An Atlanta entrepreneur developed an app to empower people with disabilities

The Let Me Do It app employs pictures and text to guide users through daily life activities

Let Me Do It app
Angad Sahgal

Courtesy of the Sahgal Family

When Angad Sahgal was born with Down syndrome 23 years ago, doctors told his parents that he’d never be able to walk or talk. Assumptions like these vastly underestimate the abilities of those with Down syndrome. People with this genetic condition are congressional lobbyists, triathletes, actors, and much more. Sahgal himself is a college student and an entrepreneur: With his father, Amit Sahgal, he developed an app called Let Me Do It, named for the phrase he repeated often as a child. “It’s an app that empowers people with disabilities to have their voice and live with independence,” he explains.

The Let Me Do It app employs pictures and text to guide users through daily life activities. Tasks like “Make Breakfast” and “Get to Work” are separated into step-by-step decisions that users navigate through visual or text prompts, with the option to invite help from caregivers or other support people.

“I can do it. You can do it,” Sahgal says of his invention, which caught the attention of the Techstars global startup network earlier this year. The venture incubator awarded Sahgal and his father three months of intensive mentoring support, along with a workspace in the office floors above Ponce City Market. The startup support will enable them to refine the app with beta testers. Sahgal eventually hopes to get Let Me Do It into the hands of people with disabilities worldwide.

Sahgal was inspired to create the app after being underestimated his whole life. Too often, caregivers and others make decisions for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities, robbing them of their autonomy and dignity. Sahgal recalls how excited he was as a second-grader to walk to school by himself. But another student’s father—unaware that Sahgal’s parents were watching nearby—complained to the principal that a child with a disability was crossing the street without a chaperone. “I just wanted to walk independently to my school,” Sahgal says.

Sahgal has a long history of blowing past expectations. He’s currently studying art at Georgia State University, through the Inclusive Digital Expression and Literacy (IDEAL) Program for students with intellectual disabilities. GSU’s Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund financed his initial development of the Let Me Do It app. Sahgal has poured his efforts into advocacy as well: He’s one of Georgia’s youth ambassadors for the Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice, which helps people with disabilities make decisions about every aspect of their lives.

Sahgal lives life on his own terms. He has a black belt in karate, and he speaks English, Hindi, and Punjabi. He plays soccer at the YMCA and loves to hang out with his brother, watching sports and the film Madagascar. Every morning, he dances to Bollywood music as he gets ready for his GSU classes.

Asked what he’d like to say to the doctors who told his parents he’d never walk or talk, Sahgal answers firmly.

“You’re wrong,” he says. “I’m right. I’ve done it.”

This article appears in our April 2024 issue.