Kenyan creator of an alphabet mobile app using sign language for children recognized

The Founder and CEO of Deaf eLimu Plus Limited Hudson Asiema has been named the winner of the Inclusive Africa Conference Digital Accessibility Innovations Award for his Fingerspelling Pro for Kids mobile application.

Asiema, who also won an Sh1 million prize contributed by inABLE.org, is the first-ever winner of the initiative which was launched to promote digital accessibility in Africa.

The app is an alphabet game in sign language for deaf and hearing-impaired children and their families to learn, play and practice handshapes of letters.

The Fingerspelling Pro games include a quiz, learn, handshape sorting and puzzles.

Founder and Executive Director of inABLE.org, Irene Mbari-Kirika said in the long run, the app will help the hearing impaired and deaf children to learn and play games at home with minimal disruptions.

“The app also enables children to communicate with other deaf and hearing-impaired people, as well as communicate with their parents or siblings,” she said while announcing the winner.

The self-taught developer of the Kenyan startup company provides innovative educational products and tutorial services in sign language.

He has created web apps, mobile apps, and bots using Facebook Messenger and has vast experience in Google App Engine.

Asiema is also a graduate of California State University, Northridge, California USA, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree.

The Award also recognized Oluwatomisin Kolawole from Nigeria as a first runner up, who created the Visis by Vinsighte mobile application that uses Visis Artificial Intelligence to aid the visually impaired.

The Visis project involves the use of Visis artificial intelligence mobile application and other assistive technology device to aid the visually impaired to read printed books and educational materials, thereby giving them access to convenient, inclusive, and sound education like their sighted peers.

“I am excited about the future of this award and the potential of African developers, like Hudson Asiema and Oluwatomisin Kolawole, who are leading the way for more accessible solutions for people with disabilities, who need it the most,” Mbari-Kirika said.

According to inABLE.org, the digital accessibility innovations award is meant to celebrate and recognize the best inclusive African innovations.

The awards are also meant to increase awareness of the needs and rights of people with disabilities to access digital information.

inABLE is a nonprofit organization based in Nairobi, Kenya and Washington, DC with a mission to empower the blind and visually impaired through computer assistive technology.

Margaret Njugunah


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