A Texas nonprofit is tapping into the unique abilities of adults with autism by training them to make mobile apps and organizers say they hope to expand the program across the country.
At the NonPareil Institute — a two-year-old nonprofit housed at Southern Methodist University outside Dallas — 80 adults with autism are learning the ins and outs of designing and programing apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android platforms. Already, the students have one app on the market and two more are set for release.
Founded by three fathers who were concerned about what their sons with autism would do as adults, the institute already has expansion in mind. They’re looking to build a $20 million campus, with on-site housing for students, and hope to branch out to other locations across the country.
Students at the center have varying levels of skill and ability, those behind the institute say. Most are unable to drive and many have difficulty with social skills and communication. Just finding the bathroom is a challenge for some.
But the model appears to be successful. The institute has a waiting list of 80 for the program, which costs $600 per month. Three former students have moved on to jobs in the field and a handful of others are now teachers at the institute, reports Computer World. To read more click here.