10 years of ending isolation for young people with autism in Australia
On Saturday 13 November, The Lab — Australia’s technology club for young people on the autism spectrum — will host a world-first SuperLab to celebrate a decade of ending isolation and breaking down barriers for young autistic people, bringing together communities from across the country for a virtual day of fun.
Over the last decade, The Lab has empowered thousands of neurodiverse people aged 10-18 across Australia through the most difficult transitions of their adolescence, by breaking down barriers of social isolation, exploring interests and learning new skills, all through the medium of interactive technology.
The Lab’s 10-year celebrations will bring together participants from Labs across the country to form a SuperLab – a huge virtual event for celebration, fun, community and recognition of this milestone for the not-for-profit organisation. The day will include presentations from Melissa Jayne Webster, Chair of The Lab Network, awards for projects submitted for The Lab Tech Challenge and a gaming tournament. Melissa Jayne Webster talks to the SuperLab event.
‘’The SuperLab will provide some much needed fun and respite from yet another challenging year, bringing with it some healthy competition and celebrating our community as a whole. The SuperLab will also be a great way for participants to see this huge community they are a part of — which is at the heart of The Lab, building this sense of inclusivity and community.
‘’We’re thrilled to be closing the year off with this event to mark the 10 year milestone, and look forward to further growing The Lab community in the new year’’ continued Webster.
The Lab has now developed into a national network of over 30 physical clubs, along with award-winning online offering The Lab Online, which has scaled up over the past 12 months to ensure continued support and community for young people on the autism spectrum, throughout the duration of the pandemic and beyond.
Expanding the online offering has been a long held goal for The Lab, who have always held ambitious plans to provide support networks for young people more likely to experience higher levels of isolation across rural and regional Australia, as well as metro. As an entirely online event, the SuperLab will make use of technology’s boundless opportunity, allowing participants from all corners of Australia to get involved on the special day.
A year in the making, The Lab has challenged participants to contribute to creative projects for The Lab 10 Year Tech Challenge; including designing The Lab 10 year tee, creating videos, animation and 3D artwork, video games and much more. The Lab has received over 20 submissions that will be awarded at the SuperLab.
The gaming tournament will include four familiar favourites played across virtual game rooms — Super Smash Bros, Minecraft, Rocket league and Gartic Phone. The games to be played on the day are easy to install and accessible on all devices. Each game will be played in a tournament format, starting with a large number of participants whittling down to a smaller number and eventually a winner. All participants will receive a giveaway for participating.
The SuperLab event is open to existing Lab participants only.
Expressions of interest for The Lab can be made by emailing email@example.com or visiting The Lab website: https://thelab.org.au/