Last weekend (December 8, 2012) we were invited to participate in the first Autism Technology Showcase hosted by the UC Irvine Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, and For OC Kids Neurodevelopmental Center.

This Showcase aim to bring together researchers, practitioners, students, teachers and families devoted to support individuals with autism.

For around four hours the attendees had the opportunity to enjoy technology demonstrations and late breaking research results of the use of innovative technologies in support of autism. Attendees had the opportunity to review around 9 interesting demos and posters devoted to support the social skills of children with autism (MOSOCO, SimplyPlay), provide step-by-step guidance when they are conducting the activities of daily living (CleanBook, ActivityCoach, the Hygiene Helper), and help them to identify objects (T3, MOBIS) and manage their schedules (vSked).

In particular our group presented four demos (CleanBook, T3, MOBIS and MOSOCO) and we were thrilled with the discussion and feedback from all the attendees. Some of these demos are written in spanish and several attendees kept explaining us that spanish-demos are hard to find and so needed for the Mexican-American population.

 After the demos attendees had the opportunity to brainstorm about community engagement, funding, and potential collaborators. During this time attendees get together in discuss open research questions and needs to advance autism research. Hopefully these ideas will seed future research projects and drive the research in this area.
Overall, I was amazed with the response and number of attendees -close  to 100. For me this number highlights how much people is committed and devoted to autism, and how much this population could benefit from innovative technologies. 
I would like to specially thank Gillian and Joe who invited us and put together this superb showcase! I was very happy to see friends and colleagues getting together, and see all the work that is being done in support of autism.I also want to specially thank my awesome students Lizbeth Escobedo, Catalina Ibarra, Karina Caro, Efrain Rincon, and Alejandro Rangel who did an amazing job in presenting and demoing their research. I am very proud of all of you!

Hopefully this event will now happen annually and I can’t wait to participate in the next one.