Visual Schedule for Autism (SaaS)
Value: There are 1 in 88 children with autism in the US (and potentially other countries in the world as well). These children are usually highly visual -- they respond well to visual structure -- and they do better with screen based solutions. AutismSphere was developed as a prototype in conjunction with the UNC TEACCH team based on a paper-based visual structure that is used in 20% of classrooms across the US.
People: The TEACCH approach is primarily used by teachers who are trained in using the visual structure approach.
Impact: Initial testing was positive, and as the founder I eventually took the Intellectual Property from this to Monarch Teaching Technologies broader suite of products. When vizZle launched their product in the market we were just finishing prototype testing on AutismSphere, and we could see they had 80% of our functional requirements already covered, so we joined our efforts with theirs. The vizZle solution is currently in over 2,500 special education classrooms, with an average of 7 students per classroom, for a total of 17,500 students reached (and growing).
My Role: As founder of the venture, I worked with the UNC to identify the need, and conceive an approach to meet this needs. From here, we built a mock-up and full-blown prototype for review and feedback from real autism classroom environments.
Employer: AusitmSphere, Inc. (US -- I founded this venture)