Big Education Challenge:
Meet finalist Sergio Gosalvez

Read more about the Big Education Challenge

Sergio Gosalvez, aged 22, from London, grew up in Spain and studied Biomedical Engineering. He is building Paige Connect to upgrade existing braille writers using technology that will enable parents and carers to read the print translation on the web app and provide help and support.

“We are building Paige Connect so that when a child is writing braille their parent will be able to read the print translation on the web app and provide help and support. Being a Big Education Challenge Finalist will enable us to test and improve our product with people who use braille.”

About Sergio

Through Sergio’s Biomedical Engineering course he became particularly interested in assistive technology and how it could be used to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives.

The problem

64% of children who are blind or partially sighted between 5-16 years are educated in mainstream schools, where the longer process of translation means that these young people can more easily fall behind.

The UK is home to over 340,000 people who are registered blind or partially sighted and only 1 in 4 of working age are employed.

“Sighted parents of blind children struggle to support their children to read and write at home as they are not braille literate. One parent stated that “for the parent or carer of a child who uses braille, they are suddenly no longer a part of that child’s literary life.”

The bold idea

An affordable upgrade for existing braille writers that enables collaboration between blind and sighted people.

Sergio is building Paige Connect, a small device that attaches underneath the braille writer and allows it to connect to a phone, tablet, or laptop. Once connected, the braille writer can be used as a keyboard, enabling users to type braille into a web app.

The web app will include software that instantaneously translates the braille into print for collaboration with sighted peers, parents, and teachers. For children embossing their homework on paper, their parent will be able to read the print translation on our web app to provide help and support.

The aim is for it to be used on any browser on a phone, tablet, or laptop. It complies with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and can be navigated using a screen reader. This will make Paige Connect easy to adopt as it can be controlled with the device, browser, and screen reader the user is already comfortable with.

“I want to make braille affordable for everyone. It is a fundamental tool for literacy and communication and needs to be more accessible.”

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