The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – People with some degree of hearing impairment can communicate without an interpreter through a software developed in Colombia combining 44,000 Spanish words with images, sounds and videos.

“Talking with Julis” is the name of this technological development and the foundation that was born in the lap of the family Bogota Galindo Bermúdez, given the need to communicate with their daughter Juliana, who can hear but not speak. So in 2006 they began to create a system that allowed her to be more independent.

“It is a communicative and learning solution for anyone on disability status,” said Daniela Galindo, project leader and president of the nonprofit foundation in an interview with Colombia.inn..

This program, which costs 275,000 pesos (about $ 142) allows deaf people with Down syndrome, aphasia, autism, cerebral palsy or lost by accident or disease the power to communicate, construct sentences or words to be easily understood.

The first version of the software “was made exclusively for Juliana and included only 3,000 words,” Galindo, who saw that many more people could benefit from it, decided with the support of private enterprise, to create a second edition of the program.

Today the software offers 125,000 multimedia records that include videos in sign language, words, sounds and hundreds of associated concepts such as colors, flavors, numbers, geography, body parts, moods, feelings and images.

There are already 4,000 users of this program in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia, where in addition to the offer of the software license, a three months training for the disabled and their families can be attended.

But the screening of “Talking with Julis” will be greater after being selected as one of the semi-finalists of 2014 MassChallenge or “World of Entrepreneurship”, which will bring the best “startups” in the world for four months to Boston, to a process of mentoring and acceleration.

“Talking with Julis” is, according to Galindo, a “two-way” system, which means that both the disabled and their families, teachers and friends can interact. Something that makes your daily life, language training and job performance easier.

“We want all the nucleus social to integrate with ‘ Talking with Julis’, ” said the engineer of the system, who defends the inclusion as the key to self-fulfillment.

This software is also designed to add more words and pictures according to the context and communication needs of each user.

The Foundation, which is financed by donations and the sale of the software, representing 30% of its revenues, aims to further expand the number of beneficiaries by an application for smartphones and tablets in 2014, for which it requires 140 million pesos ($72,000) .

Figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that in the world there are about 360 million people with disabling hearing loss, of which 87% did not learn to read or write.

In Colombia, according to the National Department of Statistics (DANE), 456,642 people do not hear, 337,862 can not speak and 314,106 have limited understanding or learning.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica