There are a myriad of educational apps on the internet for parents of autistic children, but Autism Village is different. Autism Village is producing apps which are especially designed to be useful for managing life with autism and which are based on their community of autism “Villagers”.
Imagine for a moment that you deal with the never ending problem that people with autism and their families face - where’s a good place to go which is safe and won’t over stimulate me or my autistic loved one. Places where people feel comfortable and can have FUN, and which are staffed by understanding and helpful people. Just have a look at the Autism Village app and you’ll quickly find nearby places rated and reviewed by others like yourself.
The first release from Autism Village will provide similar functionality to Yelp! or Trip Advisor but with one big difference – this app is just for the autism community. The autism community will be able to rate and review businesses, organizations and places specifically for autism friendliness. Click here to see a demo...
Topher Wurts, father of the proclaimed “founder” Kirby his autistic son, conceived the idea of Autism Village as an initiative to produce practical, useful, and helpful management tools and services for those living life on the autism spectrum. The goal? Improve the future for millions with autism.
Several months ago Topher launched a Facebook and Twitter account to engage parents of autistic children with his concept. The Facebook social media response was overwhelming - within weeks 10,000 Facebook followers encouraged Topher to pursue his idea. All part of the “Village”, family members are spreading the word for Topher and Kirby to make the world a better, more manageable place to grow and thrive in.
The core elements of Autism Village’s first app are culminating in a Kickstarter campaign to further develop his project and finish the app.
Wurts is asking for a few simple core contributions from the Autism village audience relating to the Kickstarter: share his project and mission with friends, family and others related to autism, submissions for places or services that are autism friendly, and social media support because he sees supporters as more important than dollars.
When the Kickstarter is launched, he’s asking everyone who wants to support the project to look at the amazing rewards Autism Village has put together from friends of the Autism Village community. Many of the listed rewards are made by people with autism including Autism Village’s founder Kirby. His hope is that the community will help him “meet or exceed” his minimum funding goal to further the project.
Ahead of the Kickstarter “Yelp for Autism” campaign, Wurts’ initial objective has been successful with some notable early adopters. Currently running on the pre-release service are family teams, an all-autistic Boy Scout Troop and a joint project to develop Scouting curriculum elements involving West Chester University’s School of Special Education, the Chester County Council of the Boy Scouts of America and BSA Troop 77 (all autistic). He plans to expand the capability of the pre-release service in the near future.
According to Wurts, the roadmap for Autism Village is extensive. In addition to these private and secure collaboration spaces along with the initial Kickstarter project to rate and review places, he’s planning the creation of a specialized marketplace for goods produced for and by autistic people (like Etsy for Autism), extensive moderated and open forums, drug intervention tracking tools, mobile logging and integration with wearables for those dealing with seizures, and more.
With a successful Kickstarter project, the goal to empower the community of “Villagers” will make the challenges of millions, who are raising a autistic child, more manageable and the outcome for that child will be a brighter, happier, better future.