$15,366
pledged of 49.000 $pledged of 49.000 $ goal
39
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Apr 7 2015
Shirley OneilBy Shirley Oneil
First created
Shirley OneilBy Shirley Oneil
First created
$15,366
pledged of 49.000 $pledged of 49.000 $ goal
39
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Apr 7 2015

About

Sonzia presents Touch Easel: The School Desk Reimagined

Touch Easel is a sturdy 32" touch table powered by Android and built in the United States. It is durable, affordable, and swivels from immersive canvas to collaborative surface and comes equipped with software designed for those with learning, motor, or intellectual disabilities.

For every $2,450 in contributions we raise, we will donate a Touch Easel to a facility in need

Our mission is to deliver technology that truly improves lives.  100% of the funds contributed will go to producing Touch Easels for donation to schools and other facilities across the country. Make an impact in the life of someone near you. When you choose a pledge from one of the higher tiers we will send the Touch Easel you fund to the address you provide, so your donation can directly impact a local school or other facility.

Education and therapy require engagement, collaboration, and inclusion. Touch Easel addresses the needs of individuals with learning disabilities while making education and therapy spectacularly fun.  

Touch Easel features a large interface to grab and hold user attention. With 10 point multi-touch capabilities, Touch Easel encourages several students to work together at once. Mounted on a durable steel frame with 1/4 inch thick tempered glass protecting the display, it can withstand even the most active of users. Buttons located on the desktop replace common swipe gestures making the Touch Easel more accessible for those with motor control or mobility problems.

Touch Easel supports a focused, interactive learning environment. Sonzia's software allows instructors to remotely open and close out of any app, creating a safe, controlled environment perfect for education. Because Touch Easel is built using Android technology it is compatible with existing Android apps. New apps can be downloaded and installed with ease.

Built to last, Touch Easel is enduring and inclusive. With a massive display, shockproof frame, and versatile software, Touch Easel allows users to fully engage in activities without the risk of breaking a fragile piece of technology.

Touch Easel manufacturing in action

Meet Annie and Donna, our extended founders

Our extended founders give us purpose. We draw inspiration from our sisters, daughters, nieces, and partners; disabilities deeply affect us all. These are our extended founders. We created Touch Easel for them. Many offered their time and opinions during the testing and design process. With their insight we were able to design Touch Easel with an array of features that ensure that Touch Easel is accessible to everyone.

 Annie at SXSW MedTech Expo

Annie is a cancer survivor and the reason Touch Easel exists. She is the daughter of the head of Sonzia’s R&D, Edison. Diagnosed with neuroblastoma at 14 months old, she ultimately lost her ability to walk, crawl, feed herself, and, most crushing of all, talk. She is now a very active, quick-witted teenager, but due to the side effects of her cancer and her life-saving surgery, she still lacks fine motor skills. It is difficult for Annie to use the "smart" technology most people take for granted; even today's largest tablets require remarkable dexterity to operate. Annie was lucky. She not only survived, she had one of the most brilliant technologists alive as a father. Edison has been building technology from scratch to interact with her since she was a baby. This time, Edison went one step further to build a tool accessible to all people with learning, motor, or intellectual disabilities. With Touch Easel, Annie is immersed in the connected, highly interactive world that had previously been closed off to her.  A world most of us take for granted.

 Donna at Touch Easel Launch 

Donna was born with Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder that creates an intellectual disability. Her sister Shirley is Sonzia's CEO and co-founder. Donna never spoke growing up, and most doctors believed her silence was caused by the disorder. It wasn't until late in Donna's life that her family realized she was virtually deaf. After receiving the appropriate auditory equipment, it took years of tenacious work with experts at Emerson College for her to learn to speak. Today, Donna is as talkative as anyone but her intellectual disability makes it difficult for her to use most modern technology. Touch Easel has made it possible for Donna to experience the many wonders of today's digital age. Check out Donna's Fruit Ninja skills in the video below: 

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Touch Easel is handmade in the United States. We have a welding shop for the steel base, industrial machinery to build and polish the housing, and even a PCB assembly infrastructure where we make our own custom motherboards. We use standard components to facilitate maintenance and keep cost low. This allows us to provide Touch Easels to communities at an accessible price, so they can focus on how they will use it, not how to pay for it.

