Booya! Talk about a double whammy of success! Our audio descriptor app, “Slide Teller,” just clinched not one, but two prestigious awards: the International Design Award and the coveted Webby’s Anthem Award. Winning these was like discovering buried treasure—both a thrilling surprise and a humbling testament to the power of community support.
International Design Award Silver 2023

2023 International Design Awards – Silver

Industrial & Life Science Design / Design for Social Impact category

Anthem Award Silver 2024

2024 Webby’s Anthem Award – Silver

Responsible Technology – Innovation

Ever heard the phrase, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”? It’s more than just a cliché; it encapsulates a fundamental truth about the power of collaboration.
Back in 2022, when I learned that my visually impaired comic, Joseph Adams, was coming to my solo show, my brain went into overdrive. What could I do to make his experience extra special? Maybe a heartfelt thank-you note in braille? I reached out to a couple of braille companies, only to realize that the price tag was way beyond my budget. Should I tackle it myself? But let’s be real here—I barely have time to learn the intricacies of braille, let alone gather the right tools and actually write it out. And who on earth would I ask to proofread it? Joseph himself? Absolutely preposterous!
How To Be Japanese program cover
So, I decided to ditch the braille idea altogether and turned to the one person who’s always got ingenious solutions up his sleeve—none other than Anthony Phills, aka Visionary, aka Creator, aka AI Jedi. Upon hearing my plight, he didn’t miss a beat. “How about crafting a digital playbill with audio descriptors?” he suggested. And just like that, the first-ever AI playbill was born.

The following year, Joseph and our other friends returned to catch my solo show. As we chatted post-performance, Joseph’s remark grabbed my attention: “I couldn’t tell if the slides were different this time around because, well, I can’t see them.” Now, while my show isn’t slide-centric, visuals undoubtedly add comedic depth. This prompted us to ponder: how can we enhance Joseph’s experience? Is it even possible?

Once again, Anthony and I collaborated, brainstorming a solution. Soon, the brainchild known as “Slide Teller” (originally dubbed “Live Slides”) was born. Recognizing that audio took center stage in this project, we enlisted the talents of the brilliant sound engineer, Navid Lancaster, to bolster our team. And as we delved deeper into development, we were fortunate to have the insights of the Blind Master, L.A. Williams III, who served as both an advisor and a tester.

Miyo with Shawn and Kristy from VocalEye
Since the brainstorming session and some sleepless nights, we successfully launched the Slide Teller app on the Apple Store within a remarkably short span, just in time for my solo performance in Vancouver, Canada.. We had the privilege of showcasing it to the visually impaired community, “VocalEye,” Their enthusiastic reception and invaluable feedback were truly heartening, serving as the ultimate validation of our efforts.
Reflecting on this journey, I’m struck by how a simple thank-you note has evolved into a testament to our collective achievements. None of this would have been possible without the support of our community, for which propelled us even further toward our objectives.

What lies ahead? Our community continues to flourish, drawing strength from unity. With the necessary funding secured, we eagerly anticipate advancing to the next phase of our mission.

Your companionship throughout this journey has been invaluable to us. Your readership is more than just a gesture; it’s a testament to the impact of our collective efforts. Thank you for being part of this adventure.

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