Solution Overview

Solution Name:

Fable

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One-line solution summary:

Fable is an accessibility platform powered by people with disabilities.

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Pitch your solution.

Fable’s accessibility platform is increasing participation in the digital economy by providing sustainable and flexible work opportunities to people with disabilities. Fable’s platform connects leading organizations directly with people with disabilities to conduct user research and accessibility testing, ensuring that the digital experiences they are building work for everyone. Working with Fable improves the usability of digital products for all users. This in turn enables millions more people around the world to better access and contribute to the online world and participate in the workforce. Through our platform people with disabilities are able to contribute, not just as consumers, but as producers in the digital economy by providing valuable feedback, directly from their own homes. Working with Fable serves as a gateway into the technology sector, where people with disabilities can learn and upskill to progress their careers, while earning technology-sector wages. 

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Film your elevator pitch.

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What specific problem are you solving?

Globally, more than 1 billion people live with a disability. Around the world, individuals with disabilities are chronically underemployed and very few opportunities exist to participate in the workforce. Traditional employment paths do not provide the flexibility and accessibility needed for people with disabilities to enter, excel and advance in the workplace. Fable’s solution eliminates these barriers to employment by providing remote opportunities to enter the digital workforce and by leveraging these individuals' unique skills and experiences. Additionally, Fable is solving the problem of inaccessible product design. The lack of diversity on product teams and the suite of tools used in research and design has resulted in inaccessible digital products that do not work for ~20% of the population. Fable empowers customers to design for the 20%. By focusing on the needs of the those at the margins- the 20%- our customers build products that are far more innovative, simpler, and easier to use. And as a result, they capture 100% of the user base 

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What is your solution?

Fable is an accessibility platform powered by people with disabilities. Fable’s platform enables Fortune 500 companies, leading organizations, and governments to improve their digital products by connecting directly with people with disabilities to conduct user research and accessibility testing. Fable’s platform enables product teams to rapidly and continuously research and test their products with people with disabilities, at every stage of product development from research to QA. These interactions build awareness and correct bias within product teams and ensure that the digital world reflects not just those building it, but all those participating in it.  

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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Fable strives to make sure everyone can not only participate, but contribute in the digital economy. We are hyper focused on ensuring access and providing meaningful employment to people with disabilities, who are historically limited in their opportunities to access employment. Nothing for us without us, a central tenant of inclusive design, is at Fable’s core, and this is reflected in every part of the business. The platform itself was co-created with people with disabilities, and we constantly solicit feedback from our community on how they might be better served. By allowing customers to gather diverse feedback early in the development process, we are making inclusive product development possible, at scale. The employment opportunities created by Fable represent a meaningful example of the power of the gig economy and the flexibility it affords.   

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Which dimension of the Digital Workforce Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Provide more equitable access to the digital workforce for all, including those lacking connectivity, those who are differently abled, and those with undervalued talents
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Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.

  

Fable provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to join the digital workforce. We support this underrepresented and underemployed group by providing the training required to provide equitable access to the workforce. To support our onboarding and professional development process, we recently created a Learning Management System (LMS) that will also support our employees with disabilities to learn skills that can support them in furthering their career progression. This platform allows them to take courses so they can enter new industries and grow their careers. Finally, we provide sustainable and flexible job opportunities as accessibility testers. 

  

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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Toronto, ON, Canada
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Is your solution already being implemented in one or more of the following ServiceNow locations (Australia/New Zealand, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom, United States), or are you planning to expand your solution to one or more of these countries?

My solution is already being implemented in one or more of these ServiceNow locations

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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth.
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Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.

Our core engagement platform is in the market, generating recurring revenue. Some of the most innovative companies in the world like Slack, Shopify and Snap are leveraging Fable to build products that work for everyone.  We are now seeking funding to expand to new markets and launch a full training and upskilling curriculum on our learning management system. 

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Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Alwar Pillai- CEO

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the ServiceNow US Racial Equity Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if ServiceNow is specifically interested in my solution/I do not qualify for this prize

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More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful
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What makes your solution innovative?

Fable is changing the way product teams think about designing products. Conventional wisdom, such as the 80/20 rule, suggests that product development should focus on the needs of the masses- the 80%.  Fable flips this on its head. We empower customers to design for the 20%. By focusing on the needs of the those at the margins- the 20%- our customers build products that are far more innovative, simpler, and easier to use. And as a result, they capture 100% of the user base. 

At the same time, Fable creates jobs for people with disabilities and improves online accessibility for leading organizations, creating further opportunities for engagement in the digital economy. 

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Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Fable is an accessibility platform powered by people with disabilities. Fable’s platform enables Fortune 500 companies, leading organizations, and governments to improve their digital products by connecting directly with people with disabilities to conduct user research and accessibility testing. Fable’s platform enables product teams to rapidly and continuously research and test their products with people with disabilities, at every stage of product development from research to QA. These interactions build awareness and correct bias within product teams and ensure that the digital world reflects not just those building it, but all those participating in it.  

