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DeafTawk – Sign Language Relay Service






Zero Project 2020/2021

Transfer Model



Replication ready

DeafTawk is a for-profit start-up technology company based in Islamabad, Pakistan. It has developed a mobile application that connects deaf users with certified sign language interpreters in real time through video calling, used by individuals and businesses. Available on both IOS and Android platforms, DeafTawk has now been replicated in Singapore. Between 2018 and 2020 it has provided 94,000 hours of sign language interpretation to some 18,000 users across both countries.


The general public is largely unfamiliar with sign language and there are shortages of qualified sign language interpreters.

Through the DeafTawk app, users can either choose ‘book now’ for instant interpretation via a video call, or ‘book later’ to schedule a specific time. With this option, users can specify the purpose of the call and choose an interpreter with relevant expertise.

The service is available 24/7 for individuals, businesses, and institutions (e.g., educational institutes and hospitals).

Organizations can book interpreters online and are matched to subject experts.

To work with DeafTawk, interpreters must have at least two years’ experience and undergo a three-day training workshop. Interpreters are based online and can work anytime, anywhere per their availability.


Between 2018 and 2020, DeafTawk provided approximately 94,000 hours of interpretation in Pakistan and Singapore.

Through the service more than 500 deaf users have gained employment and 79 have been enrolled in higher education.

DeafTawk employs over 1,100 interpreters and offers services in six languages.


After expanding in Pakistan following a pilot, DeafTawk launched in Singapore in partnership with SG Enable and Enterprise SG, and with funding from Accelerating Asia. It aims to further expand in Asia, with a target of five additional countries in the next five years.

DeafTawk is currently looking to launch an Artificial Intelligence feature to translate into 26 languages and is also improving the app’s machine learning functionality.


We need to build partnership with the following types of actors for expansion/replication into 5 new markets.

  • Mobile Network Operators
  • Organisations supporting people with hearing impairments
  • Impact investors/donors

Transfer Model

We wish to license our Deaftawk technology to deaf people organisations who will manage their own co-branded Deaftawk business and community

Further Info

Deaftawk Documentary

Contact: Ali Shabbar :