One of the identified obstacles to good research in this field discussed at the 2014 ASDtech SIG was the need to forge effective collaborations, often across traditional disciplinary boundaries, as well as between academia, clinical or educational practice, and the commercial sector. Our response to this obstacle has been to create an interactive map of expertise in the field.
The idea behind the tool is to help research teams and practitioners forge links internationally. Research in this field is necessarily interdisciplinary and we found that many people attending the SIGs were keen to make connections with people from relevant, different academic disciplines/practitioner background. We hope that the map will support this process as well as reveal the sheer quantity of autism & technology research which is going on.
Similar to our other SIG outcome items, it has taken a little time to build a demo map for you to view as we have been putting it together in our “spare time”. We feel this was time well spent, however. The map currently has some nice functionality, but we are now working with a commercial developer, Prometheus, to develop this map into a more sophisticated tool. There will hopefully be an automated online form to allow new research/practitioner teams to join the map. We also plan to add additional functionality such as the ability to search for research collaborators by subject area, technology and so on.