Fable's accessibility platform has productized user research and accessibility testing. We have created a "one-sided marketplace" and  leverage a range of algorithms and software features to effectively distribute work across our community and deliver rapid feedback to our customers. 

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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Crowd Sourced Service / Social Networks
  • Software and Mobile Applications
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Does this technology introduce any risks? How are you addressing or mitigating these risks in your solution?

Fable is SOC 2 compliant and minimizes holding of personally identifiable data when possible. All contractors sign and NDA and are able to accept additional customer terms through the platform when requested. 

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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Persons with Disabilities
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Canada
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • United States
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How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

Fable's community is currently over 100 people with disabilities. Over the next five years, we plan to over 10x the number of active participants in our workforce. Fable's training and upskilling program will be freely available, and we hope to deliver to thousands of disabled jobseekers in the coming years. 

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What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and -- importantly -- how will you achieve them?

The best software tools don’t just make processes more efficient; they change behaviour.  

GitHub is a version control platform that simplifies the process of working with other people, making collaborative coding possible. Github devised a solution that the market desperately needed, revolutionizing what it means to be a developer. GitHub not only made it easier to code, it changed the way software developers across the world think about programming.  

Similarly, Fable is changing the way product teams think about designing products. Conventional wisdom, such as the 80/20 rule, suggests that product development should focus on the needs of the masses- the 80%.  Fable flips this on its head. We empower customers to design for the 20%. By focusing on the needs of the those at the margins- the 20%- our customers build products that are far more innovative, simpler, and easier to use. And as a result, they capture 100% of the user base.  

This will result in a more accessible digital world for over 1billion people with disabilities worldwide- and direct employment opportunities for thousands.  This is achieved by working with organizations that whose products have the broadest reach and touch the lives of millions, or billions of people. 

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How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Fable tracks typical business metrics like revenue as well as impact metrics. The core impact metric we track is total payments to people with disabilities. This is our north star metric. 

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About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

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How many people work on your solution team?

30 fulltime, 100+ contractors

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How long have you been working on your solution?

Since April 2018

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How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

When it comes to inclusion; we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. We have intentionally built an inclusive team that brings diverse perspectives, lived experiences and a vast array of industry expertise. Fable was co-founded by Alwar Pillai and Abid Virani, both of whom hold a Master’s degree in Inclusive Design. Fable’s founders are intentionally not the public face of the company and have instead given that platform to our community of people with disabilities. This approach has built an authentic foundation for team culture. As founders, Abid and Alwar have a clear understanding of our strengths (product + community) and where to bring in experts. At Fable we are big believers in hiring smarter and more experienced individuals who can help us avoid mistakes and grow faster and better. This makes it an exciting opportunity for senior leaders to join Fable and help shape our success. Over the past year, we have brought on industry leaders like Kate Kalacivich, our Head of Services. Kate has over 15 years of experience in accessibility and training and is leading the development of our inclusive education platform.  

The diversity of Fable’s team across every facet provides valuable perspective and Fable’s community of testers, who all have disabilities and use assistive technology, are often surveyed and given the opportunity to present their ideas through town hall discussions. 

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What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?

Fable is minority, female and immigrant led. Diversity is at our core and a key consideration in Fable’s hiring process. Fable’s leadership team considers the importance of diversity in gender, race, and ability in forming a strong team. A current goal for our leadership team is to further diversify our community of testers. To ensure that the opportunities for employment provided by Fable are open to all individuals with disabilities, regardless of background or skill level, our team is launching professional development courses for people with disabilities interested in joining the technology sector. 

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Your Business Model & Partnerships

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Organizations (B2B)
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Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to the 2021 Digital Workforce Challenge?

The funding provided by the Digital Workforce Challenge would help Fable further implement our strategy to grow the organization, increase the diversity of services provided to our customers, and help train and upskill new testers for opportunities at Fable and beyond. The partnership opportunities available through the challenge would allow Fable to expand to supporting clients in new industries. Our team is also interested in learning from the other entrants to the challenge and potentially partnering with those who serve the same communities to increase our social impact. 

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Human Capital (e.g. sourcing talent, board development, etc.)
  • Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design, data analysis, etc.)
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Please provide an overview of your current activities in those locations.

Fable has customers across Canada, the US, the UK and the EU.

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What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

Fable is keen to partner with disability organizations that a national or global reach. Through partnership Fable can bring employment opportunities to a large number of people with disabilities, and ensure that our platform maintains an adequate number of testers (supply) to satisfy customer demand. We are also excited to work with customers that have global reach. By working with products that are used by millions of users, Fable can have the broadest possible impact on digital accessibility.  

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Solution Team

 
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