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Frasil – THE DISABILITY SOLUTION
The Power of Neural Network Technology
In the 21st century, the advancement of technology has made everything possible no matter how unrealistic that seems. It has become quite true in the context of disabilities. What used to be considered irreparable few years back have now become a cheerful reality. Take for instance the problem of speech impairment, people born with such disabilities are deemed unfit.No capable (or even incapable) guardian can tolerate such unfortunate scourge. They do their best to cure their ward. However, when a number of attempts don’t seem to cure the disabilities they give up on their endeavours. They become hopeless and leave everything on God.
As is quite popular, God could not be everywhere with everyone so he sent angels on the earth to take care of every deprived person. Today we are going to talk about one such angel in the form of an innovator. Her innovation has become a ray of hope for people living with disability. We are talking about none other than Fran Killoway who is the Founder of Frasil Group Pty Limited. She innovated Frasil, a software designed for people living with disability.
Talking about Frasil, it gives the user the ability to communicate by the touch of a button, removing the feeling of isolation that people living with disability face every-day, and dramatically improving communication with friends, family, support workers, and their communities. Frasil has been designed through the use of Artificial Intelligence, Neural Networks and Machine Intelligence to give a personalised voice to people living with disability. Through the use of Machine Empathy, Frasil is the first technology of its kind in providing the users with a voice that can be heard, trusted, and understood.
Integration of needs and cutting edge technology
For Fran, building Frasil has been the biggest factor that has helped her become successful. Moreover, her ability to combine brand new technology in all its forms with the difficulties that people living with disability face using technology makes her stand apart. Frasil is the outcome of understanding those needs and integrating them into cutting edge technology.
Persistence and passion combined with empathy and consciousness allows her to be open to experiences and continue to develop strong social skills. “These traits have allowed me to welcome challenges and deal with setbacks”, says Fran.
The idea of Frasil erupted in 2010 when a close friend of Fran was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, losing her ability to speak. She took to the challenge of creating a product that would help people living with disability to effectively communicate their needs and feelings, providing them with a communication tool for people living with disability to speak to the world around them. “I devoted myself to the vision over the next 10 years on different research projects, with the first release of Frasil being in 2014 and it is now released for all devices in 2020”, she asserts.
It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to work for your vision. Throughout her journey, Fran remained disciplined and focussed. She gets a regular amount of sleep. She reads a lot and exercises every day. She spends as much time as possible with people who insure her and challenge her thinking while she continues to pursue her set goals. She makes sure that at the beginning and end of every day she knows where her senior team is at. She cares about her staff and ensures that the office is safe particularly in these COVID-19 times. “I avoid time wasting and time wasters and I ensure the technologies I build have multiple uses”, she points out.
Navigating fork in the road situations
During her entrepreneurial journey, she has mastered the art of treading the market and making decisions. It is about balance, around clarification and dealing decisively with issues in her ethical grey zone. Being able to identify and “navigate fork in the road” situations.“I recognise that I need to accept mistakes and rectify these mistakes”, she asserts.
When it comes to leadership traits, she leads with both vulnerability and humility. The leadership team that she leads is full of strong minded, intelligent and successful individuals who are as passionate about Frasil as she is. So it becomes important for her to allow them to grow the business.
Talking about the creative thinking within her organisation, she has encouraged creative thinking through building on the foundation of teamwork. She meets with each team every day to gather an understanding of team’s progress and ideas, communicating that with the rest of the company so each team is on the same page, allowing for the employees to work effectively and use each-others feedback to build up Frasil to be the best technology it can be.
Frasil is built on its future vision, as Frasil is a tool to provide life-enhancing experiences for the future of people living with disability and the communities around them. “I hope for Frasil to allow for people living with disability to feel connected with the world around them in a familiar and safe environment”, she says.
Technology is Frasil’s business. However, there are some intricate challenges attached to this. Fran is very insistent that the business controls the technology by not allowing the technology team to control the business. That means preventing the technology team making the decisions and choices as to how the technology should be presented rather than listening to the needs and wants of each PLWD. This was and continues to be an enormous challenge.
