world there is no affordable technology to teach the Braille alphabet for the blind community and no learning software for visually impaired children.

Sighted children have LeapFrog and Disney computer programs but blind children cannot use them. We are building learning software that blind children can learn how to read on their own just like LeapFrog. We want to make it affordable as well so that most families can buy it for their kids.