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AutARK – Automatic Adaptation of Overstimulating Contexts

News

Results of Mensch und Computer 2023

Results of Mensch und Computer 2023

The results of the practical part of the workshop “Designing Accessible Extended Reality”, organised by the AutARK team as part of the Mensch und Computer 2023 conference, include insightful ideas and suggestions developed by various participants on challenges and solutions for different target groups in different contexts. In addition, requirements as well as ethical and social aspects relating to the use of assistive technologies were discussed.
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1st Advisory Board Meeting: Networking with various stakeholders

1st Advisory Board Meeting: Networking with various stakeholders

The project successfully conducted its inaugural advisory board meeting on November 17, 2023. Our advisory board consists of 10 institutions and individuals engaged in the field of autism in the workplace through various professional, voluntary, or personal capacities. The meeting also included representation from two individuals on the autism spectrum, who offered valuable personal insights into the workplace challenges faced from an autistic perspective, drawing from their own experiences.
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AutARK at the careers fair vocatium Dresden II

AutARK at the careers fair vocatium Dresden II

AutARK was represented at this year’s vocatium trade fair for training and studies in Dresden with an information and hands-on booth as well as a presentation to inform trade fair visitors about inclusive studies, digital accessibility and the various needs of people with disabilities or disorders in the context of training and studies.
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Supporting people on the autism spectrum in the professional domain through technical aids

Psychological disorders and developmental disabilities often entail reduced performance and adaptability, frequently leading to impairments in occupational functioning. Despite having received a good professional or scholastic education, individuals on the autism spectrum are significantly more prone to experiencing unemployment or being employed in vocations that have low qualification requirements, as compared to non-autistic individuals. Primary reasons for the low employment rate of autistic individuals in the primary labor market are the challenging work conditions, such as time constraints, information overload, high communicative demands, social competence, too many sensory stimuli, as well as the requirement for a high degree of flexibility.

“We say that individuals with autism lack empathy. No, we lack it. For them.”

Neuroscientist Henry Markram

Autism spectrum disorders are characterized, in particular, by difficulties in communication and social interaction. Perception processing is also often altered, leading many individuals with autism to struggle with an excess of visual or auditory information. These characteristics necessitate a workplace environment that is tailored to the specific needs of individuals with autism in their professional and academic daily lives. Traditional work environments are typically not designed to meet the needs of individuals on the autism spectrum. As a result, many individuals with autism are more frequently affected by unemployment or are employed in vocations that have low qualification requirements as compared to non-autistic individuals. Although many individuals with autism have received a good professional or scholastic education, their chances in the job market are thus lower.

Numbers & Facts

Frequency

Donut chart. The outer ring represents 99% in purple and 1% in green. The center of the circle reads
Approximately 1% of people in Germany are on the autism spectrum.

Unemployment

Donut chart. The outer ring represents 70% in purple and 30% in green. The center of the circle reads
30% of people within the autism spectrum are affected by unemployment

Primary Labor Market

Donut chart. The outer ring represents 95% in purple and 5% in green. The center of the circle reads
5% of working-age individuals within the autism spectrum are employed in the general labor market

Source: Autismus Spektrum Portal

Logo of the research project "Autark". The lettering "AUT" and "ARK" is depicted in white within a black rectangle. The "ARK" rectangle is slightly offset upwards. Colorful columns of varying lengths emerge from the top of both rectangles, forming a curved line. The columns are colored from left to right in the sequence of rainbow colors.

OUR GOALS

Supporting People on the Autism Spectrum in the Workplace Context

  1. Sensory Regulation: Reduction of stimuli to avoid sensory overload
  2. Communication: Assistance in verbal and textual communication.
  3. Task management: Providing assistance in structuring and prioritizing tasks and time management.
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