I’m very passionate about advocating for special needs children and families, in particular those touched by Autism. For a very long time now I have wanted to be able to help other families going through challenging times. I know what it’s like to be overwhelmed and well…..Lost and Tired. You may also be aware of my work with Android powered smartphones.
I have turned my interest in Android and my passion for helping others into a campaign I call, Android4Autism. Basically, I take donated Android based devices (smartphones mostly) and design a custom ROM or operating system for the device itself. These ROM’s are built from the ground up completely customized for kids. ALL extraneous apps have been removed and only educational apps are present. There is nothing to make navigating these devices confusing or difficult. Your child can’t accidentally access apps that aren’t meant for them to access.
Speaking of apps, here is an excerpt from an earlier announcement pertaining to the included applications.
“Today, I had the pleasure of speaking with Alex Turetsky, Director of Business Development at Intellijoy. Intellijoy is the #1 creator of educational apps on the Android Market. In fact today they released their newest app, Kids Shapes. If you remember the video I posted recently, featuring Emmett using his Android4Autism device, he was using Kids Shape Puzzle by Intellijoy. For those of following my family’s story, you know just how big a deal it is for Emmett to be able to do what he did in that video. Since using these apps he has learned dozens of new words that he didn’t know prior. He loves his Android4Autism device, he carries it with him EVERYWHERE and calls it his “puzzles”. Tonight, I so very pleased to announce that Intellijoy will be donating FULL versions of ALL their children’s apps to Android4Autism to be distributed on all the devices that we will be putting into the hands of Autistic children from around the US. I’m very excited about this because I truly believe this WILL make a difference in the lives of many Autistic children and their families. I don’t make it a habit of promoting companies on this blog because that’s not the purpose of Lost and Tired. However, Intellijoy is a company that is working to help our children learn through engaging and entertaining apps. My children benefit from the use of these applications and I know many more could as well. As special needs parents and members of the Autism community we should support companies like, Intellijoy, as they are providing low cost software that can turn your Android powered smartphone into a learning tool for your child.”
That about sums up the apps. I have some support for this campaign, however, I have also met a few snags as well. Despite the snags, I’m moving forward with this campaign. In order to do this right I have been working with my attorney to set up a 501c3 charity corporation. I feel that this is the best approach. Herein lies the snag. With everything that has happened to our van and the unexpected expenses associated with Gavin’s health, I have hit some delays. My priorities have had to shift to managing new challenges at home and basically don’t have the money to finish getting this charity off the ground.
That said, we are only delayed. I fully intend to finish this as things in our life improve. I haven’t said anything about this until now because I didn’t want to speak about this before I had some things figured out.
I have been thinking and I have decided that just because the 501c3 charity corporation is delayed doesn’t mean I can’t still reach out to some families and offer help. The only difference is that it will be on a much smaller scale for now. So with that said, here is what I’m going to do.
As I start to receive donated Android devices in, I will be getting them set up and identifying a family that would benefit from one of these devices. After a family has been identified, the device will be donated, free of charge to this family. It’s important to note that the number of devices will be extremely limited as my supply is going to be very limited as well, at least initially. . One of the reasons for setting up the 501c3 charity is so people can receive a tax break for their donation. Since the charity is not finished yet, people may be more reluctant to donate a device.
I have a very good reputation in the Android community and I have people willing to donate devices. I was holding off on receiving such devices because I wanted all my ducks in a row and be able to provide a tax benefit for the donation. However, if people are willing to donate without the added tax benefit then I can get things started now, just on a smaller scale.
Below is a brief demo of an Android4Autism device I currently have ready for donation. Please excuse the video quality. I had to hide in a room upstairs to make the video. This is not easy to do in my house. 🙂
I will be making additional announcements as needed going forward. I don’t know how this is going to go but I at least want to try to help. I want my kids to learn the importance of helping others and I truly want people to be able to experience the benefit their kids can have using one of these devices. Money should not stand in the way of providing your child with a tool to help them learn and navigate their environment.
Great project and passion Rob! I've said it before and I'll say it again – I think so highly of you and Elizabeth. We just recently received the blessing of A4CWSN's iPad4U program, with additional donations covering the cost of the iPad – I am so excited to see what we can do with the boys on it! In the meantime – When you have a moment I'd also like to let you know I'll be awarding you a little award a bit later this afternoon. *hugs* Stay tuned for details! Give Lizzie a *gentle hug* from me as well, would you?
My recent post Special Needs Blog Hop – Theme “Who am I”
Dude. You're amazing. Are you able to do this with old phones? Presumably people have old phones that aren't being used, and won't mind not getting a tax break?
xx lost&tired in Melbourne, Aus
Well it actually depends on the phone itself. Typically, the technology savy change phones about once or twice a year. When they deactivate the old phone, some people choose to donate that device. The oldest I can really go is the HTC Hero and the original Droid.
Are you still doing this? I'd gladly donate my droid.
I absolutely am. I can't provide anything in return, as I haven't finished setting up my nonprofit yet but I am donating devices as I can get my hands on them 🙂
Either way, thank you so much for thinking about kids with Autism. I really appreciate 🙂
If you're still willing to donate one you can ship it to the following address;
Lost and Tired
P.O. BOX 8272
Canton, Ohio 44711
That is awesome!! I know my son Colton loves his Nintendi DSI and I don't know what we would do without it! I think it is so GREAT that you are reaching out to help others when your plate is full with your family. That is a great idea and many kids could benefit from this! Kudos to you for thinking"outside the box" and sharing your heart and reaching out to others. Your family is in my prayers, as I am also lost and tired.