Sometimes the simplest ideas make the biggest difference. Take SnapType, for example. Created by a husband and wife team – Ben and Amberlynn Slavin – this app lets kids take pictures of their homework and simply type in answers instead of having to hand-write them.
Amberlynn, a pediatric occupational therapist, works with kids with ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, and dyslexia. Many of these students are unable to write in answers on basic school worksheets for various reasons. In order to help them with their homework, then, she and her husband created an app that lets them take a picture of the sheet and simply tap to type in the answers.
The company is completely bootstrapped except for a $10,000 grant. from World Domination Summit Foundation. Ben is a programmer and built the entire app himself.
The free app has seen 1.5 million downloads so far. I met the duo in Muscat where they stopped over during a fourth-month-long bicycle trek through the Middle East. They were excited to tell the SnapType story.
“Amberlynn came up with the idea for SnapType during her occupational therapy graduate fieldwork. She worked with a 5th-grade student diagnosed with dysgraphia, a learning disability that made his handwriting extremely messy,” said Ben. “His occupational therapist tried many things to help him improve his penmanship, but nothing worked. The determined occupational therapist even scanned his worksheets into a computer so he could type in answers to questions, but it was too time-consuming so she stopped doing it. He was frustrated about getting left behind in class because he couldn’t complete the worksheets with the rest of his peers.”