As we bid farewell to 2023, it’s time to reflect on the incredible journey we had at Avaz. This year has been marked by significant strides in product development, language expansion and customer satisfaction. We also saw great progress in our training and AAC education initiatives. In 2023, we were also very active in international events.
Join us as we highlight the key updates and celebrate the collective achievements that have shaped Avaz in 2023.
Avaz App in 2023
2023 has been a watershed year for Avaz App. With many important improvements, our flagship product is ready to support AAC users in an era of rapid technological advancements. Here’s a look at what we have achieved in 2023:
Avaz Combined App – Everything Everywhere All at Once:
In a huge leap forward, Avaz proudly unveiled its upgraded combined app. This app brought all the different Avaz app versions in multiple languages together as one. With this step, we were able to provide long awaited updates to all supported languages at once. For AAC users, this advancement ensures faster releases.
Expanding Linguistic Horizons:
Avaz saw a dynamic growth in languages this year. Danish made its debut on Android, opening doors to a broader user base. Additionally, we introduced Vietnamese, Bengali, Malayalam, Marathi, Hindi Vocab catering specifically to bilingual needs. View all the vocabulary packs here!
A groundbreaking feature introduced this year is “Expressive Tones”. This innovative addition adds emotions into every word, providing authentic communication experiences for our user. Avaz recognizes the importance of emotional expressions for AAC communicators. With Expressive Tones, we are working to empower users by incorporating a range of tones into their AAC system.
Avaz delved into the realm of Artificial Intelligence with two new experiments.
SwiftSpeak – a quick communication tool. It is a smart keyboard that takes a variety of inputs from the user. This includes what the person in front is saying, what the user types, how they want to express themselves and more. It even captures their personality and more. Then, it puts all these inputs together to create full sentences for communication.
Avaz Saathi – An AI tool designed for professionals to ask specific questions and receive targeted answers. It provides curated responses with resource links via WhatsApp, allowing users to refine results through ongoing chat. Accessible to various caregivers, educators, and medical professionals, Avaz Saathi aims to strengthen support systems and communities for individuals with disabilities.
These AI experiments push the boundaries of Assistive Technology by exploring novel ways to make communication more accessible and efficient.
Touch Accommodations and Improvements:
User centric improvements were at the forefront of Avaz’s product development in 2023. Touch Accomodations were enhanced to provide a more accessible and user friendly experience. Notable improvements include:
- The ability to share text directly from the message box.
- Separated Zoom settings for the Keyboard mode.
- Vowel highlights for efficient typing.
- In-app image editing options.
Each of these improvements offer users greater flexibility and control.
Avaz Services in 2023
This year, our teletherapy sessions witnessed remarkable milestones. We conducted a record breaking 793 teletherapy sessions, marking the highest since its launch in 2020. This accomplishment speaks volumes about Avaz’s impact in providing support to our users and their families.
Avaz believes in reaching our beyond the screen to build meaningful connections. 2023 saw us engaging with 66 institutions and organizations. This outreach provided personalized customer support. Additionally, it spread the word about Avaz – thereby ensuring that our solution reaches those who need it most.
5 Star Support:
We extend our heartfelt thanks to our incredible community of users. We are thrilled to share that a whopping 90.2% of our users have rated Avaz a perfect 5/5. This rating is a testament to the impact and satisfaction our AAC solution brings to individuals and families.
Learning with Avaz in 2023
Avaz AAC Primer Course:
In a quest to empower caregivers and educators, we introduced a Free course on Udemy. This comprehensive course serves as a gateway to understanding the fundamentals of AAC. Participants gained insights into practical applications of AAC in a child’s daily life while dispelling myths surrounding AAC. The course provided a gateway into the world of AAC, where learners discovered the power it holds.
AAC Awareness Month Webinars:
In honor of AAC Awareness Month, we hosted a 4 part AAC webinar series. The series was led by notable experts such as Lauren S.(Enders) Gonzales and others. The webinars were attended by by 1000+ participants from 35+ countries, including 250+ international participants.
In case you missed them, you can Watch all the webinars here.
Ask an AAC Expert Series:
Avaz continued its commitment to AAC education with the “Ask an AAC Expert” series. This initiative was led by our in-house SLPs Nayantara Nambiar and Niveditha Ryali. These online sessions provided an opportunity for parent and caregivers to directly engage with experts, seek advice, and gain valuable insights. This enabled them to maximize the benefits of Avaz in diverse communication scenarios in their daily lives.
Professional Development with ACAP and ACE Batches:
In 2023, Avaz made incredible progress by offering two ACAP (Avaz Certified AAC Professional) batches and three ACE (Avaz Certified Educator) batches. These courses attracted over 230 professionals globally, providing them with specialized knowledge and skills.
