Hi everybody! We are Irina and Andrei Strătilă.
We are a visually impaired couple from Timișoara and you might already know about us but if not, you will soon enough.
In spite of our disability and current stereotypes about people with special needs we actually lead quite an active social life and if you look us up online you’re sure to find at least something about us: articles, news, projects we’ve made happen through our NGO or maybe even shots from when we were contestants on the famous romanian cooking reality show “Chefi la Cuțite”.
Today we’d like to talk to you about something that’s been troubling us for many years and that is the fact that people with special needs are almost always reliant on somebody else for assistance in day to day life:
We’re mostly talking about:
- A need for safety and security while just walking on the street
- Exploring new pathways and areas without having memorized them in advance
- Even the basic task of entering a shop and buying groceries without asking for help from others
- The simple and basic possibility of taking care of personal or professional needs or even being able to organize and share our own intimate couple moments and the list could go on.
We live in an age when if tweaked and adapted to respond to these needs, specific technology could actually do wonders for us, not the least of which would be granting us our independence.
For visually impaired people, the freedom of doing something without asking for help from others is our Holy Grail.
Today we are starting a campaign to raise the necessary funds for creating dedicated assistance devices that will grant us the aforementioned freedom.
What do we mean by dedicated assistance devices? Well, we’re thinking of a mobile gadget shaped into something familiar and comfortable for visually impaired people, like a pair of glasses, a broche, and armband or earphones that combined with cutting edge software would create magic for the self-reliance of people with special needs.
We’ve put together a team where Irina and I will handle the financial and managerial side of things, having already previously worked with European funding. The technical aspect of our team will be handled by two engineers with considerable dedicated experience in their field.
Our vision is that these virtual assistants, in their final embodiment, must truly be helpful and easily accessible by all who require them. We’ll even be the first to test them once they’re done. Our goal is that after a good enough first experience, they would convince the subject to come back again and again to them, integrating them permanently into their day to day lives.
This is not a project where we set out to fulfill a fantasy or create just another useless gadget, but quite the contrary, we’re dead set on coming up with a truly helpful device that will be able to handle quite a few of the day to day struggles of a social group that is so large in Romania and beyond.
Check out our website where you can find more info about our project and our team but most importantly: all the ways you can help and be part of this ambitious and revolutionary project.
Please share this video and our endeavor with others and also put in a good word!
Thanks a lot in advance and we’ll keep you posted about our progress.