Wednesday, 14 September 2011
We previously shared that Motorola Mobility and Autism Speaks teamed up together to help 45 families by providing them with a Motorola Xoom Tablet. This was, after all, a six month case study of tablet technology.
We also asked you for questions regarding this project, and thank you for providing some pretty good ones.
Here’s how the story unfolds as our lead editor finds the answers to your questions…
The initial thought of this interview was to be a conference call that would include Motorola, Autisable, and one of the Families that received the Motorola Xoom Tablet.
However…things changed in how we were going to do interviews… we were asked to interview the family separate from Motorola.
Well, this was already going to be an interesting start.
This interview is part one of two.
Representing Autisable was Joel, our lead editor, and representing the Motorola Mobility Foundation and Community Relations is their Senior Director, Eileen Sweeney.
Autisable (Joel): Hello, Eileen, Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions from our readers.
Motorola (Eileen): No problem, glad to be of help.
Autisable: Let’s go ahead and run through these then…
Autisable: Our First Question then is, “How has the program or software addressed the needs of non-verbal children or adults with Autism?”
Motorola: We’ve found the technology of the Motorola Xoom to be very beneficial to the children on the spectrum. This project didn’t include any adults, just children. There was also an increase in acuity and vocabulary when children use the Motorola Xoom Tablet.
Autisable: So, of course you’re pretty encouraged by the results so far.
Autisable: Did the family receive assistance or training in its use?
Motorola: We provided a list of recommended applications that they could download. The technology was easy for anyone to use, so we didn’t need to provide them extra training. What we’ve found is that the children picked up quickly on how to use the apps and tablet.
Autisable: Any thoughts by Motorola on partnering with Autism Speaks and HP on Hacking Autism?
Motorola: Not at this time.
Autisable: How much does the Motorola Xoom Tablet cost?
Motorola: Well, there are two versions available. The one that we provided the families is the same one that is available via Verizon with a two year contract – for $499.
Autisable: I was reading that this was a six-month pilot program, will there be more programs like this in the future? If so, how could families be included?
Motorola: This program is already a 6 months old case study, and we’re still learning more about how the technology can help families on the Autism Spectrum. We’d like to focus on these families at this time. We are very excited at working with Autism Speaks, and we are also encouraging our employees to get involved with the Autism Community.
Autisable: That is very encouraging to see Motorola step up to the plate.
Motorola: Thanks. We see a need here to help these children communicate and learn, and we really want to find the best ways to make this happen.
Autisable: If it’s ok with you, we’d love to extend an open invitiation to the families that have been a part of this study to share their journey on our blogging community. I’m sure those on our network would love to get to know them.
Motorola: We’d be happy to encourage them to do so.
Autisable: That’s about all the questions at this moment, I don’t want to take anymore of your time. Thanks again for taking a few moments to answer them.
Motorola: Thank you.
When the conversation was over, I was greatly encouraged to see a company like Motorola step up to the plate and work with an organization to see how to help children on the spectrum learn and communicate. I was waiting in anticipation until later in the evening, when I would be talking with one of the families – in the hopes of answering even more questions everyone sent in.
Come to find out, the family I was going to talk with had a very interesting perspective – how the iPad compared with the Motorola Xoom Tablet.
Stay Tuned for Part Two.