Case Study: Utah Parent Center

Automatic Sync Technologies And Strillogy Join The Utah Parent Center To Serve The Autism Community In Utah And Nationwide

Creating a Community and Solving Challenges for Families Living with Autism

Challenges:

  • Provide parent-to-parent advice, reassurance and guidelines for further assistance
  • Allow parents and children to view how others handle similar problems
  • Facilitate a feeling of community
  • Meet needs of people with hearing impairments and native Spanish speakers

Results:

  • The release of 3,000 DVDs with 10 modules on situations faced by families with children who are autistic
  • The availability of DVDs to parent centers in every state
  • Through Closed Captioning, greater accessibility to a broader community including Spanish speakers and those with hearing impairments

“Reaching families with this infor- mation and these stories of how people cope and deal with autism
is our primary concern with these DVDs. It is also important that those with hearing impairments and the large Hispanic population can take advantage of this material … We appreciate the services that Strillogy and Automatic Sync Technologies have provided … we will have con- tributed something positive and hopeful to the community”

– Jennie Gibson Utah Parent Center Associate Director

Background

In recent years, increasing numbers of children with autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed. As many as 1 in 100 births (1 in 70 for boys) occur each year. Families are presented with confusing, sometimes con icting information about intervention, programs and services. As a result there is a need for a range of evidence-based, practical, useful training, information and resources made easily accessible for families to inform their decisions.

The mission of the Utah Parent Center is to help families help their children to live productive, “included’ lives as members of the community. What parents of children with autism needed was a dynamic presentation of situations and challenges a family meets when autism is diagnosed. By showing real families as they deal with these challenges parents new to the situation could be instructed and made to feel more con dent and less isolated.

Challenge

The Utah Parent Center, Utah’s federally funded Parent Training and Information Center, is committed to making everything as accessible as possible for their client base. Through a grant from the Utah IOTI (Interagency Outreach Training Initiative), they developed a video project called: Creating a Community and Solving Challenges for Families Living with Autism.

The project aim is to give friendly parent-to-parent advice and reassurance as well as giving them guidelines for further services. The videos are designed to let parents and their children see how others face situations and problems, and make them feel part of a community rather than isolated or outside the mainstream.

Requirements

  • Create a DVD program that would give parents advice and reassurance as well as giving them some guidelines for choosing services and places to go for more parent to parent support. These videos would show real families dealing with a variety of situations such as: how to be a caregiver for a child with autism, how to deal with medical situations at home and in the doctor’s office, how to include grandparents and the extended family, safety at home, dealing with schools and building the community in the neighborhood, evaluating interventions, treatments and resources.
  • Meet the needs of people with hearing impairments and the Spanish speakers among the parents. In Utah nearly 20% of the population is Hispanic so it was important to have a version of the programs in Spanish with Spanish subtitles as well as a version in English with English subtitles
  • Produce videos that could also be repurposed as YouTube offerings and podcasts
  • Stay within a strict budget
  • Make the guidelines of Section 504 available to English and Spanish speaking parents

Solution

The Utah Parent Center had worked with Strillogy over the years. Founded in 2000 by Lowell Oswald, Jr., Strillogy Productions L.L.C. provides high-quality, creative and professional video, web and graphic design services to clients worldwide. When approached, Strillogy and the Center decided on DVDs in English and Spanish that were designed to tell the stories of real families dealing with autism. The DVDs would contain 10 modules on situations faced by families with autistic children.

To deal with the language problem and the hearing disabled, Strillogy decided to use CaptionSync, (developed by Automatic Sync Technologies) a technology providing high-quality automated captioning with unrivaled speed at a fraction of the cost of conventional captioning. CaptionSync can simultaneously generate caption output for multiple types of media from a single submission. AST’s CaptionSync provides the Gold Standard in accuracy because it does not rely on speech recognition software and its inherent errors, and it can caption in English and Spanish. Lowell Oswald, Jr., CEO of Strillogy selected CaptionSync “because we looked at a great many technologies, but AST’s CaptionSync gave us a full package with all we needed in one place and at a considerable savings over comparable systems.”

“We are proud to be the closed captioning choice for such a humanitarian purpose. The Utah Parent Center and Strillogy have created a tool to decrease discomfort and confusion and increase the sense of community among the parents of autistic children,” comments Kevin Erler, founding partner of AST.

Results & Future

The Utah Parent Center is readying the release of 3000 DVDs to their community. The DVDs will also be available to the parent centers in every state.

The production of these videos makes it possible for families with children and young adults who have autism to see themselves as part of a larger community. It takes away some of the fear and much of the confusion that happens when a diagnosis is rst attained. In addition to the practical information available on these DVDs and on YouTube and in podcasts, there is a very human accomplishment. Technology companies have worked their magic to make the needs and feelings of very real people available on a one- to-one basis.

“Reaching families with this information and these stories of how people cope and deal with autism is our primary concern with these DVDs. And it is also important that those with hearing impairments can access the information, just as the large Hispanic population can take advantage of this material. We appreciate the services that Strillogy and Automatic Sync Technologies have provided. As this information is presented at conferences and on YouTube and via other distributions, we will have contributed something positive and hopeful to the community,” says Jennie Gibson – Associate Director, Utah Parent Center.