How One Captioning Software Company is Supporting Ukrainian Refugees
Deaf and hearing Ukrainian refugees alike can leverage the power of instant, translatable captions from Ava
Ava, an AI software start-up that specializes in providing smart, accurate captions for those who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing, is making a conscious effort to support refugees affected by the war against Ukraine.
Anyone who downloads the Ava app can instantly caption one-on-one and group conversations with Ukrainians, free of charge (available for iOS and Android).
As an international company, some Ava team members are impacted by the war, while some are witnessing the flux of refugees coming into surrounding countries. As a social impact organization, it was hard to watch communication struggles happen when something more could be done.
With approximately 5 million Ukrainians displaced from their country due to the war, Ava can help Deaf, hard-of-hearing, as well as hearing people get accurate information as they receive assistance in refugee centers. And when they are hosted by people in other countries, Ava’s Group Conversation feature (which identifies and captions each person in a conversation) will be particularly valuable.
It’s the right thing to do. When we started Ava, and picked “Communicate beyond barriers”, it has always been clear that we are building an incredible technology for everyone, even without hearing loss. When Ukrainian refugees join multilingual families in Europe, they are often excluded from group conversations and at Ava we know how this feels! We can bring everyone around the same dining table, regardless what language they speak.
– Thibault Duchemin, CEO of Ava
How can Ava be used to communicate with Ukrainians?
The Ava app’s focus is on accessibility, bridging communication gaps between hearing and Deaf folks. Now, Ava can be used in these ways to support those who are displaced and fleeing Ukraine:
- To provide captions for spoken Ukrainian (between Deaf Ukrainians and hearing Ukrainians)
- To translate Ukrainian to any other supported language (for those that don’t know Ukrainian such as someone helping people at a refugee center)
- To provide captions or translate in group settings such as a dinner (for host families of a Ukrainian refugee)
Read on to learn how to use Ava for these situations!
How to: Caption or translate in Ukrainian
Once Ava has been downloaded, here’s how to quickly set up Ava for Ukrainian:
- Open a conversation
- Click on the ⚙️ settings icon (top-right corner)
- Select desired languages
For more information, check out our FAQ section on translating with Ava.
How to: Use Ava for Group Conversations
Some may find themselves in a group setting with Ukrainians, Deaf and hearing! Ava is perfect for these situations.
- Open a conversation
- Invite friends by tapping on “+Add” (or have them search for your Ava Name)
- Accept their invitation to join
- Set preferred language settings
- Start speaking!
For more information, check out our FAQ section on facilitating group conversations on the Ava app.
If you or your organization want to partner with Ava to ensure access for all in this time of crisis, please reach out to our team for further information.