Notably, the 6th ACAP batch emerged the largest to date, with 80+ registrations from ASLPs practicing in India, UAE and various other countries.
Learning as a Community:
In 2023, our WhatsApp group thrived, growing day by day with an active community of 576 members. The dedicated space allowed users to share heartwarming images and videos of their child’s communication milestones. They were also able to exchange insights and collectively address queries and concerns with our team and AAC experts. The Avaz family continues to flourish as supportive and collaborative community.
Engaging the Community with Open Demos:
Ahead of the school year in the USA, our team organized 18 Open Demos in August. With an impressive 150+ registrants, these sessions provided attendees with insights into Avaz’s capabilities. The overall survey rating of 4.39/5 reflects the positive impact of these open demos.
Personalized Insights through 1-on-1 Demos:
We went an extra mile in 2023, conducting over 100 1-on-1 demos to provide personalized insights and support. These individualized sessions allowed users to explore Avaz’s features in-depth, tailoring the experience to their specific needs.
AAC Exploration Series:
An Avaz initiative designed for professionals and parents, aiming to deepen their comprehension of AAC and its transformative impact on communication. This free series is facilitated by AAC experts, providing valuable insights and knowledge.
Avaz Impact in 2023
Avaz for Everyone:
In 2023, we received the 3rd order from the Goivernment of Tamil Nadu. With this order, we are able to ensure that Avaz reaches the hands of every child who needs Avaz, especially in underserved rural areas.
We continue our steadfast commitment to empowering Special Educators by conducting regular training programs for professionals working is Government schools & institutions.
Avaz Collaborations in 2023
Alexa and Avaz:
In a groundbreaking collaboration, Avaz teamed up with Amazon Alexa to showcase the transformative power of technology. The campaign demonstrated how children with autism can express themselves and gain control over their environment using Avaz with Alexa.
Global Engagements: Avaz’s Eventful Journey in 2023
Stepping into the world of Assistive Technology and Artificial Intelligence, Avaz made a mark at ATIA with a booth themed around “Avaz in AI Land”. The booth provided a glimpse into the future of Avaz, offering attendees a sneak peek into the Expressive Tones feature alongside other improvements made to the app.
“We are trying to train a few therapists in our school districts. you guys are trying to train all the therapists for a nation of billion people. Hats off.”An Attendee at ATIA, 2023
Avaz was present at ISAAC in Cancún, Mexico where our CEO Narayanan Ramakrishan presented a compelling paper on ‘Building Awareness for AAC Stakeholders in an AAC Emerging Country”.
The event also provided an opportunity to showcase cutting edge AI prototypes to AAC users to understand their perspectives on AI and its potential impact on their lives.
RehaCare, Düsseldorf, Germany:
Avaz participated in Rehacare, one of the world’s largest trade fairs for rehabilitation, prevention, care and inclusion. Rehacare brings together 30 years of expertise and over 700 exhibitors from 35+ countries. The experience was enlightening – emphasizing the importance of international collaboration in advancing assistive technology.
ISHACON, New Delhi:
Back on home soil, Avaz proudly sponsored ISHACON. This event, held in New Delhi, brought together over 100 SLPs from all over India.
This event provided a valuable platform to connect with professionals, fostering collaborations and partnerships.
EMPOWER, IIT Madras:
Avaz was an active participant in EMPOWER, an annual technical gathering in India uniting various stakeholders in the assistive technology industry. The event brought together researchers, non-profit organizations, businesses and policymakers.
During the event, we had the pleasure of hosting Deva, an Avaz user, who not only explored our stall but also ventured to adjacent booths to discover more!
Celebrations in 2023!
Aditi, an 18-year-old freelance writer, recently celebrated her one-year anniversary of writing for the Avaz Blog. We are overjoyed by her incredible contribution.
Aditi uses Avaz AAC for communication and attends Ishanya India Foundation, a special school in Bengaluru. You can connect with her on Instagram @writeaditi or visit her Facebook page: Small Step Big Thought.
We Found Our Voice, Together!❤️:
During AAC Awareness Month, Team Avaz chose to exclusively use Avaz AAC for communication. Teams utilized Avaz to convey clues, riddles and messages to guide each other to solve puzzles. This culminated in a scavenger hunt on the office premises.
Annual Team Reunion
Spanning across various regions of the country, our team gathered for our annual reunion. This time, we chose to catch up in the vibrant destination of Goa!
It was a delightful experience reconnecting with colleagues, sharing moments, and enjoying a great time together.
Counting Our Blessings!
As we look back to the remarkable year, we express our gratitude to our community, users and collaborators. Together, we have not just built a product but also fostered a supportive ecosystem around individuals with disabilities.
Thank you for being part of the Avaz journey in 2023.
We have exciting new developments coming in the year ahead – stay tuned to this space for more!