|Duygu Kayaman (Season 06 - Episode 09)|
Dream Partner of Visually Impaired People
Sabanci Foundation Turkey’s Changemakers Program continues in its 6th season to share the unique stories of extraordinary people who contribute to the social development. The 9th Changemaker of the 6th season is Duygu Kayaman.
Duygu Kayaman lost her sight when she was two and a half years old due to a lump behind her visual nerve. Duygu Kayaman, who communicates with the world through four senses, worked in “Blind Leaders Project” of Young Guru Academy (YGA) that was established to raise socially conscious leaders. The project aimed to contribute to the economic and social development of visually impaired people. Later, Duygu worked on the development of “My Dream Partner” application with the support of Turkcell that eases the access of visually impaired people to information. Currently she works at Microsoft as an inside sales specialist.
As a visually-disabled person herself, the dream of Duygu Kayaman was ensuring easy access to books, newspapers, trainings and location information for people like her. She started working to realize her dreams and developed an application with the support of YGA. The application helped visually impaired users access daily news and articles, read audio books and get hundreds of trainings. They could also have access to location information of the closest hospital, pharmacy, school, bank branch, market and notary. Currently, 110 thousand visually impaired people are using “Turkcell My Dream Partner” application.
Duygu Kayaman was awarded “Social Innovator of the Year” in Innovators Under 35 Competition of MIT Technology Review that was organized in Turkey for the first time.
Duygu Kayaman’s journey started from the difficulties she was facing. She pioneered the project so that lives of 800 thousand visually impaired people in Turkey could be improved. She made the lives of thousands of visually impaired people easier. She made a big difference in her own life, as well as in the lives of the disabled people.