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RoboKind in the running for the Technology Inventor Award at Tech Titan 2017

Tech Titan is a yearly gala in North Texas held to help recognize applicants who have contributed greatly to the technology field in the past year. This year, Robokind’s founder and Chief Technology Officer, Richard Margolin is a finalist in the Technology Inventor category. Previous winners in this category have ranged from Texas Instruments to The University of Texas at Arlington. Posting on Twitter Mr. Margolin stated, “I’m honored to be a finalist for technology inventor.” If he is chosen as the winner a profile will be featured in the Dallas Business Journal and he will be recognized as one of the top contributors for technology in the North Texas area.  Part of what makes Robokind and their founder so inspirational and unique is their Robots4Autism program. This program uses a robot, Milo, to help educate children with autism. There are several unique hurdles that…

Tooele County School District Welcomes Milo to their Teaching Line Up

The School District of Tooele County is introducing a new member among its faculty. Dr. Scott Rogers, Tooele County’s superintendent, was delighted to share the arrival of Milo, a humanoid robot developed by RoboKind as a part of their Robots4Autism program, whose efforts are fast becoming crucial in the field of education for persons with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, or ASD. Robots4Autism and Milo are part of a cost-avoidance education platform designed by RoboKind as a means of providing educational opportunities for children and adults with ASD. As a socially advanced robot, Milo doesn’t have the capacity for fatigue or frustration. The curriculum Milo employs, developed by Dr. Pamela Rollins, Dr. Carolyn Garver, and speech language pathologist Michelle McFarlin, is built upon techniques of consistency and repetition. And Milo’s patience and supportive attitude go a long way to…

Brewing employment opportunities for those with disabilities

CNN checks in at Bitty & Beau’s Coffee in Wilmington, North Carolina to learn more about what makes the coffee shop special. The local fixture’s popularity is due to its workforce. The shop mostly employs people with mental or developmental disability, ranging from Down syndrome and autism to cerebral palsy. It’s the first chance at employment for many, and their sense of accomplishment and joy is definitely present in each cup they serve. The shop is the vision of Amy Wright, a Wilmington resident who was inspired by her two children, Bitty and Beau, who live with Down syndrome. For Wright, it’s not just about supporting others like her children by integrating them into the workforce, but to raise awareness with their customers about the mental and developmental disability community.  “People are scared of what they don’t know,” Wright told CNN. “So that’s why…

Expansion of Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Everyone has special gifts and talents, and companies in England and the United States are recognizing that intentionally seeking ‘neurodiversity’ in their recruiting has it’s benefits. These companies have learned that there are advantages to having people who’s brains are “wired” differently, and that people with autism, Asperger’s, dyspraxia, and dyslexia can have other strengths that are quite valuable. In Autism in the wokplace – an opportunity not a drawback, such talents as phenomenal logic, math skills, a photographic memory, and even “tunnel vision” in problem solving are identified as valuable in the workplace. As technology continues to grow and play a larger role in virtually every business, the unique talents of many are finding a new avenue for the employees, as well as the employers. Silicon Valley is the epicenter of technology startups globally, and employs much…

A Twenty Eight Year Road of Employment Opportunities for Learners with Autism

Independent, an online publication, covers the story of Shun Condon, a 54-year-old man with autism as he prepares to retire from a job many said he “wouldn’t last” at. Condon spent nearly three decades working as a cleaner for the Newport Transport, tending to the cleanliness and presentation of bus stations across Newport. Looking back on his time employed by the company, Mr. Condon expressed a combination of reflection and optimism when he spoke with South Wales Argus, a news outlet in Wales. “I’m going to miss the people,” Condon said. But he is looking forward to retirement, saying:  “I’m looking forward to spending time with my mum.” Daphne Condon, his mother, contacted South Wales Argus back in 1991, three years after Shaun started work. The story was to raise awareness of opportunities for individuals with learning disabilities to find and prosper through work. Now…

Artist with autism illustrates ‘invisible disability’

Art is a means of self-expression, allowing one an outlet through which to project their personal perspective of the world. Whether through prose and poetry, dance or music, it is a means of making tangible the intangible; our beliefs, observations, thoughts, and desires. And through art, we cast a net into the world, both to cope with our place in it and in the hope of establishing connection and assure ourselves that we are, in fact, not alone in our feelings. For children and adults with autism, the ability to observe, process, and even inhabit the world surrounding them can seem daunting. Stimulation is necessary for life to blossom, but in some situations can become overwhelming for those on the spectrum, and sensory over-stimulation can drive and shape autistic behavior. So it only seems natural to seek out a means for interpreting the world in a way which can not only suppress…

Adults With Autism: Finding A Job Coach

Upon aging out of the school system and many assistance programs, several challenges await young adults and learners with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One of the most pertinent is the desire and need to enter the work force. Without proper guidance and resources, gaining employment can be an overwhelming hurdle to clear. Fortunately, adults with autism can find guides to support them in searching for work through the assistance of job coaches. “Aging out is a difficult thing because they’ve had services in school, then all of a sudden they have no services.” says Tara Potter, Director of Trio Employment Network. A job coach specifically for adults with autism, Potter now works out of the PURE Empowerment Center, located at the Marcus Pointe Baptist Church in Pensacola. According to Potter, it can be difficult for adults with autism trying to find suitable services…

The Importance of Socialization for Children on the Spectrum

For children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, socialization can be challenging, attempting to interact with and socialize among other individuals without necessarily understanding or having an acute awareness of the cues and communication devices one might use in such circumstances. Children like Oliver, who lives with both autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and profound hearing loss, can find themselves in potentially uncomfortable situations as a result. Oliver, who traditionally communicates through sign language, will ask children to play by brushing up against them for attention, and sometimes by hugging them without notice. Parents like Oliver’s father, 43 year old James Carner, have grown accustomed to taking a defensive position on the issue, choosing to explain his son’s behavior to others in an attempt to make encounters as less awkward as possible. As a result, there can be…

Theater festival specifically for audiences with autism coming to NYC in 2018

The excitement of the theater is often a welcome escape from the worries of the world, transporting audiences to distant lands and ancient times through the power of immersive imagination. While many productions seek to do so through flashy visuals and booming audio, it’s precisely the opposite experience that the creators of the Lincoln Center’s forthcoming Big Umbrella Festival wish to offer their intended audiences; those with autism. Debuting in April 2018, the festival organizers intend to provide a safe space for entertainment, education, and inspiration, extracting the less inviting aspects of theater that might otherwise distract or overwhelm those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), instead favoring an experience that nurtures and soothes by reducing the presence of jarring sounds and frantic lighting. Instead, they are incorporating areas designated for quiet and activity in…

Robotic Hands Reaching Rural Minds

For families eager to meet with autism specialists, wait times have become a persistent and taxing issue. In many cases, waits can even be sustained over a year. In addition to the dilemma, there’s also the concern of children with autism who live in more rural communities, where travel costs, even for healthcare reasons, can quickly become expensive. Several programs have been established, and strides taken to address this issue, which RoboKind intends to participate in solving through their Robots4Autism program. Robots4Autism could be used as a contingency along with other efforts, such as the University of Missouri’s ECHO Autism program, which has been conceived to train primary care givers in the methods of diagnosis and management related to autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Along with the proposed expansion of ECHO, with additional sites in rural areas of Alabama, Alaska and…

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