September 29, 2020

Young adults with autism gain new employment opportunities

News Release

Alberta Innovates partners with Technology North to develop autism management software

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – Young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (autism) face a bleak future. 85 to 90 per cent of those who graduate from high school, or college, are either unemployed or underemployed. However, Ling Huang, CEO of Alberta-based Technology North wants to change that.

Technology North (TN) has developed innovative software that helps remove barriers to employment for adults with autism. RoboCoach allows employees with autism to determine their work-readiness. The software provides web and mobile-mediated, support to help employees with autism maintain their wellbeing, as well as a stable and productive work environment. This includes enhancing verbal communication, which improves employer satisfaction and helps employees bond with the job coaches who assist them in their day-to-day work.

Huang, a father to a son with autism, an entrepreneur, and an IT innovator, understands the challenges facing employees with autism from a parent’s and an employers’ perspective. “When a young person with autism graduates from high school, or college, there are very few opportunities,” says Huang. “They face incredible challenges and very few employment prospects. They essentially fall off a cliff. There are services for those who have visible physical disabilities, but there is very little for those living with autism.”

Huang has transformed Technology North from a general information technology service provider to a company dedicated to developing assistive technologies and programs for those living with autism. He has also created a document digitization service where young people with autism are engaged in paid, meaningful, and sustainable work. Alberta Innovates has engaged Technology North to provide document digitization services.

https://youtu.be/66EMNm-fwl8

 

Quotes

“Alberta Innovates has a specific business need and is entering a pilot project with Technology North,” says David Almond, Executive Director, Information Technologies at Alberta Innovates. “Our vast collection of paper records requires digitization. That’s not only good for us, but also for the young adults with autism Technology North employs.”

“Innovation and technology are catalysts that can reshape our world, and open doors to dynamic, inclusive workplaces, like this assistive technology for young adults with autism,” says Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Innovation. “Thanks to the efforts of Technology North and Alberta Innovates, our province continues to show leadership as a place where innovation thrives, and incredible talent abounds.”

“Alberta’s government is committed to increasing employment opportunities for Albertans living with disabilities,” says Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Community and Social Services. “Thanks to Technology North and Alberta Innovates, this technology will help youth with autism make meaningful connections to the workforce to build a future in Alberta.”

Background

Autism Information:

  • 1 in 66 Canadian children is diagnosed with autism (between the ages of 5 to 17), according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • Boys are four to five times more likely to be diagnosed with autism, than girls

Alberta Innovates has supported Technology North throughout its development. The company has participated in the Global Partnership program, partnering with technology companies in Jalisco, Mexico and Zhejiang, China to help TN develop their TN ActiveCare and RoboCoach™ software platforms.

Alberta Innovates has provided around $1.07 million over the years in support of Technology North’s software and program developments, through a number of Alberta Innovates’ Entrepreneurial Investments programs.

Technology North Corporation is an Alberta-based Information Technology company, formed by top IT professionals in 1998. Technology North is focused on guiding businesses to success through the use of technology. Since 2010, Technology North has dedicated itself to autism-related enabling technology platform and program development to support the wellbeing of the population of people with autism throughout their lifespan. TN’s customers range from large enterprises looking for niche skill-sets to smaller organizations needing complete solutions. TN’s flagship product, TN ActiveCare, is in use by professional autism intervention service providers, enabling a more systematic and streamlined evidence-based approach to autism intervention. Visit us at: technologynorth.net

Media Enquiries:
Ling Huang
Technology North Corporation
780.953.6863 | Ling.Huang@technologynorth.net

Alberta Innovates invests in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity. We provide technical expertise, entrepreneurial advice and support, opportunities for partnerships and funding to advance the best ideas. We support a broad range of research and innovation activity – from discovery to use. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do, bringing together bright minds and great ideas.

Find out how Alberta Innovates: albertainnovates.ca