Key2Enable Assistive Technology, Inc.
Key2Enable has developed a Keyboard that that enables people with any kind of motor disabilities to use computers and mobile devices.
Pitch us on your solution
We created our startup in Brazil and recently moved our headquarters to St Louis, MO.
There are over 200 million people with severe motor disabilities who cannot communicate or use a computer at school, home or work in the contemporary world, leading them to a lack of opportunities, contributing to less development of their skills, poverty, and discrimination. Now, Key2Enable has a solution with Key-X, a multifunctional keyboard with special keypad and software that enables anyone with severe motor or intellectual disabilities to fully access computers, tablets, and smartphones.
With Key-X, anyone can learn, write, and search the NET, play games, doing everything we do on a regular keyboard.
Key-X gives autonomy and plenty of possibilities to people that cannot vocalize or hold a pen all around the world, empowering them and developing their skills and individualities, giving them an opportunity to be include in a regular classroom and work.
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What is the problem you are solving?
There are over 200 million people with severe motor and intellectual disabilities who cannot communicate or use a computer at school, home or work in the contemporary world, leading them to a lack of opportunities, contributing to less development of their skills, poverty, and discrimination. Now, Key2Enable has a solution with Key-X, a multifunctional keyboard with special keypad and software that enables anyone with severe motor or intellectual disabilities to fully access computers, tablets, and smartphones. The innovation of our solution resides in its design, built to fit a wide variety of motion limitations while being compatible with any computer (and even smartphones and tablets) without requiring any software installation at all. Besides that, our product is multi-lingual, with available versions in Portuguese, English, Spanish, Arabic, German, and French. With Key-X, anyone can learn, write, and search the NET, play games, doing everything we do on a regular keyboard. Key-X gives autonomy and plenty of possibilities to people that cannot vocalize or hold a pen all around the world, empowering them and developing their skills and individualities, allowing them to be include in a regular classroom and work.
Who are you serving?
We have created a keyboard panel for people with severe motor disabilities, with tremors and spasms that cannot use a regular keyboard. The Key-X was created over a concept of 11 iconographic and well-spaced out keys, developed by Gleisson Fernandes, a man that was born with cerebral Palsy. The main users for our keyboard are people with Cerebral Palsy, Motor sequels of strokes, Sequels of spinal cord injuries, ALS, and Parkinson's disease. Our Educational Platform also help people with Intellectual disabilities (including Down syndrome and autism).
With the Key-X, kids with severe motor disabilities can be in a regular class to learn, write, and even going to work, after graduate.
In Brazil, where the Key-X has been sold for the past 3 years, the Key-X has been changing lives of children that cannot vocalize or hold a pen. Life of children like Julia that became the best math student in her class, or Allison, a 6th grade student that wrote a book.
This is the beginning of an ambitious worldwide mission to offer digital inclusion and empowerment to people with disabilities all over the globe to develop their skills, unleash their talents, and explore their individualities.
What is your solution?
We solve the problem of People with disabilities that are unable to use computers and mobile devices due to motion limitations or lack of fine motor coordination. The innovation of our solution resides in its design, built to fit a wide variety of motion limitations while being compatible with any computer (and even smartphones and tablets) without requiring any software installation at all. With our solution, children with severe motor disabilities don't need to be isolated, they can be integrated into a regular class, and after graduating, they can go to work with Key-X. We had created not only the keyboard panel but also accessories and software that all together became an Educational Platform for children with severe motor and intellectual disabilities. Our daily basis operation is helping our customers (Public and private institutions, end-users, teachers, occupational therapists, and other Special education professionals) to better operate our solution. And of course, visiting schools and creating workshops for them to test, feel and understand the solution. Key-x and its accessories give autonomy, privacy, and empower people with disabilities to use tablets, computers, and smartphones. They will be able to communicate and learn. And by doing that, we bring them to our technological world and open all the exponential possibilities they have. Our intention it’s to disrupt special education with our educational platform, making possible not only for these children to finish school in a regular class, but to go to work and even play video games. Key-X makes possible for kids with spasms and tremors to be included in a classroom, learn, write, search the internet, send emails and messages, play video games, and work.
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Where our solution team is headquartered or located:St. Louis, MO, USA
Our solution's stage of development:
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
We are living in the 21st Century, and people with severe motor disabilities still not included in a regular classroom. But not anymore.
Key-X, our keyboard panel that’s part of our Educational platform that enables anyone with severe motor disabilities to fully access computers, tablets, and smartphones is changing this.
A 12 inches square panel, with 11 iconographic well-spaced keys, makes possible for kids with severe motor and intellectual disabilities to communicate and learn at school. Software like FluentiX speed the process to write and SimpliX enables teachers, parents, and therapists to create playable educational boards in less than 5 minutes.
We’ve been selling the Key-X in Brazil for the past 3 years and today we part of the story of kids like Julia, that cannot vocalize or hold a pen, but with key-X, she went from isolation to a regular classroom, and became the best Math student in her class. Or the life of Allison, who after he started using the Key-X, wrote a children’s book.
The Key-X was originally created to help kids with Cerebral Palsy, but today we have kids with Down Syndrome, Autism, and other intellectual disabilities been helped by the Key-X.
Most of our competitors offer only a keyboard or mouse, rarely both. Most of them are not plug and play, so they are not compatible with different operating systems. However, all these existing devices have several limitations, making them ineffective for use by people with various forms of physical and intellectual disabilities.
