Lazarillo is a social enterprise that creates software products that enable people with disabilities to participate in digital and physical spaces
More than 117.86 million people in Latin America are vision impaired. For people with disabilities, assistive technology helps them to overcome daily obstacles that arise from living in communities that are not designed to accommodate their needs, from banks to grocery stores to public transportation.
Lazarillo is a social enterprise that creates software products that enable people with disabilities to participate in digital and physical spaces that are not fully optimized for accessibility. Its inclusive technology supports people with visual impairments to navigate indoor and outdoor spaces and to access online resources. To date, Lazarillo has more than 185,000 active users across 45 countries and supports 30 different languages.
Lazarillo’s business model further improves the mobility of people with disabilities, by providing digital inclusion services to its clients, including financial institutions, public organizations, theatres, schools, and health centres, among others. These services help clients improve the accessibility of their products and platforms and encourage large-scale adoption of universal design principles.
Lazarillo first launched as a way-finding app in 2016 to help people who are blind or have low vision reach their destinations. In its first four years of operation, Lazarillo gained insight into the obstacles that the community faces beyond navigation. As its user base grew, the app evolved into a multipurpose platform with automated features that help people with visual disabilities to navigate the web, make online purchases, or submit job applications.
Companies, organizations, and government programs directly post updates and hiring information on Lazarillo’s platform, establishing a channel for people with disabilities to find new employment opportunities. When the Covid-19 lockdowns began, Lazarillo used its platform to inform its users about changing regulations and to share resources about vaccinations, government subsidies, and working hours of health centres and grocery stores. As its product evolved, it became an important resource to home-bound elders and people with physical or mental impairments.