Matamata is a social-driven enterprise founded in Malaysia to help the Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI) gain independence and inclusivity on the web.
We achieve this by harnessing the power of technology to:
#1 - Find and create remote work for the Bvi
We help create a side income for BVIs by connecting them to freelancing opportunities on the web. These opportunities empower them to use their computer (ICT) skills to be equal contributors to our country’s rising digital economy.
Presently, we focus on building up the ICT skills of BVIs to provide video (e.g., YouTube) and audio transcription and translation services.
Interested in learning more about freelancing opportunities? Want to hire a freelancer from the BVI community? Follow the link below:
#2 - BUILD ACCESSIBLE TECH
We believe that Web accessibility is the key to ensuring equal access and equal opportunities for the Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI).
Our current project: Sightgigs.com | Sightgigs is an accessible freelancing platform that connects aspiring BVI freelancers to remote opportunities online.
Past project: Matamata App | The Matamata App is an AI-driven image reader app with multiple features to assist the BVIs and connect them to visually impaired and sighted users.
Learn more about our projects in the link below:
#3 - Advocate for the rights of the BVI in the country
We were founded on a simple belief:
We believe that access to information and communications technologies (ICT)—including the web—is a basic human right.
We support other organizations and groups in the country in fighting for the rights of the BVI community and Persons with Disabilities (PWD) through education and advocacy.
Matamata was initially conceived at a Microsoft AI for Accessibility Hackathon as an AI-driven image reader prototype.
The team consisted originally of Jasmine Kijam, Gan Mee San, Kevin Lim, Charis Chan and Chau Shen Liang. The five of them came from varying professional backgrounds and had met through a Data Science program.
During the hackathon, Jasmine and Mee San contacted the National Council for the Blind Malaysia (NCBM) to learn more about the technological challenges faced by the Blind community as they navigate the internet.
The initial meeting and discussion with a community representative was an eye-opening experience for both of them. It highlighted the accessibility challenges that the Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI) community commonly encounter in the country.
After the hackathon ended, the team parted ways. However, the meeting with representatives of the BVI community had made a lasting impact. As Jasmine connected with more visually impaired individuals and listened to their stories, the true extent of economic inequality and discrimination toward the Blind community became apparent. Jasmine felt a strong sense of purpose and obligation in pursuing the idea of the Matamata App.
One day during a casual chat, Mee San admitted that she had the same feeling. They had both seen the prospect of what they could do to alleviate the lives of BVIs not only in the country but regionally. More importantly, they recognized the untapped potential of the Blind community members and the significance of technology empowerment within the community.
Sensing a kindred spirit, Jasmine pitched the idea of continuing to work together to help the Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI). In 2020—amid an unprecedented pandemic—they founded Matamata as a social-driven enterprise with one singular vision.
The personal essay below explains the accessibility challenges that the Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI) community in Malaysia deal with concerning their fundamental right to access the Web and their struggles with employment discrimination. Learn more about our story, why we do what we do and how it matters.
We have a vision of a future where Blind and Visually Impaired persons (BVIs) receive equal opportunities on the web.
Who We Are
Jasmine grew up in a multicultural background that champions social causes and giving back to the community. She has volunteered in various capacities, including English teaching, community engagement and poverty alleviation.
Jasmine has a genuine curiosity of other people and their stories. She believes that stories help shape problem statements, challenge presumptions, and drive design thinking processes to seek better solutions to global issues.
As a Master of Architecture alumna from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, Jasmine has worked on several residential and commercial projects in Malaysia.
When she isn’t keeping busy with a new endeavor, Jasmine loves traveling to meet new people and learn about other cultures.
Gan Mee San
Coming from an engineering background, Mee San is fond of building things, projects and teams. She is a risk-taker who enjoys innovating and tackling challenging problems – from organisation reformation to wastewater treatment.
After a journey of successfully transforming a student society in her university years, Mee San found her entrepreneurial spirit and continues to sharpen her business acumen through spearheading several projects.
Hailing from a single parent B40 family and having benefited from the help of Good Samaritans who supported her education, Mee San is inspired to spread kindness and give back to society.
When she is not hustling, Mee San loves to spend time in old and historical kopitiams sipping “kopi-beng” and reminiscing her childhood days.
developers, Writers, Volunteers
Get in touch with us
We are on the lookout for passionate and visionary teammates who share the same values as us. We welcome people who want to play an active role in making the world a better place to live.
Particular skill sets that we are currently looking for:
- Developers with a solid portfolio
- Social media content creators
- Researchers and writers
If you are willing to spend even one day a week working on our mission, don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us!