Post by Emilie Bard, mother of Emmanuel:
At Techcrunch Disrupt San Francisco I met the team at Ideator.
I was at the event in late September working as a security guard. I’m an EMT and a nursing student. I received my college degree 15 years ago from Stanford and I am currently making a career change from nonprofit grant writing to nursing. I am a single parent to Emmanuel and his brother, and nonprofit salaries are not compatible with single parenting.
My son Emmanuel, who is 12 years old and blind, has had an idea for an app for some time now. The app would allow visually impaired people to order food at restaurants.
When we go to a restaurant, Emmanuel can currently access the menu only if the restaurant posts all the items online (including seasonal items) because the phone can zoom in to help him. Most often than not, the restaurant does not have this.
Blind people and visually impaired people cannot get access to menus at mainstream restaurants (such as McDonald’s, Chipotle, Five Guys, Starbucks, and Subway) for many reasons including: 1) menus are posted behind the counter too far away to take a photo and zoom in on your phone 2) light obscures the items and magnifying solutions do not work 3) paper menus are not available or do not have all menu items with prices 5) cashiers will not read the entire menu outloud (required by law, but rarely ever done as there are so many options these days). Ultimately there is no easy way for the visually impaired to get access to the menu items and prices.
My son and I have talked to people in the blind community about the app idea and they love it. They could order food quickly because they could look up the menu ahead of time and better manage their budget.
My son and I are starting to work with Ideator. Ideator has created a technology platform to help entrepreneurs and startups access the tools, people and resources that they need to launch their business
Ideator is helping us accomplish our next goal. Together we’re raising money to work on the first version of our mobile application. We are hoping to raise money on GoFund Me in order to finish our business plan and build the first version of our mobile app and would be grateful if you could help bring Emmanuel’s idea to life.
Emmanuel would like a percentage of revenue to support nonprofits which help the visually impaired. We also believe that our mobile app can help all people who have difficulty reading menus for various reasons (including bad lighting) to better interact with restaurants moving forward.
If you’d like to help us build this product, feel free to join as an advisor on Ideator.