ConnectHear is a social enterprise working for communication and information independence for the Deaf community in Pakistan.

The organization was co-founded by Azima and Arhum, 19-year-old university students. Azima is raised by Deaf parents and sign language is her mother tongue, meanwhile, Arhum, a self-learned machine learning expert, has spent the majority of his young ages around marginalized groups who are disadvantaged in our country.

Together they were committed to using technology to support the Deaf community who were alienated in our society just because of their limitation:

1. Launched Connect Hear mobile application - a virtual sign language interpretation solution, that allows Deaf to connect with a sign language interpreter on their phones to receive communication independence regardless of their location. This technology is being used in 106+ countries, with most calls from Pakistan and India where 5% of the country's population has a hearing impairment with no access to quality interpreters on a regular basis.

2. Also provided sign language interpretation to the Deaf community through in-person and video-calling platforms to ensure they support Deaf individuals across the country. They have already provided 1,000,000+ minutes of sign language interpretation.

3. Taught sign language to 2000+ individuals especially the ones belonging to families with Deaf members and not knowing how to connect with them. From an 8-year-old hearing Child of a Deaf Adult to a 72-year-old hearing grandfather of a Deaf child.

4. Produced 2000+ infotainment videos in sign language ranging from daily news updates, educational videos, and entertainment videos, to ensure Deaf community have equal access to information.

5. Partnered with multiple healthcare organizations and NGOs during the COVID-19 pandemic to serve the Deaf community who did not have access to information or telehealth during the lockdown. More than 10,000 community members benefitted through the efforts.

6. Conducted the first Deaf inclusive concert in Pakistan in 2018 with sign language interpreters on stage, light adjusted to beat of the music and vibration, to prove all spaces can be made accessible for the Deaf community. 300 Deaf people became a part of the huge crowd and it was definitely hard to differentiate, and much more was done by ConnectHear through NGO and corporate partnerships with the single goal of amplifying the overall impact.
Equal opportunities and social justice
Pakistan, Asia-Pacific region