Vocalio, the winning application of the Acessibility Hackaton competition, the first social hackathon launched by Kaufland Romania, is available today on Google Play. The mobile application is dedicated to improving the communication process for people with speech and hearing impairments. The competition organized by Kaufland was created to help better integrate people with disabilities into the labor market.
Starting from the idea that involvement makes a difference and that everyone has the right to enjoy equal opportunities and a life as independent as possible, regardless of their disabilities, Kaufland Romania has launched a unique challenge for IT enthusiasts, inviting them to help them create solutions that really help people with disabilities in the workplace or in the application process.
“It is in our power as employers to create the premises for people with disabilities to have a professional life in the true sense of the word, to integrate into teams and to be recognized for the value they bring to the company,” said Adina Teleucă, Employer Branding Coordinator, Kaufland Romania. “That’s why we wanted to support them, through a competition for the first time for us, through which to find innovative solutions to help them integrate into the labor market,” she continues.
In total, 15 teams presented to the jury the solutions they worked on for a month. The grand prize, worth $16,000, was won by the Needs Assistance team, which created the mobile app – Vocalio, to help people with speech and hearing impairments, helping them to communicate more easily. with those around. The application is based on the selection of images or words that convey visually and aurally what the user cannot say to the interlocutor. The application can already be downloaded from Google Play, and will soon be available in the App Store for iOS users.
“Technology and the desire to help other people have brought us together. Communication is a very important aspect in our lives, that’s why we decided to create a mobile application that helps people with speech disabilities to communicate more easily “, said the members of the Needs Assistance team.
At the level of the main functionalities, Vocalio allows the transformation of the spoken speech into text, the audio playback of the predefined expressions, being at the same time programmed to suggest expressions based on geolocation. Also, the mobile application was provided with an intuitive design, making it very easy to use. Currently, the application is available in Romanian
At the level of future implementations, the application will also provide customized audio content depending on the user profile and geolocation, a marketplace for common expressions and a series of alerts.
“We want the application to help our users and we plan to actively implement their feedback. At the moment, the application is quite simple, the emphasis being on quality, more precisely on certain key points, such as intuitive design and conversational mode. We have big plans for the future with this solution after it will be validated by users “, the developers continued.
In addition, the jurors decided to give special mentions to the teams Tuatara, Accesi Bot, S.P.N. and Robo Medical, which proposed a series of innovative solutions to enable people with disabilities to better integrate into the workplace.
The social hackathon took place online and was open to all IT professionals and enthusiasts. Thus, 43 teams, consisting of over 215 participants, entered this competition. All the teams that passed the elimination stage received practical advice from top mentors, from fields such as business, tech and social, who offered them the necessary support to perform as well as possible. The promotion campaign reached over 1,500,000 people nationwide, and the interested public was able to contribute to this special project and vote for their favorite team. Thus, each team was able to publicly promote its project, obtaining votes with a value of 15% of the final score.
Accessibility Hackathon was conceived as an extension of the company’s actions in terms of diversity, including the launch of the A.C.C.E.S. (Hiring of Candidates with Special Requirements and Developments), endowing the stores with equipment specially designed for people with disabilities or regular trainings organized internally for the integration of new colleagues in the team. So far, over 350 people with disabilities, from cities such as Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Satu Mare, Oradea have joined the team and enjoy a job according to their abilities, the support of colleagues and a life better social.
Application download link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vocalio.app