I discovered this wonderful program which is the result of a partnership between Autism Speaks and Core77. This is how it is described on the Autism Speaks Blog.
Autism Speaks’ Innovative Technology for Autism Initiative (ITA) has teamed up with design network Core77 to produce “Autism Connects,” Core77 to produce “Autism Connects,” a student technology and design competition around the themes of autism and communication. The purpose of our competition is to encourage design students to develop technology solutions that can help individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to better connect with the world around them, and to allow individuals who do not have ASD to better understand and connect with those who do.
You can see the result of this innovative design initiative on Core77, and prepare yourself, because you are likely to find an idea that you wish was a product today.
This is one I really liked – its called Apple Connect! Can you imagine technology being developed from the ground up for people with autism and other disabilities….the future has unlimited possibilities.
If young visionary designers continue down this road, children and adults with autism are going to have a much better chance of building deep connections with the people around them.