Online hub for kids with autism secures $1 million in federal funding
MyCareSpace, an online platform connecting people living with a disability to services has been awarded an NDIS Information, Linkages, and Capacity Building grant worth $1 million to build an online hub for children living with autism.
To be called “The A-List”, the said online hub will “give young people with autism, their families, and carers the ability to search for and book ‘autism-friendly’ activities from both mainstream and specialised organisations all around Australia, including peer support groups and community options.”
The A-List will also include training videos and online resources that focus on overcoming social challenges, goal setting and decision making.
MyCareSpace leadership said the online hub is a response to requests from families of children living with autism in the community.
“Everyday our connections team receive calls from families looking for social and group activities for young people with autism,” said Nicole Gamerov, CEO and Founder of MyCareSpace.
“Many young people with autism do not have friends outside of their families. The resulting social isolation has significant health and wellbeing consequences for these young people and their families. Even when they receive NDIS funding for social activities, many people find it difficult to find options that suit them. The A-List will address the shortage of social options as well as access to information,” she said.
MyCareSpace will deliver the A-List together with the support of their consortium members: the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), Autism Community Network and Autism Aspergers Advocacy.
“We are extremely pleased to be involved in the A-List, which is such a worthwhile and beneficial project for the autism community. It is important to empower and motivate young people with autism and encourage them to become independent and determined adults that are involved equally in all aspects of social, economic, political and cultural life,” Jim Valavanis, Manager – Business Development & Engagement for AFDO.
“Connecting is what we do, so it was a natural progression for us to find a way to solve this problem and connect young people with autism with social options,” said Bianca Shapiro, Chief Operating Officer and a partner at MyCareSpace.
“It will also provide a marketplace for the providers of these services, and increase the options available. This is an ambitious project and we plan to make the A-List “the place” to search, choose, and book all types of social activities and groups for young people with autism,” Shapiro said.