Watch Michele McKeone, founder of Autism Expressed, talks empathy, gender stereotypes, and women in business. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOGjTPTHNVs&feature=share
“This start-up’s work could reduce the unemployment rate amongst those with disabilities.” READ MORE AT NATION SWELL
Most of us could attach a file to an email in our sleep. But for a person with special needs, that seemingly simple action can be a Herculean task. That’s why special education teacher Michele McKeone created Autism Expressed, a first-of-its-kind online learning program that teaches digital skills to adolescents with autism and other developmental disabilities, TakePart reports.
The program, which just launched last summer, is already being used by thousands of students in public and private schools and in many homes. As TakePart notes, autism is one of the fastest growing developmental disabilities, and about 1 in 88 children fall somewhere on the spectrum. Worryingly, the U.S. Department of Labor found that people with disabilities are unemployed at a rate of 14.3 percent, while the unemployment rate of people without disabilities is a drastically lower 6.8 percent. <b> Read more at Nation Swell.
To help close this gap, Autism Expressed teaches its students the web skills many of us may take for granted, such as online etiquette, coding, building web portfolios, and attaching resumes and cover letters to applications.
“Today the ability to email, social network, and simply navigate the Web are essential life skills,” McKeone told TakePart. “Most of us have learned these skills through our work, friends and family, or by sitting down in front of computer and exploring. For our students with developmental disabilities, this is not always the case, due to their need for a specialized approached to their learning.”
While a single start-up won’t level the completely playing field for every person that is afflicted with autism, it does provide them a path to increased employment opportunities. And in this country — the land of opportunity — isn’t that a great place to start? Read more
By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
POSTED: February 17, 2014
“One of the hottest start-ups in the city sprang up in an unlikely place – a fourth-floor classroom at South Philadelphia High.” Read fully story in the Philadelphia Inquirer
This month, Philadelphia Magazine named Autism Expressed one of the hottest startups in Philadelphia. The magazine featured Michele McKeone, the Founder and CEO of Autism Expressed, on the cover of the magazine, alongside two other featured founders. The issue articulated the growing and exciting startup scene developing in Philadelphia today.
In the article, Michele advocated that digital literacy is a basic life skill in today’s technology driven society. By not making these skill accessible to children with autism, we are depriving them of a multitude of opportunities in life. Autism Expressed, as the article says
, is about “getting people with autism to get online,” and getting them on safely and with purpose. The goal remains to develop transition skills that will help our teens and tweens with disabilities become independent and engaged members of our communities.
The feature on the cover of Philadelphia Magazine is one of many recognitions Autism Expressed has recently received, including being named Startup of the Year in this year’s Philly Geek Awards.
Pick up your copy on newsstands today to read more about Autism Expressed and the other exciting startups growing around us!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Autism Community Supported Startup, Autism Expressed, Launches Product for Subscription by Parents and Organizations
July 29, 2013
On July 29th, 2013 Autism Expressed launched its online platform for wide use by parents and organizations. Autism Expressed’s product delivers digital life skills to students with autism and other disability categories, becoming the first and only curriculum in the market to do so. With the overarching mission of promoting independence and new vocational opportunities to the autism community, Autism Expressed uses well researched and proven methodologies to teach skills such as email, online safety, social media, multimedia, and industry software through its curated series of online lessons. Autism Expressed is currently developing and seeking partnerships with companies in order to facilitate direct career opportunities for the Autism Expressed students.
Parents and organizations can now easily subscribe to the Autism Expressed Learning System at www.autismexpressed.com. Larger organizations supporting more than ten students can contact the company via the online submission form. The subscription to the online platform also offers additional add-ons such as supplemental education resources for parents and teachers to further support and facilitate learning.
Autism Expressed was recently featured on MSNBC, and is actively being used throughout the country in a variety of educational settings; from second grade self-contained autistic support classrooms, to the DC Public Library’s Adult Service Programs. Autism Expressed was also recognized by various business plan competitions, including the 2011 Corzo Center for the Creative Economy Business Plan Competition and the Educational Services of America Prize for Innovation in the Fields of Special Education and At-Risk Students at the University of Pennsylvania’s GSE Business Plan Competition.
Autism Expressed works with and is supported by various organizations in the autism community and continually works with them towards the mission of inclusion for the autism community.
For more information, see the Autism Expressed website at www.autismexpressed.com. Read more
University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and the Milken Family Foundation name Autism Expressed as a winner at the 2013 Education Business Plan Competition.