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LAC Blog

All posts by Maggie Konstantine

AmazonSmile

Amazon has started a new program called AmazonSmile that will allow various charitable organizations to benefit from your shopping. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. Shop with Amazon and choose from nearly 1 million eligible 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations to support, including St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, the organization Lighthouse has chosen to support!

Learn more about AmazonSmile here:

https://smile.amazon.com/about/ref=smi_ge_ul_lm_raas

 

Telehealth for Autism

This month, Behavior Imaging Solutions announced the successful results of a small pilot study funded by one of Autism Speaks’ first Innovative Small Business Grants. The grant allowed the company to develop and test its new web-based “telehealth” system to improve medication management via the Internet for individuals with autism. Instead of an in-person appointment, the doctor asks caregivers to send relevant video clips using the company’s “Behavior Connect” software. The system may prove of particular value to families in locations remote from major medical centers with autism specialists.

In particular, the pilot study focused on the development and evaluation of a new mobile device app called Med SmartCapture. Through this system, a family can securely share home videos and other health information from their home. The system also includes tools that allow integrated access to personal health records.

Three caregivers and two doctors participated in the pilot study. The doctors reported that the video monitoring provided the behavioral information they needed to monitor and adjust medications appropriately. The participating families reported that they could maintain a consistent and informative relationship with their prescribing doctors.

“I am very excited about what Med SmartCapture will be able to do for patient care and communication between parents, educators and providers so that we are all putting our integrated energies in the same direction to help the kids we are working with,” said psychiatrist Robert Hendren. Dr. Hendren is the vice chair and director of the Autism and Neurodevelopment Program at the University of California, San Francisco Children’s Hospital.

Founded in 2005, Behavior Imaging recently received a $2.2 million grant by the National Institute of Mental Health to pursue Behavior Connect technology for earlier diagnosis of autism and related disabilities.

 

You can find the original article posted on Autism Speaks website here  https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2014/03/20/your-dollarswork-telehealth-autism

Autism Speaks Investment Conference

“The second day of the 2014 Autism Speaks Autism Investment Conference closed with a focus on the need for more employment opportunities for teens and adults with autism.

“Adults with autism have an estimated 90 percent unemployment rate,” said moderator Leslie Long, Autism Speaks assistant director of adult services. “We have to explore all options available to advance employment opportunities for this population, including investing in companies that hire and support adults on the spectrum.”

Long stressed the need for employers to understand the value of hiring employees with autism. She encouraged businesses and organizations large and small to tap into the strengths that adults with autism can bring to the workplace.

More and more businesses are hiring individuals with autism, she noted, and many have seen tremendous success as a result. The companies showcased in the sessions illustrated some of the opportunities to capitalize on the potential of young adults and adults living with autism.

Employment Services Showcase

Last year, Autism Speaks featured AutonomyWorks as an exemplary employer in its Small Business Initiative. The company connects individuals who have autism with companies needing workers in areas such as website maintenance and quality assurance. “There are hundreds of thousands of potential workers with autism spectrum disorders whose skills and abilities are perfectly matched to these business tasks,” said Dave Friedman, AutonomyWorks founder and CEO (at left).

AutonomyWorks currently employs 15 adults on the autism spectrum and provides workers for six clients. These clients range from start-up companies to some of the world’s largest ad agencies. AutonomyWorks’ goal is to employ 10,000 associates, have a service centers across the nation and inspire others to develop similar business models. “Workers with autism want to contribute their talents to the business community and to society,” Friedman said. “AutonomyWorks is here to help.”

Houlton Institute is an innovative online education provider. Thanks to a grant from Autism Speaks, Houlton and the Autistic Global Initiative developed an online course that provides training for residential and daily-living care providers. As part of this partnership, Houlton hired several faculty members and teaching assistants on the autism spectrum, said co-founder Dan Merritts (at left).

MindSpark Technologies founder Chad HahnMindSpark Technologies (Santa Monica, Calif.)  is an outsourced information technology company providing employment opportunities for individuals with specialized abilities – including adults with autism. “At MindSpark, we’re about more than just a job,” said founder Chad Hahn (left). “We believe in both the personal and the professional well-being of our team.  We’re creating a family atmosphere in and out of the office, building bonds we hope will last for a lifetime.” Chad and the company’s other principal owners are working without pay to launch and manage the enterprise. Investment will enable MindSpark to train and hire more employees, who will share in profit distributions. Enhancing the investment opportunity, Hahn explained, MindSpark incorporated as one of California’s nonprofit “benefit corporations.”

 

This article was published on March 5, 2014 on the Autism Speaks website. The original post can be found at https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/focus-employment-opportunities-autism-investment-conference