The Smarter Senses Project is a three step programme that commenced in 2010 with the aim of driving the Shine Centre for Autism in Cork forward to become best in class globally and to enable children with autism to learn, develop and communicate more effectively.
At the core of the Smarter Senses Project is the unwavering commitment to improve the behavioural and academic outcomes for children with autism and to improve their quality of life and that of their families.
This was a unique proposition as it was not all about funding but about participation and acknowledging that the smallest contribution of finance, resource or human effort could make a difference in the life of a child with autism. The Shine Centre wanted to harness the capabilities of individuals and companies both big and small to achieve this ambitious and life changing project.
“This project will positively impact social, educational, academic, IT and commercial interests and is a wonderful opportunity for companies with a strong focused CSR policy to get involved in something both powerful and unique. I encourage any organisation big or small to get involved as the smallest contribution of finance, resource or human effort can lead to something momentous”
Denis Collins (Chairman, Smarter Senses Project)
Stream 1 of the project started in late 2010 with a small team of committed people headed up by Denis Collins (then of IBM) as Chairman.
The project soon attracted some marquee names including Bank of New York/Mellon, Laya Heathcare and IBM. Phase 1 of the Smarter Senses Project was to put technology at the centre of the children’s learning experience. The majority of children with autism are visual learners and the introduction of this technology could transform their learning experiences.
This part of the project focused on acquiring that technology in the form of tablets, laptops and specialised learning computers and software.
Within 9 months every child attending a service in the Shine Centre had access to an iPad and Kidsmart Learning Computers were introduced to each classroom. Staff from the companies aligned to the project also supported the staff of Shine in the use of the technology and established the internal IT infrastructure to support Smarter Senses Project.
Denis Collins Gives an Update on the Smarter Senses Project for RTE
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