Why do you expect your solution to address the problem?
First of all, the concept was created by a person that was born with cerebral palsy, and after that, we created the hardware, software, and accessories with a team of specialists. After we develop it, we test and validate it for almost two years, and our solution has been sold in Brazil for the past 3 years and already changed the lives of thousands of kids down there.
Now we are prepared to go exponentially, with our keyboard in several languages to start changing lives all over the world, as these kids with severe motor and intellectual disabilities always are left out by the industry.
Select the key characteristics of the population your solution serves.
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How many people are you currently serving with your solution? How many will you be serving in one year? How about in five years?
Right now, we are serving about 10000 people with our solution in Brazil, United States, Chile, and The Emirates. All countries outside Brazil are in the first stage and we are just starting to sell our solution in these countries.
We already have our solution in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, and Arabic. Our Mexican Office will be responsible for the whole of Latin America (outside Brazil), and our Abu Dhabi (UAE) office will be managing the MENA Region and Africa.
We are projecting to serve about 250000 kids in the next year and about 1.5 Million in 5 years, in all countries that are planning to open and already open.
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
Our main goal for the next five years is establishing ourselves as a power player in the business with a mission to offer digital inclusion and empowerment to people with disabilities all over the globe.
We already have a few new products that have been tested and validated in Brazil, along with our second-generation software.
We have been working hard on AI to create forms that can help teachers, parents and therapists to provide a better service for kids with severe motor disabilities that have been using the Key-X and our Educational Platform for kids with disabilities.
Besides all that, we will for sure changing our lives in the countries that we are already open to business and other countries that we are planning to open in the next year.
What are the barriers that currently exist for you to accomplish your goals for the next year and for the next five years?
The number one barrier is financial, as we don’t have all the money necessary (yet) to attend all the markets that we want to go and help these kids. Our factory in Brazil it's very small, and we are upgrading with all the sales in Brazil.
Our team still small, splitting founders in different countries, but already projecting to hire people to work within different areas.
Another barrier is cultural, as the schools over the years always told families with kids with severe motor disabilities that “they don’t have anything to help these kids there, and that would better for them if they keep their kids at home”. Because of that, lots of times we hear from people at the schools “we don’t have anyone in here that needs your solution”. That’s the reason we are working along with foundations to show them that we exist, so they can go to the schools and tell them “now exist a solution for our kids be in the regular school.”
How are you planning to overcome these barriers?
We are working to change all this; we are looking for some pre-seed money and our office in Abu Dhabi has been approved for two government grants that will help with money structure and will help us pay for 10 employees for 36 months.
With my experience working with technology and factories in China for the past 20 years, I’ve contacted some old suppliers in China that will start manufacture some parts for us, to speed up the process to make up for big orders.
We are already working with Foundation and organizations throughout the world with adds and workshops, so the families are checking on our solution and take to the schools.
If you selected “My solution is already being implemented in one or more of ServiceNow’s primary markets,” please provide an overview of your current activities in those markets.
We have moved our headquarters to the US, with our main office based in St. Louis, MO and with another office in Florida. We have pilots in Florida and Missouri, as we already have a contract with a company in Missouri that has a contract with the public schools in the state.
Our solution has been tested and validated in 8 different states by the Assistive Technology Department, with their approval, we can sell our solution in these states.
If you selected “I am planning to expand my solution to one or more of ServiceNow’s primary markets,” please provide an overview of your expansion plans. What is the market opportunity for your business or product here?
We are planning to open an office in Canada on this first semester, where we have pilot with our solution being done in one Private School and 2 Public Schools for People with Disabilities in Toronto, I spent the month of February traveling to France and Spain, been accelerated in the 2 cities and checking all possibilities to open a new office in those 2 cities.
The European countries it is very attractive for Key2Enable, being first world countries with strong financial help for minorities and strong laws protecting them.
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How many people work on your solution team?
We are 9 full time people right now, and these are the founders:
William de Oliveira – International Market, Developer of new products of technology for customers worldwide for the past 20 years.
Jose Rubinger – Electronic Engineer and selling tech products for the past 25 years.
Alexandre Assis – Head of Education, working with Education for the past 21 years.
Adriano Assis – Programmer Engineering
William de Oliveira – https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-de-oliveira-3a355a24/
Jose Rubinger – https://www.linkedin.com/in/rubinger/
Alexandre Assis – https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandre-assis-9b245015b/
Adriano Assis – https://www.linkedin.com/in/adriano-rabelo-assis/
For how many years have you been working on your solution?
Why are you and your team best-placed to deliver this solution?
We are very small team, but we cover all the holes necessary, with Engineering, Education and business people.
With what organizations are you currently partnering, if any? How are you working with them?
What is your business model?
On our B2B business, we sell our hardware and software to Schools, Rehabilitation Centers, and professionals, while on B2C we sell subscriptions to home users.
What is your path to financial sustainability?
We had bootstrapping ourselves since day one, and last year we won various competitions all over the world and we already sold thousand of our solution in the past 3 years.
Why are you applying to the Digital Workforce Challenge?
We think that is a great organization and in case we get this stamp, will means a lot for us, to be recognized in places that no one know about us yet.
What types of connections and partnerships would be most catalytic for your solution?
With what organizations would you like to partner, and how would you like to partner with them?
Education organizations that are willing to work with kids with disabilities.
- William Oliveira President, Key2enable Assistive Technology, Inc.