Sense Innovation wins APISPA award by meeting needs of children with disabilities

Eye-tracking technology and courses help the children acquire basic cognitive abilities, start self-learning and communicate with others

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(Sense Innovation photo)

(Sense Innovation photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Sense Innovation has won the 2019 Asia Pacific Social Innovation Partnership Award (APSIPA) for providing the latest medical technologies and working with two charities to meet the communication and educational needs of children with disabilities, the award organizer said.

Sense Innovation, which has engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs with various enterprises since 2018, specializes in developing user friendly eye-tracking software interfaces for people with disabilities to operate.

The company offers customized services to users, with the objective of enabling them to communicate with others via the system, including typing in search items for the internet, and communicating via dialogue software. In addition, the system helps patients choose photos for improved communication with healthcare providers.

The company’s partner in the award-wining project, Fubon Cultural & Educational Foundation (FCEF), has focused on the provision of educational resources to the underprivileged for many years, Sense Innovation’s brand manager Evelyn Yang (楊雅筑) said.

“Since 2017, Sense Innovation’s eye-tracking applications and services have won social enterprise innovation awards and recognition from 100 MVP Managers. Media reports about us caught the eye of the FCEF, which led to the cooperation between us,” Yang said.

She added that Sense Innovation discussed with FCEF many of the problems they were encountering when providing early intervention services to children with developmental problems. Some children were put in classes specializing in learning difficulties because they didn’t get early-stage training and guidance to improve their cognitive and learning abilities, Yang added.

In response, the partnership with FCEF provided eye-tracking courses at the homes of children in need, in accordance with their conditions and to meet their needs, Yang said. She added the objective is to help the children acquire basic cognitive abilities, and in some higher-level cases make sentences, so they are able to begin self-learning and communicating with others.

The FCEF partnership has provided home eye-tracking courses to 80 children, and analyzed their learning abilities, the manager said. So far, 11 of them are able to communicate, with others using typing enabled by the eye-tracking technology.

Sense Innovation is also in partnership with Taiwan Mobile Foundation to develop a new eye-tracking game for children with disabilities that will enable them to navigate Taiwan’s geological and cultural landscapes without leaving home. This will enable them to learn about the beauty of Taiwan and train their visual focus at the same time.

Over the past five years, the company has assisted with more than 700 clinical cases, and used the feedback to further improve its eye-tracking applications and services, Yang said. The company hopes to extend the service model to Hong Kong and China and help even more people, she added.