In an effort to show young people with autism how their interest in technology could lead to a future career, a recent event hosted by Microsoft and Dennis Publishing enabled 22 young people to learn to code and try out virtual reality.
The young people, who have been working with London-based charity CASPA, got to see for themselves how their special interest in computing can be translated into skills that are valued in the workplace.
With 85% of people affected by autism not in full-time employment, events like this are a great way for young people with autism to build the practical and communication skills that will benefit them greatly as they start to look for jobs.
Using the HTC Vive headset (shown in the video above) the young people were able to create objects in the virtual world such as trees and benches, while at the same time bees from beehives were flying around them. Drawing that were made by the youngsters during the event were later uploaded into the virtual world forming a direct connection between what they are able to imagine and what can be created with immersive technology.
The Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft, Dave Coplin, said about the event: “Working with Dennis and CASPA on this event helped us to showcase the potential of workplace diversity in the UK and gave us a wonderful opportunity to help young people affected by autism to connect a love and understanding of technology with the business and communication skills that will enable them to thrive in the world of work.”