attendees at the launch using the app
GlobalGiving Report March 2023
Our partnership with GlobalGiving has been a life saver for us here at E.A.S.E. Foundation.
On the 23rd of January 2023, we, E.A.S.E. Foundation launched an app. for smart phones and Androids. As our mission is to make communication accessible to everyone this was a communication app. This is an app in Sinhala and Tamil, the two main languages used by Sri Lankans. The design of the app is based on a Sinhala communication board made by Anoja a co-founder of E.A.S.E. Foundation in 2007
Anoja and Chandima Rajapatirana are our co-founders/co- presidents. Chandima, is a person with non-speaking autism who communicates fluently in English using various high-tech and low tech devices. When they returned to live in Sri Lanka and establish E.A.S.E. Foundation Chandima needed to communicate in Sinhala. . Sinhala being a phonetic language has over 750 characters (letters). It was a challenge to modify the alphabet to fit on a small board without limiting vocabulary. Fortunately Anoja was able to develop a board, fitting the vast Sinhala alphabet to fit on a 9” x 5” without sacrificing vocabulary.
Chandima and the nonspeaking children learning at the E.A.S.E. Foundation center communicate using this board. It is used for everyday conversations, answering academic questions, writing poetry, essays and stories too.
In August 2022 a group of software developers visited E.A.S.E Foundation. Noticing the board the students were using to communicate they offered to develop an app. Working with ingenuity and extraordinary commitment they created the Sinhala app named KATHAKARAMU (let’s talk) in a matter of months. We targeted non-speakers in the disability community as well as the deaf mute community. On learning that mask mandates meant that deaf individuals could no longer lip read speech to text and text to speech were added.
This app is a pioneering effort in Sri Lanka. The ease with which one can type in Sinhala has made it attractive to nondisabled people too.
The app is available without charge from the Google store as Kathakaramu (Sinhala) or Kadhaippoma (Tamil) Both words mean “Let’s Talk.
Thanks again to GlobalGiving and the many donors who keep us supported. We hope this report shows that we are a creative, inovative organization that finds new ways to support our community. Heartfelt thanks to all of you
students from the deaf school using appAttachments: