Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Blind Way Foward
Explain your idea in details:
The Blind Way Forward is a practical guide to coping and thriving with visual impairment. It was developed to enlighten and motivate persons who have developed a visual impairment and are not getting sufficient information about coping with blindness. It is different from traditional forms of support which are usually either web based or restricted to physical locations. It serves as a guide for visually impaired individuals and their families so that they can learn how to quickly and effectively adjust to vision loss. Support materials currently take the form of a short film, audio book and printed reading material. The Blind Way Forward wiki and newsletter will seek to establish a volunteer community dedicated to curating, updating and disseminating information on adjustment-to-blindness lifestyle changes, accessible products and services, and disability support organisations and services. Our target audience includes: 1. adults who have recently received a diagnosis or prognosis of blindness or acute visual impairment, 2. persons already living with vision impairment but who have been limited due to a lack of information, or who have become disillusioned, 3. the families, friends, and employers of persons with visual impairment, and 4. allies or other interested parties. We have conducted focus groups with 36 participants of the 2 leading organisations in Trinidad and Tobago that support persons with visual impairment and a comprehensive final report was written by our consultant. It provides in-depth information for visually impaired and blind persons to learn about different resources and technology available to them upon their diagnosis and will serve as a starting point for developing the Blind Way Forward website wiki and newsletter
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
There are an estimated 217 million people who have a moderate to severe vision impairment, and 36 million people who are blind; many suffer in silence because of a lack of information on how to cope effectively. They are particularly vulnerable to unemployment and poverty and are often excluded from educational opportunities because of their disability. In the workplace, people with disabilities are faced with various forms of discrimination which result in a high level of unemployment. In addition, it is anticipated that there will be a massive increase in the numbers of people who are blind or have moderate to severe visual impairment (MSVI) due to population growth and ageing. This increase in the number of persons with visual impairment will mainly be in the group of persons over 65 years old with an estimated per decade increase of 2 million persons. The Blind Way Forward is intended to benefit persons with visual impairments as well as the families of these persons who provide support. Our annual target is to educate at least 500 persons with visual impairment and their families who are accessing the eye care services in Trinidad and Tobago about the various assistive technologies, support services and associations available to them upon diagnosis. It can have far reaching consequences beyond the benefits to the individual and their family. This package can potentially reduce the demand for social services by empowering visually impaired persons to become more productive members of society. By educating newly blinded and visually impaired persons about the options available to them, the dependence on family members and on public support is reduced. This would allow public funding to be utilized in other areas; therefore, contributing positively to SDG indicators 1.3.1, 4.5.1, 4.a.1, 8.5.1, 8.5.2 and 10.2.1.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
The Blind Way Forward website wiki and newsletter must be developed with accessibility in mind; blind and visually impaired persons use screen readers such as JAWs, NVDA, Microsoft Narrator, Voice Over and Talkback to navigate websites and apps using their computers and mobile devices. Consequently, a key consideration for the successful development of this idea is ensuring compliance with Section 508 and WCAG 2.0-2.1 these are guidelines for document, multimedia and web accessibility. We will offer free membership to our users and will include benefits such as discounts for attending our paid events. Members will be required to contribute to the community by participating in the hosting of workshops, seminars and webinars. In addition, they will be required to maintain an active presence on the website posting at least once per quarter in order to retain their membership status. Our customers are the companies that offer accessible products and services and are willing to pay to advertise to our community. This business model will allow us to generate revenues from advertising and affiliate marketing. Advertisements will be displayed on either the websites banner or sidebar with customers paying per click. We will prepare written product reviews on the website and newsletter for our affiliate marketing customers who will pay us on based converted sales which will tracked using an affiliate ID. The estimated earnings on affiliate commissions are 5-15% of the products sales price. Lastly, we will use collaborative spaces such as public libraries and community centers to engage persons with visual impairment in discussions about their needs and desires. They will become aware of our services through their disability support organisations and clinics. We will also use SMS messaging to target the persons who may not have smart phones and invite them to our consultations and workshops.
I am a young professional who is passionate about the sustainable development issues facing the Caribbean and Latin America, and I am seeking out opportunities to utilize my knowledge, talents and abilities to effect positive change. suitable candidate for the job. I received my B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and M.Sc. in Renewable Energy Technology (with Distinction) from the University of the West Indies. I have over six (6) years of work experience in the construction, facilities management and energy sectors working on projects. In September 2014, I cofounded Ipsum Technologies as a social enterprise that is focused on creating opportunities for persons with disabilities to thrive in the growing digital economy. As the Managing Director of Ipsum Technologies, I have received several awards for social innovation and entrepreneurship; note worthy awards include: i2i Challenge 2014, Lumination Challenge 2015, ITU's 2018 Regional Competition for Latin America and the Caribbean Mobile Applications for Accessibility and Caribbean Tech Entrepreneurship Programme 2018-2019 Cohort 1 Ideation Track.