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Across the globe, people with disabilities generally have poorer health outcomes, lesser economic participation, lower educational achievements, and higher rates of poverty compare to people without disabilities. This is partly because people with disabilities experience barriers in access to services including education, employment, health, transport and information. A person’s environment has an impact on the extend and experience of disability. An inaccessible environment creates disability due to barriers to participation and inclusion. Through this project, we want to create enabling environments with inclusive technologies.
Knoctify seeks to help those with hearing loss to be more aware of sound events around them by using sensors to capture these events, and translating them to visual and haptic feedback on devices deployed throughout the house to attract their attention. For a start, the system consists of a button/vibration sensor that can be attached on the door, which detects if someone is pressing on the doorbell button or just knocking on the door. This sends a signal to receiver devices that plays a sound, flashes brightly and/or vibrates to capture the attention of a person with hearing loss. In the second stage of the project, sensing capabilities will be further extended to include other sensors such as a sound sensor to detect different sounds at home (eg. baby cries, smoke alarms etc). It will also include smart phone connectivity allowing notifications on the phone to be mapped to visual/haptic feedback on Knoctify receivers.