Note: This post is in response to Jeff Jarvis’ suggestion that all bloggers repost substantially all of any AP story to show solidarity and support for their fellow blogger, Rogers Cadenhead’s community-created Drudge Retort, after it was aggressively threatened by the AP. What follows is my show of support. It is also a story that merits posting in its own right as autism is one of the most serious and increasingly common challenges facing children today.
[YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJGncJatGUg&autoplay=0 360 360]
The Zac Web Browser Aims to Focus Autistic Kids; The Associated Press
The Zac Browser is an Web application that helps autistic kids focus their attention and limits their exposure and interaction with inappropriate content. For autistic children, simply concentrating on one situation can be a challenge. Dealing with the multitude of sights and sounds produced by a computer can be even more difficult.
Software designer John LeSieur recognized those frustrations while watching his 6-year old grandson, Zackary try and navigate the Web. LeSieur knew he could help. So he had his company, People CD Inc. design the Zac Browser, an interface geared specifically towards autistic children. The Zac Browser greatly simplifies the Web. It seals off most adult-oriented sites and presents a hand-picked slate of choices from free, public Web sites.
While other programs offer a “walled garden” approach to the Web, LeSieur’s browser aims to go further: It essentially takes over the computer and reduces the controls available. And for children like Zackary, setting those limits and narrowing the focus could help open up a world of possibilities. The Zac Browser can be downloaded or run directly from www dot zacbrowser dot com. ___ ___, The Associated Press.(****END****)