The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

12 February 2015

Assistive and Empathic Technologies for Autism

The First Forum on Assistive and Empathic Technologies for Autism was held to spark the conversation on the development of innovative ways technology can help Filipinos with autism and their families adapt to the challenges of the condition. The event was held at Dela Salle University Manila last 27 January 2015 as part of the celebration of National Autism Conciousness Week; and led by the Autism Society Philippines, SAP Philippines, DLSU-CEHCI and supported by the Occupational Therapists Association of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists, Seer Technologies and Developer Connect Philippines. There were 500 participants who registered for the event -- including technologists, therapists, educators and parents.

The participants of the the First Forum on Assistive and Empathic technologies

Mr. Rizalio Sanchez of the National Council for Disability Affairs opened the event with a warm welcome. ASP National President, Ms. Mona Veluz followed with a short background of why technology will play an increasingly important role in helping Filipinos with autism live rich and purposeful lives.

Mr. Andy David, Director for Healthcare Solutions, SAP Asia-Pacific and Japan introduced a new collaboration solution called Care Circles, which allows stakeholders to an individual’s intervention and care to communicate and record milestones more effectively. The tool also provides Philippine-specific information and resources to those who are participating in the Philippine pilot being conducted by the Autism Society Philippines.

President of Seer Technologies Mr. Joseph Benjamin Ilagan and software designer Xerez Hernandez talked about Tom Taps. They shared the project milestones and their vision for the future of this Filipino-developed augmentative and alternative communication system.

DLSU Center for Empathic Human-Computer Interaction’s Nellie Chua -- summa cum laude of DLSU’s BSCS-ST‘10 -- discussed her project on teaching children with autism to improve eye contact through a computer-aided application which promotes mimicry. She also shared DLSU’s work on empathic spaces or rooms that can adjust (light, temperature, ambient music or sound) to the psycho-social condition of a person with autism. Memorable were Nellie’s sharing of how her project has touched the lives of the small children who have used her solutions.

The panel discussion which capped the interactive and engaging event focused on the Future on Autism Technologies in the Philippines. The speakers were joined by President of the Speech Pathologist Association of the Philippines Rowena Ynion, Occupational Therapists Association of the Philippines Officer Carina Marie Castillo and Head of the DLSU Center for Empathic Human-Computer Interaction Dr. Raffy Cabredo.

This first will be followed by many more; as the event’s success proved that assistive technology for people with disabilities is an under-addressed topic in the Philippine autism advocacy agenda.

About the contributor: Mona Magno-Veluz serves as the National President of the Autism Society Philippines. She received degrees in Business Administration, Applied Economics and Strategic Marketing from the University of the Philippines Diliman, University of Asia and the Pacific and the London School of Business. Drawing from her experience as a corporate communications professional, she helped grow the national advocacy initiatives such as the 1Pangako, ASP Angel Corps and the A-OK Philippines campaigns. Her eldest is PWA Carl, a young man working in their family business and growing his budding entrepreneurial venture.


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