Creating digital solutions for people with disabilities and offering them for free
SciFY is a not-for-profit organization located in Greece. They are creating digital solutions and forming communities of practice to solve social problems. Their impact areas range from Artificial Intelligence to eDemocracy, and from Entrepreneurship to helping people with Disabilities. Their actions have helped more than 100,000 people up to date.
One of their most well-known projects is the “Games for the Blind”. SciFY has created many electronic games for blind children, in various languages.
We can say a lot on it, but the story is best described in their crowdfunding video.
SciFY has also created Memor-i studio, an online platform anyone can use to create electronic memory games suitable both for the blind and the non-blind, without writing a single line of code!
What is the impact?
- Their work has gain worldwide recognition: SciFY got an international award by the Zero Project for their Games for the Blind.
- The games have thousands of downloads in the EU and US.
- More than 6 tournaments between blind and non-blind have been organized, bringing people together.
- A research paper has been published (British Journal of Educational Technology)
- Blind children have created 15+ games themselves!
So, how did they do it?
Our approach is “based on science, technology, collaboration and love”, as Vassilis Giannakopoulos, SciFY’s Marketing and Social Impact Manager puts it.
“We bring about social change through successful technology transfer initiatives that stem from real societal needs. To do this, we combine four kinds of actions:
a) We mobilize ecosystems that jointly produce value:
- We always work with the end users. We listen to their needs, so that we know what they really want. We discussed with blind kids and their teachers
- We bring in the scientists, so that we have a scientific approach
- We partner with the funders of the effort.
- We bring in the professionals who will use the tools. We talked with special education teachers.
All this network is what brings value and ascertains sustainability
b) We create and freely share IT tools: Based on what we learn from the end users, domain professionals and scientists, we create the digital solution; in this case the games for the blind and we offered them for free.
c) We manage the innovation process:
- We map stakeholders
- We carefully select partners and ascertain support of crucial players
- We find resources (including funding!)
- We test the initial concepts and build a Minimum Viable Product
- We launch the product, promote and mobilize the support community
d) We disseminate knowledge:
- We let the members of the ecosystem exchange knowledge
- We train end users to use the system
- We organize the knowledge sharing process
- We offer learning resources
- We organize events”
“This methodology we use has proven valuable in multiple projects in very diverse settings.
Go ahead and use it on your own social venture!” says Vassilis.