This year, on World Autism Awareness Day the United Nations Secretary-General has called on governments and others around the world to take measures to support inclusion of people with autism.
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, states: ”World Autism Awareness Day is about more than generating understanding; it is a call to action. I urge all concerned to take part in fostering progress by supporting education programmes, employment opportunities and other measures that help realize our shared vision of a more inclusive world.”
That is exactly what the ASC-Inclusion project aims to do – supported by the European Union, our project is creating a software program for children to increase the inclusion of people with autism in all aspects of life through gaining a better understanding of emotions.
World Autism Awareness Day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly six years ago to be held on April 2; an annual day to draw attention to the urgent needs of people with autism around the world.
United Nations Secretary-General’s message for World Autism Awareness Day 2014
Autism-Europe’s campaign on autism and employment
The partners of the ASC-Inclusion project met in Israel on February 25 and 26, 2014, to discuss progress towards completion of the project later this year.
The meeting was timed to coincide with the second international workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment & Inclusion which was held in Haifa, Israel, and at which the technical partners presented their work on the project to others in their research field.
The meeting divided into two groups to enable the clinical partners and technical partners to have in-depth discussions and plan for the completion of our interactive emotion games.
The ASC-Inclusion project was presented at the second international workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment & Inclusion in Haifa, Israel, on February 24 to 27, 2014.
This academic workshop brought together researchers, developers and technology providers who are working on digital games that assist children and adults who experience social exclusion.
The workshop was conducted as part of the International conference on Intelligent User Interfaces conference, which attracted participants from around the world.
Demonstrations of the ASC-Inclusion interactive emotion games were given to the public at the Autism-Europe International Congress in Budapest on the weekend.
Around 1,100 professionals in the field of autism, people with autism and their family members gathered at the congress in Budapest on September 26 to 28, 2013.
The ASC-Inclusion interactive emotion games were showcased in an exhibition stand where public demonstrations were given constantly over the 3 days of the congress, allowing congress participants to play and interact with some of the games.
The research behind the games was also presented in a keynote lecture by Professor Sven Bölte from Karolinksa Institute. The ASC-Inclusion research project was also presented and demonstrated during an ICT themed workshop held during the conference, which was attended by more than 80 people.
The ASC-Inclusion interactive emotion games will be completed and available to the public in late 2014.
The ASC-Inclusion project will be showcased at the European Commission’s ICT 2013 event in Vilnius on November 6 to 8, 2013.
This event will bring together more than 4000 researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, industry representatives, young people and politicians. The event will focus on Horizon 2020 - the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020. Technology research projects will also be showcased in individual exhibition booths.
At the ASC-Inclusion project’s exhibit, visitors will experience a live demonstration of the ASC-Inclusion interactive emotion games.
More information on the ICT 2013 event
The ASC-Inclusion project will be a keynote presentation at the annual conference of the National Board of Social Services in Odense, Denmark, on November 6, 2013.
This year’s conference will focus on on welfare technology, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The ASC-Inclusion project will be presented by Anton Batliner from the Technische Universität München.
More information on the conference (Danish only)
Representatives of six research projects (ARMOR, ASC-Inclusion, CARETOY, MICHELANGELO, PRIMA PIETRA, EARLY AUTISM SPECTRUM DIAGNOSIS) dealing with neurological disorders together with experts in the field of autism will meet in Brussels (Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 (09:00- 16:30).
Organized by the MICHELANGELO project, the meeting will serve as a forum to present current status of the research work in autism as well as to exchange ideas and to explore possible synergies among the projects.
More information on the meeting.
The University of Edinburgh is conducting a research project to explore how technology is used by families of children with autism, in the home and on mobile devices.
Families of children with autism are invited to participate in the research survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/technology_autism_at_home
The research will also include interviews with parents in Scotland and it is expected that similar surveys will follow, aimed at people with autism themselves and exploring the use of technology in non-domestic contexts, such as schools and clinics.
More information and the results of the research can be sought by contacting researcher, Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson at the University of Edinburgh: sfwatson(at)staffmail.ed.ac.uk
The ASC-Inclusion project was presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), an annual scientific meeting, convened each Spring, to exchange and disseminate new scientific progress among autism researchers and their trainees from around the world.
The ASC-Inclusion project was presented as a scientific poster as well as at an exhibition booth where conference participants could view the games in progress.
In addition, partners from the project participated in a newly formed autism and technology research interest group.
On April 2, international attention is drawn to autism; a condition that is common, yet often misunderstood.
Autism is a complex disorder that affects the brain. It impairs an individual’s social and communication abilities and often causes them to display unusual or repetitive behaviours.
Autism is quite common – approximately 1 in 150 people are diagnosed with it. Despite the high prevalence of autism, these people experience many barriers in everyday life, including lack of access to accurate diagnosis, appropriate therapies, education, employment and social inclusion. This is why World Autism Awareness Day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly six years ago as an annual day to draw attention to the urgent needs of people with autism around the world.
Around the world, a huge range of events and activities are held to raise awareness of autism on this day and buildings are lit up in blue at night as part of the ‘Light It Up Blue’ initiative.
Find out more:
Events and activities throughout Europe
‘Light It Up Blue’ initiative
UN Secretary-General’s message for World Autism Awareness Day 2013