SLN Spotlight_SAP Israel: IssieBoard – Making a Difference
“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile” (Albert Einstein)
The idea behind IssieBoard is to allow people with learning disabilities, visual impairments, developmental and intellectual disabilities to use all functions of a virtual keyboard. The app offers users large keys making it easier to use than the default keyboard, and it enables making personal adjustments to suit the user’s needs. For example, one can alter the background color, the color of different keys and letters, divide the keyboard itself into different color sections for better orientation and more.
How It All Started
Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS) is Israel’s leading organization that provides innovative therapies and services for children with disabilities and their families.
BIS recognized the powerful potential of technology for people with disabilities, and this is where SAP Labs Israel came in… Given SAP’s approach to helping the world run better, we focused resources on enacting positive social change through entrepreneurship and education.
As for me, I was incredibly moved by the good cause. Knowing I helped others communicate, read and write via technology accessible to all, makes my life more meaningful. The fact I enjoy writing iOS applications is just a bonus.
Once IssieBoard was made available for download in English for iPhone and iPad, it was presented at the Assistive Technology Industry Association conference in Orlando earlier this year. I also had the privilege of presenting it at Bar Ilan University’s annual volunteering conference. These appearances elicited awareness, exposure and downloads – IssieBoard has been downloaded more than 5,000 times, to date, worldwide.
(Me at the Bar Ilan University volunteering conference)
And in news hot off the press – the Department for Special Education in Israel’s Ministry of Education has recommended that IssieBoard be used among people with disabilities across Israel!