Saturday, July 20, 2013

CNN Next List presents information technology job training for autistic teens, a new innovation for local governments

Today, Sanjay Gupta on his "Next List" series on CNN presented a couple major "grass roots" technical innovations,

Sanjay introduced Dan Selec and the "NonPareil Institute" which trains moderately autistic teenagers to fill high tech jobs.

He described autism in terms of issues with social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors.

One of the jobs involved designing games (as did the "alien" character Sean Walker in "The Event"). One teen had programmed a game called SpaceApe.  He also described an educational application called "np.connect".  I wondered how this would fit into Arvin Vohra's company (Book review blog, April 19, 2013).

There is a film called "Programming Hope" that documents this effort, which I can look into, link. The NonPareil Institute has a Facebook link (website url) here.

The Sanjay introduced Jennifer Pahlka in Oakland, CA, founder of a volunteer group called "Code for America", which designs applications to make local governments work better.

She also described "living off the land" right there in Oakland.

A grad school roommate of mine at KU bought a home in Oakland in 1971, which I visited once then, but haven't seen since.  

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