A Virtual World Café - Connecting and Supporting People with Autism

A Virtual World Café - Connecting and Supporting People with Autism

Balance, Hao2 and Pure Innovations have been working together in a pilot supporting people with autism through the virtual world using a Connect Up virtual café designed by a young man with autism.

Initial findings are that the project is achieving positive outcomes for people with autism with the majority of the participants reporting improvement in:

  • Confidence in meeting others
  • IT skills
  • Openness to new ideas
  • Patience with others
  • General social skills

Feedback from the participants was positive with one saying “I really enjoyed using the avatar to move around, and communicate in the virtual café and world. I think there is loads of scope for this type of project to help people on the spectrum”.

Balance now have “an enhanced and more flexible offer to adults with autism referred to Balance” and anticipate potential future savings as “supporting a group of users in the virtual world is more cost effective than 1:1 support in the real world”.

Importantly, for a participant group that generally finds social interaction and collaborative work a challenge, Balance reports that “the project has connected those that took part” and they “really enjoyed the group sessions where there was a facilitated task and objective”.

Take a look at this wonderful information video which has been produced by Balance to explain the Connect Up project.