Like many parents of autistic children, Todd Fabacher hopes that his son will have an opportunity to gain a job skill that allows him to function in today’s society.
Although autism affects social and communication skills, many young people on the spectrum are highly skilled in other ways. Those at LiveCode, led by Fabacher, have teamed up with the National Autistic Society, Specialisterne & Autism Initiatives to develop some of those skills that will help lead to employment.
The software company from Edinburgh, Scotland strives to make a difference within their community. LiveCode believes that anyone can learn to code and build mobile, desktop, and server applications. Employment in technology is in very high demand and could be a good match for workers on the autism spectrum.
On April 2nd they launched the campaign “Empower Individuals With Autism Through Coding.” Their goal is to raise $350,000 in order to give 3,000 autistic individuals a 6-month online training course.
The course is geared towards people with no previous knowledge of programming or coding. It starts off by teaching how to create replicas of simple, everyday tools such as calculators, clocks, or messaging apps. The program also encourages and allows space for each person to bring on a mentor like a parent of friend, to take the course with them. Part of the curriculum also includes an introduction to the technology industry. Through workshops and webinars, participants are able to explore topics such as self-employment.
After a student successfully completes the course, LiveCode plans to make an online marketplace where participants can look for work or advertise their services as an app developer. Also, if goals are met successfully, LiveCode and Autism Initiatives will be hiring some of those trainees for a special project. They would like to build an e-book application called LiveCode Publisher. This particular app will help users make their own interactive e-books.
By creating a program like this, their ultimate goal is to provide better employment opportunities for individuals with autism.
Written by Raiza Belarmino