BarrierBreak Technologies

Picture this – you wake up to a bright sunny morning, get dressed, drive to work, turn on your computer, check your mail, open your favorite news site and check your Facebook & LinkedIn pages parallely. A common daily scenario.

However, have you ever wondered, how challenging these every day realities are for the physically challenged? How would a paralysed person drive to work or how would a visually-impaired person check his mail?

It was these very questions that led Shilpi Kapoor to establish BarrierBreak Technologies, a company working towards breaking the barriers of disability and knowledge to bridge the gap between ability and accessibility. Shilpi says, “Empowering” by its true virtue is helping make differentially able people independent to help them lead a similar life than just creating a support system and sharing sympathy.”

BarrierBreak Technologies is constantly working towards creating empowerment by providing ease of access to employment, education and social life through technology. They have been launching innovative products that solve complex problems with simple solutions to make life easier.

Shilpi questions if we ever wondered how a speech impaired person would report his basic household problems to a customer care helpline. She has made this possible by launching India’s first sign language interpreter online portal, sign ‘n’ talk. She has launched ‘digital talking book’ an endeavour to break the barriers of the print world by converting printed content like educational material, books, research studies into digital data which can be read out to visually impaired by this digital talking book.

BarrierBreak Technologies, help with digital technology | WEBO Power

Shilpi brings us closer to real life challenges which we tend to ignore in our busy schedules. It all began when Shilpi was working for an American firm. After two years of being in regular touch with her American counterpart via email and phone, it came as a complete surprise to her when he revealed that he was paralysed. This became the catalyst for Shilpi to develop an interest in connecting technology to empower disability.

Shilpi was off to London for a holiday where she got an opportunity to learn the art of teaching computers to visually impaired people. She came back to India, started small by teaching computers to two such people and later established the first computer-training centre for the visually impaired.

Training people was not enough because the next challenge was employment and accessibility. Shilpi shares, “Companies were more happy giving us some money to spend on them rather than hiring these people”. She now wanted to change the face and perception of differential ability by providing services for these people and by these people. She says, “We hire disabled people to provide services for the disabled. So while we are ensuring their needs, we are also ensuring they are empowered. They are part of the process because it is not possible for us to put them in a segregated corner and think for them without really knowing them.”

Shilpi further adds, “BarrierBreak started with the ideology that we would hire people to provide services that the government, corporates, educational institutes could utilise to serve the disabled better. Our people would give actual feedback so that companies and organizations could integrate them into their products and services.”

Shilpi believes being a woman has indeed been an asset for her and has never come in her way of achieving success. She leaves a message for aspiring women entrepreneurs “If you believe in it, go do it. Just remember that entrepreneurship is not easy, you have challenges that will come along the way. As long as you are ready to stick it out, it should be great.”

Team WEBO salutes the undying spirit of women entrepreneurs like Shilpi Kapoor who are working towards creating a better tomorrow.

Interviewed By: Sakshi Aggarwal, Supriya Mathur, Team WEBO
Posted On: November 09, 2012

Tags: , , , , ,

There are no comments. Be the first to comment.

Post a Comment