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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Coding Autism Begins Crowdfunding To Develop Career Transitioning Program For Adults With Autism

Press Release – LOS ANGELES (March 31, 2017) – Coding Autism, a Los Angeles-based startup providing career transitioning programs for adults on the autism spectrum, starts their crowdfunding campaign today. The funds from this campaign will be used to finance their first class in the Greater Los Angeles area, the ASPIRE Web Development Immersive. The ASPIRE Web Development Immersive is a 15-week, full-time course where students will be learning the fundamental skills necessary to secure an entry-level web developer job. It covers both front-end and back-end skills, along with Quality Assurance and SCRUM principles. By the end of the course, students will walk away with a portfolio of full-stack web applications which they can use when applying to their first developer jobs.

Coding Autism is looking to raise a minimum of $50,000 on through its rewards-based campaign, and another $50,000 through its equity campaign. To help support this cause, people can donate at Coding Autism’s Start Some Good page here: https://startsomegood.com/projects/coding-autism-training-adults-with-autism-in-code/. Accredited investors can contribute to Coding Autism’s Crowdfunder equity campaign here: https://www.crowdfunder.com/coding-autism.

To better cater to the specialized needs of autistic learners, classes are kept small (15 students maximum) and an on-site occupational therapist will be present to tailor each class to the unique needs of each group. According to Evelyn Peña, director of the Cal Lutheran Univeristy Autism and Communication Center, “We see a natural fit for people on the spectrum and jobs in the tech space. Oftentimes it isn’t the abilities or knowledge that creates the greatest barrier, but soft skills like eye contact and communication that prevent them from even being considered for a role they may otherwise be qualified for. For that reason, we place an emphasis on these skills that would otherwise be skipped by similar programs.”

CEO and co-founder, Oliver Thornton, having been diagnosed with a form of ASD himself. Having two brothers that are also on the spectrum, he experienced firsthand the challenges people like him and his brothers face integrating into the professional world. With statistics as high as 80% un/underemployment among adults on the spectrum, and with 1 in 68 children in the US being diagnosed with ASD, he saw an urgent need to find a way to integrate this ever-growing demographic into the workplace, and alleviate fears about self-sufficiency held by both people with autism and their families.

When asked why employers should consider hiring more employees on the autism spectrum, Thornton had this to say: “Adults with autism tend to be very engaged and dedicated employees who contain intrinsic characteristics such as attention to detail, fascination for repetitive tasks, and introversion. In recent years, there has been an influx of research proving that adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome tend to thrive at software development related professions. As a result many technology companies such as Microsoft and SAP have implemented autism hiring initiatives to hire experienced software developers on the autism spectrum. By training adults with autism through our autism specialized coding immersive program, we are opening doors for companies to diversity their work forces, broaden the culture of their company and teams, and drive innovation within their operations.”

About Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a range of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Globally, autism is estimated to affect 21.7 million people as of 2013. As of 2010, the number of people affected is estimated at about 1–2 per 1,000 worldwide. About 1.5% of children in the United States (one in 68) are diagnosed with ASD as of 2014, a 30% increase from one in 88 in 2012. The number of people diagnosed has been increasing dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice.

About Coding Autism:

Coding Autism is a full-service professional coaching and training company that trains adults on the autism spectrum in professional skills such as software engineering, quality assurance, and web development. They also assist our graduates in finding employment within the software and technology industries. Coding Autism does so by providing services such as immersive programs and bootcamps, resume workshops, career counseling, interview preparation, and coaching/mentorship, all of which is designed around providing an environment where people on the spectrum can thrive.

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