MuseumLab at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is a recently completed isUD certified project that provides an inclusive place for visitors of all abilities, especially individuals with autism.
As we work to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility among museum audiences and in the workplace, we need to attend to the needs of neurodiverse visitors and employees.
An occupational therapy professor directs research to improve public experiences for people with autism-spectrum disorder.
Social interaction and communication skills can be a challenge for people with autism spectrum disorder, but companies looking to hire untapped talent for tech-related jobs are discovering that those with autism are unusually detail-oriented, highly analytical, and able to focus intensely on tasks.
Today, 1 in 68 people in North America are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder(ASD), which means there is a significant amount of people who could benefit from more thoughtful design solutions.
IN AMERICA in 1970 one child in 14,000 was reckoned to be autistic. The current estimate is one in 68—or one in 42 among boys. Similarly high numbers can be found in other rich countries: a study in South Korea found that one in 38 children was affected. Autism is a brain condition associated with poor social skills. It has a wide spectrum of symptoms, from obsessive behaviour to hypersensitivity to sound, light or other sensory stimulation, the severity of which ranges from mild to life-blighting. The range of consequences is also wide. At one end, the autism of a computer scientist may be barely noticeable; at the other, a quarter of autistic children do not speak.
Apple has released a new pair of videos on its YouTube channel highlighting the effect that technology has on people with disabilities. The video, called “Dillan’s Voice,” features a teenager named Dillan Barmache, a 16-year-old kid who is autistic, and shows how he uses Apple products to express his thoughts.
Problem: many autistic kids are super sensitive to the sight, sound, and feel of their environment. So when New York-Presbyterian decided to build an early intervention center for autistic children, they needed it designed with their needs in mind.
One in 68 American children have been diagnosed with autism, according to the Center for Disease Control. Early intervention is the most effective treatment, requiring dedicated centers, but autistic children’s hypersensitivity to their surroundings makes designing such facilities difficult.
The University of Bristol, the Chicago University Press, has published a landmark book on designing homes for people on the Autism Spectrum, At Home with Autism. The authors, Kim Steele and Sherry Ahrentzen, have been exploring this issue with rare sensitivity and thoroughness for some years. This 320 page book is a tour-de-force with a thoroughgoing analysis of research and precedent, practical design guidelines, encyclopedic references, and an informed rationale for the importance of flexibility and variety. Kim Steele is a research and design consultant focused on improving quality of life through design. Sherry Ahrentzen is the Shimberg Professor of Housing Studies at the University of Florida.
A surprising new historical analysis suggests that a pioneering doctor was examining people with autism before the Civil War.