With your help, Sonzia can give more people like Annie and Donna access to technology they feel confident using. Help us get Touch Easel into classrooms and clinics around the globe. Like us on FaceBook and follow us on Twitter to learn more about Donna, Annie, and the impact of Easel on their lives as our campaign progresses. 

Risks and challenges

Touch Easel is intended to be a school desk. For us to be able to compete with furniture, we need scale. While we can manufacture hundreds of Easels a month in house, we want to make them financially accessible to every facility that needs one. For that, we need to deliver tens of thousands of units.

We need your help to spread the word. If you or someone you know would benefit from one of our Easels, share your story! We are still developing this technology and we need you to tell us what you need. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to tell us the biggest challenges with modern technology. We also encourage you to suggest a facility that could benefit from Touch Easel, and we'll add it to our list.

This Kickstarter is the first step on a journey to revolutionize educational technology. Touch Easel may be the world's most affordable touch table, but to truly make a difference, this technology needs to be deployed in areas that have the need, but not the funds. We need your help.

100% of your contributions will go towards donating units to facilities or individuals who otherwise cannot afford them.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    100% of your contribution goes towards donating a Touch Easel to a facility in need. For every $2,450 we raise we will ship an Easel to an institution chosen by the community.
    Even the smallest contribution earns a vote for the facility of your choice.

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    5 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    We have a strict "no gimmicky givaway" policy.
    Along with a vote for your favorite facility, receive a personal thank you from Sonzia's extended founders: Annie and Donna.

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    2 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Along with a vote and a shout out, your initials will be engraved on a plaque adorning the specific Touch Easel your contribution helped build.
    Unlike most modern technology, these devices will be maintained and upgraded, not replaced. Your contribution will become a lasting mark in the facility, and the lives it touches.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Along with a vote and a shout out, your full name will be engraved on a plaque adorning the specific Touch Easel your contribution helped build.

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    6 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Individual appreciation,

    You will receive a photo of our team and the Touch Easel we donate with your support, signed by our extended founders Annie and Donna.

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    3 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Institutional appreciation,

    You will receive a signed photo of our team as well as one from the facility your pledge supported. Our appreciation comes along with the opportunity to see your contribution in action.

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    2 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Direct appreciation,

    Our extended founders will personally express their gratitude in a Skype call, offering you the opportunity to ask questions as they express the impact of even a single Touch Easel.

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    0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Be a part of the process!

    You are invited to come see our facilities, meet the people who made Touch Easel possible, and help us finish the Easel you helped fund.

    Bring your ideas! Our team will be glad to spend an afternoon discussing new ways to improve the standard of care for those with disabilities.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,450 or more About $2,450

    Your very own Touch Easel!

    One of 65 Limited Edition, these handmade Easels will feature a beautiful wood finish and a unique numbered plaque.

    You will also a personal thank you video from our extended founders Annie and Donna.

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    Limited 2 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,550 or more About $2,550

    Your very own Touch Easel!

    One of 25 Special Edition, these handmade Easels will feature a beautiful wood finish and a numbered gold plaque.

    You will also a personal thank you video from our extended founders Annie and Donna.

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    Limited 0 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,650 or more About $2,650

    Be the first to own a Touch Easel!

    One of 10 First Edition, these Easels will feature a beautiful wood finish by a local guitar manufacturer and a numbered platinum plaque.

    You will also receive a personal thank you video from our extended founders Annie and Donna.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    The Extended Founder Edition.

    One of five aluminum unibody Touch Easels signed by our extended founders, along with a personal tour of our facilities led by Annie and Donna.

    These devices will be engineered to medical device standards, and you will have the opportunity to watch the manufacturing process in action.

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Funding period

- (33 days)