While certain celebrities are busy disseminating misinformation about autism, the fine folks at Core77 have launched Autism Connects – a technology and design competition challenging students to envision solutions for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), which affect nearly 1 percent of the world's population and 1 out of 70 boys, helping them better connect with the world around them and their fellow beings.
The $10,500 prize will be awarded to solutions that improve various facets of communication -- interpersonal, between and within communities, and among individuals with ASD. The competition encourages a wide lens of platforms, from low-tech designs to bleeding-edge interactive concepts. An esteemed panel of judges, including 2010 National Design Honoree Lisa Strausfeld and iconic autism advocate Temple Grandin, will select the winners – a grand prize of $5,000 to the individual or team who creates the top entry as judged by the panel vote; $1,000 stipends for the top three designs, alongside free admission to the 2011 International Meeting for Autism Research; and $2,500 worth of Popular Vote prizes to the first 6 places as judged by the community.
The competition runs from January 2 to March 30 and is open to all students.
Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.