Visual Plus: Created By Ugandans For Blind Smartphone Users

Great things are happening in Africa. The African youth continue to show the capacity Africa has to become further advanced and take the lead in technology.

Four Ugandans are a part of this group for an app which they designed to make smartphone usage easy for blind users.

22-year-olds David Lwangwa Mwesigwa, Mubiru Joel, Chemyolei Paul and 21-year-old Moris Atwine developed VisualPlus to accommodate to visually impaired smartphone users.

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This was inspired by David Lwangwa’s brother who became blind at age 10. He began to feel bad that although he owned a smartphone there were some basic commands his brothers could not go through with due to his incapacitation.

At the popular Makarere University in Uganda, David met his would-be partners of Visual Plus.

Visual Plus makes use of voice commands and gesture-based interaction to make the use of smartphones easy for the blind.

On the home screen of the app, there are four features including; phone, music, notes and personal by swiping left, right, up or down the user can access any of the features. In order to return to a previous screen or exit the app, the user only needs to double tap the screen.

visual plus app screen

According to the National Union of Disabled Persons, 2008, there are about 1 million blind people living in Uganda, at the global stage, the World Health Organization reports and even bigger figure.

In an interview with This Is Uganda, they explained that visually impaired people are usually faced with great challenges that result from a lack of resources to make life easier for them. Even in schools, there are few reading materials in Braille, or even educative games which they can participate in.

The four hope they can partner with telecom companies as well as phone companies in the future.

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Although Visual+ is the first programme they have worked on together as a group, David and Morris have worked on an app called BreastIT which serves as an early breast cancer detection app. More info can be found here: