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“Autism Connects” Contest on Core77 Design Arena

The “Autism Connects” technology and design competition challenges students to help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to better connect with the world around them, and allow individuals who do not have ASD to better understand and connect with those who do.

Designers are invited to produce new and innovative technology-based solutions to assist individuals with ASD in their communications with others and, in doing so, to increase the public’s understanding of this unique and growing population.

The jury will award a grand prize of $5,000 to one individual or team who creates the best entry.

Objective

At some point in our lives, each of us will likely meet a person on the autism spectrum, or know someone who is touched by this complex condition. Although individuals on the autism spectrum vary enormously, in most instances difficulties in communication skills are one of the core challenges faced by those living with autism today. These difficulties can cover a wide spectrum, ranging from individuals with little to no speech, to those who may be fluid verbally yet have difficulty reading other people’s intentions and emotions or understanding use of abstract language such as metaphors and analogies.

Designers are invited to produce new and innovative technology-based solutions to assist individuals with ASD in their communications with others and, in doing so, to increase the public’s understanding of this unique and growing population. Design solutions should focus on improving communication on any of a number of levels: between individuals, within and between communities and their members, and among individuals without ASD so they can connect better with individuals who do.

Designs that recognize the potential and strengths of individuals with ASD, and that will further their independence and inclusion in society are encouraged. The ultimate aim is to improve the quality of life for individuals with ASD by removing barriers to having their voices heard.

Think creatively!

Prizes

The winners are going to be selected both by the community and a jury.

The jury will award a grand prize of $5,000 to one individual or team who creates the top entry according to the Expert Panel vote. In addition, Autism Speaks will award creators (or one representative in the case of a team entry) of the top three designs a $1,000 stipend and registration fees to attend the 2011 International Meeting for Autism Research, to be held May 12 14 to 2011 in San Diego, CA, where they will be invited to present their design concept.

The Popular Vote Prize consists of a total of $2,500 to the first 6 places.

Rules

  • Unfortunately the competition is not open to anyone other than students. However, to take into account early graduation, students within 6 months of having received their degree at the time of competition close (30 March 2011) are still eligible to participate provided they partner with current students. Such team submissions must in every case be lead by a current full-time student and can include only one recent graduate. Core77 reserves the right to deny access or permanently disqualify and remove from the platform any designer that it determines is not a student.
  • Although designers may choose to explore web-based, tablet-based, mobile software or hardware solutions, technology-based solutions are not restricted to electrically- powered devices, and may include low-tech, innovative design solutions.
  • The autism spectrum is very broad, and design solutions for all ages and abilities are welcome.
  • Entries may be design concepts or fully realized solutions.

How to enter?

Sign up and log in on Core77 Design Arena to submit your entries. Registration is free.