TOBY Playpad in India
We want to reach out to as many people as possible, says Professor Svetha Venkatesh.
Deakin University has launched TOBY Playpad (Therapy Outcomes by You) Laboratory, at one of the three schools of Tamana, The School of Hope, Centre for Autism in Vasant Vihar, New Delhi.
The TOBY Playpad is an IPAD App which is an early intervention application for children with Autism. TOBY Playpad monitors child’s performance on tasks from a complex syllabus and adjusts lesson delivery to each and every child.
The TOBY Playpad laboratory comes about through an agreement between Deakin University and Tamana, a New Delhi based non-profit organisation for multiply challenged and autistic individuals, to provide an infrastructure for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their parents to work together in a specialised environment.
The laboratory has been developed to allow a suitable space for the children to learn and develop curriculum based tasks.
Professor Svetha Venkatesh, Alfred Deakin Professor and Director, Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics (PRaDA) at Deakin University, Australia, said: “The TOBY Playpad is an opportunity for parents and educators in India to provide children with timely and inexpensive early intervention therapy both at school and home.”
“For a population where, autism as disability generally goes unnoticed, we want to create awareness and reach out to as many people as possible.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said TOBY Playpad help Deakin fulfil its aim to be at the forefront of using digital enhancements to make a profound impact in the communities it serves.
"We are indeed proud to partner with Tamana to setup a laboratory where parents and facilitators dealing with autism can be empowered to deliver therapy," she said.
According to Dr Shyama Chona, President, Tamana, the TOBY Playpad from Deakin holds a new hope for the children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
"Seeing is believing how these kids at Tamana learn with joy using their little fingers and being amazed at their own drops of learning joys," she said.
"Tamana School of Hope, a non-profit NGO for multiply challenged and autistic individuals, is a natural partner to this project with Deakin."
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