New mobile app for people with disabilities in emergency situations

15 Oct 2013

UNDP in Kazakhstan is designing a new application for people with hearing disabilities that will connect them with emergency services.

Emergency services of Kazakhstan are not equipped to answer special needs of people with deafness.  More than 21 000 deaf-mute people in Kazakhstan when facing emergency situations have to use other people’s help – relatives or strangers using notes, which sometimes can cause a critical delay.

UNDP team decided to come up with a technological solution – develop a mobile application through which deaf people can send requests directly to emergency services.

Each phone will be corresponded with specific person; this database will be registered with the local emergency services. When a person with disability has an emergency, he will have to press “SOS” button on his mobile app, and signal will go to the emergencies. They will be able to see who is sending a signal (full name, age, blood type, diagnosis, etc.) and where the person is situated.

In addition to that, the app also will contain information on legal aid information, as this is also an important issue towards building inclusive society for all.

The mobile app is a pilot project; it was supported by UNDP Regional Center in Bratislava, Knowledge and Innovation Team. The initiative will be tested in Astana City.

Key partners of the project – Astana Society of Deaf people.  They are also the main users of the app.

“It is very relevant for us to have this application. We’ve been experiencing a lot of discomfort associated with emergencies. Each of us has our own assistants, so we had always to depend on them. Even if my kid had a night fever, I had to contact my assistant, and wait for his help. We believe this application will ease that stress”, - Dzhangeldy Bekbotyrov, Chairman of Astana Society of Deaf people.