With April being Autism Awareness Month, there isn’t a better time for this Kickstarter campaign. Autism Village is a parent’s answer to a social network dedicated to children with autism.

Think Yelp or TripAdvisor, and you get an idea of what the app hopes to accomplish. Need to know the best playgrounds or parks? Let the online village rate your local area. Dining options for kids with autism? This app will list your options, and give you the ability to rate a restaurant treats everyone with the respect and compassion they deserve.

Taking your child to the doctor or dentist can be difficult if you can’t find a compassionate provider. Why not have a list of dentists or doctors that ‘get’ autism?

In addition to everyday life choices, therapy centers or rated. Surfing, art, equestrian and music speciality therapies will be listed on Autism Village and rated.

Kickstarter and Autism Village

The campaign is designed to keep the app completely free for its lifetime. It’s founder, Topher Wurts, has an autistic son, Kirby. Kirby is also listed as a founder – it’s only right we make Kirby a tech star under 30.

Autism Village is made up by a group of volunteers, who are balancing day jobs along with a commitment to the app.

The iPhone version of the app is already funded, with the $63,500 Android stretch goal quickly approaching. I know it’s easy to criticize app developers for leaving Android out in the cold, but the programming is different for the operating systems.

autism village design

Working off a volunteer staff means experts need to be hired, so you get the stretch goals. Topher Wurts explains the move in an answer to a comment.

The ‪Kickstarter‬ model is such that one sets “the goal” for the lowest reasonable level because it’s all or nothing. After hitting the goal then projects set stretch goals to surpass the original goal which fund more features etc.

‪Autism Village‬ set our goal to the minimum needed to build and release an iOS app. But that’s not where we want to stop!

‪Autism‬ affects many families in many geographies at every level of the economy. iOS is most prevalent in the wealthy areas of the world. ‪‎Android‬ is much more prevalent outside the big centers and has over half of world user share.

To truly help the autism community we need to do Android and also tablet versions for both iPad and Android tablets. This is the only way the service can reach everyone with autism.

We’ll need to reach $98,650 to commission all of the versions. Please everyone help us by liking, sharing, and spreading the word so that we can help every family dealing with autism and not just the wealthy ones.

Autism Awareness

Autism Village takes awareness and translates it into community action. The best way to help the team is to share the project as fast as you can. Not only to meet the stretch goals, but to spread awareness.

Autism affects 3 million families in the United States alone. The disorder affects 1.5% of annual births.

In addition to the stretch goals, they have a commitment from an anonymous backer to match $1 for every backer once it hits 10,000 backers. With 11 days to go, the total is 836 backers.

Let’s do Kirby a favor and break the 10k mark.

Once the campaign is funded, all the money will go to completion and maintenance of the app.

  • Complete the graphics for the screens
  • Complete user interface design
  • Finalize the back-end database and delivery system
  • Finalize the development of the app itself
  • Testing and Quality Assurance of the app and delivery system
  • Quality review and pre-loading of businesses, organizations, and places
  • Connecting to location based services for “near me” functionality
  • Creating redundant systems to serve the app
  • Moving delivery systems to high availability managed hosting centers
  • Getting the word out about the app to develop critical mass of users
  • Ongoing support and maintenance of the app and delivery systems

The are several reward tiers for the project, but Wurts is going for number of backers just as hard as high-tier backers.

autism village backer reward tiers

Awareness mixed with action. This is one Kickstarter campaign we can all get behind. More information in the app can be found at Autism Village and the Kickstarter is linked throughout. Share this far and wide.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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