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Helping Autism diagnosed young people Navigate and Develop Socially (HANDS)
Start date: 01 Jun 2008, End date: 31 Oct 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The HANDS project aims to develop a mobile ICT solution to help young people with an autism diagnosis (ASD) to become better integrated in society.A HANDS toolset based on new research from Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) will be developed which will support them in handling situations where they have to act autonomously, as well as to develop their social skills and self management skills.The HANDS project has a strong multi-disciplinary academic base with experts in three different fields relevant for the research to be carried out: The key technology to be applied is Persuasive Technology, which is an emerging field under HCI with special advantages related to motivation, which are critical for autism-diagnosed individuals. Additional key knowledge from the fields of Cognitive Psychology and Pedagogical research are also present in the project consortium.HANDS aims provide a solid Proof of Concept that Persuasive Technology in a mobile ICT toolset can be a perfect solution to the problem of helping autism-diagnosed teenagers handling daily challenges. A valid proof is ensured through a very high level of user participation, having 5 different schools and organizations conducting teaching of autism diagnosed teenagers in the project.The project has a great amount of entrepreneurship present through two industrial partners, both with a strong desire to bring the resulting products out to end users World-wide. This will contribute to strengthening the European position in inclusive ICT.The development and use of the HANDS software may imply significant ethical issues and full consideration is given to the resolution of these within the project.
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