The "My Tablet Speaks for Me" Project
With the support provided by the American Embassy in Ankara, The Tohum Autism Foundation has launched the “My Tablet Speaks for Me” Project which seeks to answer the question of how technological developments can be used in the education of individuals with ASD and what these applications might be in Turkey. In the Project, Turkish language applications will be used for autistic individuals. The Tohum Autism Foundation School and the Eskişehir City Anadolu University Disability Research Institute have been chosen as pilot schools to enable the increase of technology in autistic education and to integrate this into the national curriculum.
Micah Eckhardt, a PHD candidate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose thesis is on the uses of tech in autistic individuals in the United States was invited to the kick-off workshops. The two day workshop began on the first dat with the participation of the Eskişehir City Anadolu University Disability Research Institute specialists and on the second day with the Tohum School. The first workshop also included academics from the Istanbul Technical University’s Computer Sciences faculty who joined the software developers from IT firms who had been invited to develop the Turkish language application.
The beginners workshops and the follow up workshops, as well as the practical work to be done at the pilot schools with families and teachers, the collection of data and reporting will take approximately one year and at the end of it, the first Turkish language specialist tablet application will have bee produced and an important first step will have been taken.