From disabilities to temporary obstacles

When enrolling in Aesthetic of Design, I was hoping to gain more experience in current best practices in Design. This still holds true, and I think it will happen as I learn from following classmates design processes. Much has changed since I first studied Design. For example, back in the late 1900’s we were taught to render by hand with a mixture of pastel chalk, baby powder, and lighter fluid. So I’m excited to see design techniques that are new to me.

My overall educational goal is to develop learning tools for children with autism. My life has been impacted by my own son’s diagnosis with this fascinating condition – this is my main motivation. While there are an increasing number of products available that aim to help individuals with autism, not much design thinking has gone into this category. Many families still improvise their own therapeutic solutions to best meet their needs. So there is a great opportunity to use design to help children transform certain “disabilities” into temporary obstacles that are easily overcome with the right tools.

Ideally, I will be able to work full time to create compelling products that will actually help overcome difficulties associated with autism. Furthermore, I hope that I can do this work in an organization with the financial and technical resources to make products a reality and get them into the hands of many individuals on the autism spectrum.

 

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3 Comments. Leave new

Jason, I think your current background in industrial design combine with your passion for autism learning tools is quite powerful. Judging from your design work portfolio and your heartfelt and personal interest for improving this disability, I can see you doing great things to make a difference in the lives of many.

Reply
Thomas Brunsgaard
February 18, 2016 7:57 pm

Are there currently companies that are designing products specifically for children (or adults) with autism? Would you be interested in working for a place that did that, or would you like to pursue it in an entrepreneurial setting? I imagine that your industrial design background would be incredible helpful when thinking about the human interaction with these tools. I would be really interested to hear about some of the things you have created for your son.

As a side note, you should definitely go to the ITLL design expo at the end of this semester. There are usually a number of great projects that are specifically created for a client with disabilities. In the past, many of these client have been a part of the Imagine! program https://www.imaginecolorado.org/ . Although the projects don’t usually incorporate any sort of fancy technology, the right product tailored to an individual can be really empowering. I’ve seen things for audio and vibration interaction, remotes to control various environment aspects , learning games, as well as tools to help make difficult tasks easier. You may really enjoy seeing some of the cool things that freshmen students come up with.

Reply

    Hi Thomas,
    Thank you for the info about the ITLL design expo. Are there dates set yet?

    Imagine! is among the most beneficial organizations for families with special needs. It’s great to hear that they are also involved in sponsoring CU engineering projects.

    Reply

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