UOC launches a crowdfunding campaign to develop a mobile app that helps teach children with Down syndrome and autism to read


UOC launches a crowdfunding campaign to develop a mobile app that helps teach children with Down syndrome and autism to read

'Yo también leo'

Yo también leo (I read too) is an app that helps teach children aged four onwards who may have difficulties such as Down syndrome or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The app has already been created, but it needs 17,000 euros for its features to become operational. The UOC, coinciding with the World Down Syndrome Day, has created a Verkami channel to promote for the first time a crowdfunding campaign in support of these kinds of entrepreneurial projects.

Gemma Fàbregas, who holds a master's degree in Multimedia Applications: Smart Content Design and Development from the UOC, is one of the driving forces behind Yo también leo. Fàbregas invites everyone to help with the campaign even if they are not potential users of the app, “because that way we’re helping people who do need it”, going on to say that “by taking part in crowdfunding the app, we will be able to promote an optimum learning app to help children with Down syndrome and other difficulties learn to read. Between us all, we can make this happen”. Presently, according to DOWN España, there are 35,000 people in Spain with Down syndrome. The Spanish Autism Confederation said that the exact number of people with autism is unknown, but it stated that in Europe, there is about one case in every one hundred births.

You can make small financial contributions until 31 April to achieve the campaign objective. Yo también leo is offering a series of rewards in exchange for financial contributions, ranging from the chance to download the app (or give it to a child who needs it) and an extra vocabulary pack, to receiving a print by artist Vanessa Linares or recognition of the contribution made with a logo of the financial support on the initiative’s website.

Learn to read in a fun way

The aim of the app is to create a fun educational environment based on the combination of image, text and audio to foster language development in the very young through visual memory. It is based on the global reading method, a methodology validated by experts in special education that enhances learning skills to the maximum. Overall, the project aims to help parents give their children a special education.

Yo también leo can be configured in two languages, Catalan or Spanish, and features image and word personalization, so that each child can relate words to their immediate environment. In addition, throughout the process, an animated character appears who motivates children to do the activities and gives them rewards.

Public launch

At 6:15 pm on Thursday 21 March, World Down Syndrome Day, Yo también leo will be presented at the Convent de Sant Agustí Civic Centre in Barcelona (Carrer del Comerç, 36), in the Sala Calidoscopi (entrance on Plaça de l’Acadèmia). To attend, please send an email to comunica@yotambienleo.com.

Commitment to crowdfunding

The UOC provides entrepreneurial support to Yo también leo through Hubbik, the University platform that promotes entrepreneurship and open innovation. This project sees the start of a new commitment by the University to crowdfunding, with a view to bringing together small financial support from people or institutions that make the projects promoted by members of its community, students, alumni, teaching staff or administrative staff a reality. For this purpose, the University has created a channel on Verkami, an established crowdfunding platform from which it aims to promote its community's campaigns.

Yo también leo is an initiative that was created through SpinUOC, an annual UOC programme that promotes entrepreneurship, and it also received advice from the UOC’s EduTECH Emprèn programme. It also took part with the University in 4 Years From Now (4YFN), at the Mobile World Congress.