Predicated on the basis that technology people consider themselves the experts and they continue to believe that they are the only ones who can have an input into the design of the computer system, let alone accepting the needs and wants of people living with disability which are significantly different to the normal designs applied by these experts.
The overall impact was the additional time and cost in wasteful time-consuming meetings resulting in lost market opportunities and in delaying getting the much-needed technology to market for people living with disability.
Epitome of leadership
Taking into consideration the vulnerability attached with technology, Fran wants to take the security and safety of technology today to the next level. “It is important to me for everyone around the world to be connected and feel safe with the technology they are using”, she points out. She believes that technology should be designed to have a process that will customise to the user’s needs and safety, allowing them to be successful and effective communicators in their communities.
Being an effective communicator is one of the traits of an effective leader. Fran is an epitome of leadership and infuses her traits among her team members. Regardless of how one describes the word leadership, individuals can greatly impact the lives of others based on their experience. While everyone at Frasil is living on different timelines on their journey through life, they look up to leaders for guidance and advice. “I believe the quality of communication with a strong sense of integrity is an important characteristic for a leader to possess”, says Fran. It is important to be simple and direct for people to listen, understand, and encourage input throughout the different teams at Frasil.
It is important to remain transparent for everyone at Frasil to understand the values of trust and understanding to build the best team of workers to provide people living with disability the best of what Frasil has to offer.
We talked with Fran regarding her views on female leaderships and the challenges they face. According to her, one of the biggest challenges facing female leaders today is the doubt around filling quotas because “we are woman or whether we fill positions because of our ability”. It reflects her deep knowledge on women leadership and its limitations. For women entrepreneurs or leaders, she has raised some really serious questions which possess a deep meaning.
Integrity and focus is the way to go
Talking about her acumen of dealing with clients, she emphasises on listening to her clients. “I listen to the people who use and engage with my technology. Regardless of who they are they can always teach you something and help you to be a better person”, she asserts.
Coming to her work-life equation, as a true entrepreneur, the balance between personal and professional is 24/7 and ongoing. “I enjoy my work and the people I work with on every level. I never think of it as a personal and professional life balance. For example, I am passionate about ensuring people living with disability have the same opportunities and choices that everyone takes for granted”, she says. She is passionate about showing those people living with disability what the world has to offer and more importantly allowing them to show the world what they have to offer. Because they have a lot to offer the world and Frasil has a lot to offer them.
Her journey has not been a smooth ride. She has had her own set of challenges. Whenever she faced challenges, as a leader she maintained her integrity and focused on the vision that she has created for a safe world that is connected, and give a voice to people living with disability. “Remaining positive and viewing the impact that I have had on individuals around the world with Frasil is always encouraging to keep pushing forward and develop new technologies that will help the people that need it the most on a global level”, she exclaims.
Talking about her future goals, she says, “There is a lot of clever technology being built for specific types of disabilities. My view is to partner with these technologies to ensure that most people with most disabilities get the best of both worlds”.
By virtue of her unique offering, Frasil has no direct competitors in the industry. Frasil is the first technology of its kind. Fran has introduced neural network technology into Frasil and used the science and mathematics behind quantum mechanics, physics, and calculus to produce an electronic vocal recognition software that will personalise individual vocal grunts and sounds, turning them into a comprehensible voice that can be heard, understood, and trusted. The technology of Frasil is ground-breaking and will provide life-enhancing experiences for people living with disability in a way never done by anyone before.
Fran has one special advice for our readers. According to Fran, “If you believe something, then follow that belief and with a great deal of passion and persistence and don’t give up. You will get there.”
About the Founder
Fran Killoway is the Executive Chairman, Inventor, and Founder of Frasil Group Pty Ltd. She creates technologies to make the world a better place, utilising the technology of the 21st century and developing it even further to do so. She has been involved with creating, developing, and delivering technology for over 10 years. She has previously taken a start-up technology from Australia to the United States and licensed that technology to a US Fortune 500 Company in the defence industry.
Aside from the experience she has in creating, developing and delivering technology she has studied in other areas such as anthropology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and linguistics; research methodology, political behaviours and strategies, strategy and market direction, and the building and commercialising of businesses and their products and services. She has a longing for cutting edge technology like never before. She wants to make the most out of the best available.
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