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Technology for Autism Now

 60 Bradfield Avenue
 Roslindale, MA 02131
[P] (617) 435-2307
[F] --
www.tech4autismnow.org
marie@tech4autismnow.org
Marie Duggan
Facebook Twitter
INCORPORATED: 2009
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 27-1513551

LAST UPDATED: 04/28/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

We would like to provide every child with autism with their own iPad or Tablet for use at home, school and in the community.  We are aiming to raise $10k for one of our #GivingTuesday initiatives in order to make this a reality for the children from low income/disadvantaged families in the City of Boston who have a child with autism that otherwise would not be able to afford one.  Please click on the link below for more information!

https://donate.tech4autismnow.org/checkout/donation?eid=67660 

TAN's mission is to improve the lives of children with autism and their families through the use of innovative technology solutions. The mobile & web based applications will enable parents/caregivers, teachers & other professionals to teach functional skills using the only scientifically evidence based methodology Applied Behavior Analysis to teach.  TAN provides a platform that is colorful, engaging & rewarding for the individual which is instantly customizable with camera and video capabilities on the fly, provides patent pending data metrics which are sent to the cloud, seen in real time making collaboration amongst all caregiviers seamless.
 

Mission Statement

We would like to provide every child with autism with their own iPad or Tablet for use at home, school and in the community.  We are aiming to raise $10k for one of our #GivingTuesday initiatives in order to make this a reality for the children from low income/disadvantaged families in the City of Boston who have a child with autism that otherwise would not be able to afford one.  Please click on the link below for more information!

https://donate.tech4autismnow.org/checkout/donation?eid=67660 

TAN's mission is to improve the lives of children with autism and their families through the use of innovative technology solutions. The mobile & web based applications will enable parents/caregivers, teachers & other professionals to teach functional skills using the only scientifically evidence based methodology Applied Behavior Analysis to teach.  TAN provides a platform that is colorful, engaging & rewarding for the individual which is instantly customizable with camera and video capabilities on the fly, provides patent pending data metrics which are sent to the cloud, seen in real time making collaboration amongst all caregiviers seamless.
 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2014 to Dec 31, 2014
Projected Income $175,000.00
Projected Expense $165,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Online Community

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

We would like to provide every child with autism with their own iPad or Tablet for use at home, school and in the community.  We are aiming to raise $10k for one of our #GivingTuesday initiatives in order to make this a reality for the children from low income/disadvantaged families in the City of Boston who have a child with autism that otherwise would not be able to afford one.  Please click on the link below for more information!

https://donate.tech4autismnow.org/checkout/donation?eid=67660 

TAN's mission is to improve the lives of children with autism and their families through the use of innovative technology solutions. The mobile & web based applications will enable parents/caregivers, teachers & other professionals to teach functional skills using the only scientifically evidence based methodology Applied Behavior Analysis to teach.  TAN provides a platform that is colorful, engaging & rewarding for the individual which is instantly customizable with camera and video capabilities on the fly, provides patent pending data metrics which are sent to the cloud, seen in real time making collaboration amongst all caregiviers seamless.
 

Background Statement

TAN'S mission is to deliver an amazing suite of innovative technology applications that will help not only children with autism, but also stroke victims, individuals with Down Syndrome, Alzheimer's patients, and anyone with complex communication needs. 

The use of assistive technology has an incredible impact on today's children with autism and others with complex communication needs. The majority of children with autism have great strengths through their visual channel.  Their auditory channel just doesn't work as well.  Pairing the visual with the auditory has proven to be extremely effective!
 
Husband of Founder Marie Duggan stated, "22 years ago my wife and I felt like we lived on another planet! We are now confident that the use of assistive technology communications solutions for the autism community will be life changing."
 
TAN (Technology for Autism Now), founded by Marie Duggan, a mother of a child severely affected with autism, and now an internationally recognized advocate for all children on the autism spectrum, is an impactful organization. TAN supports and helps children with autism to have a voice and to understand the environment they live in so that they can be active participants in their communities and grow into functional adults.  As Marie noted after recounting the struggles of advocating for her own child, “The most profound words ever spoken to me by a professional were, 'Your son has the goods, but we need to provide him with the tools."  Marie later realized, " if we keep that in mind, I know we can move mountains for these kids.”

As the Duggan family grew with their child (6 children and Michael in the middle) it was very difficult for their family to withstand the ISOLATION they felt. The days her husband would come home from work and see his wife on the floor trying desperately to let Michael let her into their world was heart wrenching.  There literally was nothing for them. No one to go to, no one who had a child like theirs but they never stopped the unconditional love.  Tantrums, kicking, screaming, spinning in circles endlessly, hand flapping and increasingly aggressive behavior became a very big part of  Michael's daily life.  

Thus began their development of TAN.  Marie left her paying job at Children's Hospital Boston and with the support of Steve & Jill Karp financially she was able to  found TAN. 

 


Impact Statement

Major Accomplishments from 2015:

1.) Created an enhanced organizational structure for TAN with the addition of an operational professional.

2.) Began a strategic plan for capacity growth and fundraising.

3.) Deployed a pilot application in the Boston Public School system;  hired an independent researcher to measure the application's efficacy; collected data; analyzed and synthesized the data to publish the success of Boston's 1st autism app in a peer reviewed journal for autism/aba.

4.) Created the basis for a scalable platform and business model.  

5.) Filed a provisional patent on our unique data metrics built into the application.
 
6.)  Established a collaboration with the Carlos Slim Foundation. With their resources and our iOS source code they developed & localized the app in Spanish.  They also assembled a team and developed the AutiKnow mobile application in Spanish and English for the Android platform. Creation of users manuals  and video tutorials in Spanish for both iOS & Android. Marie Duggan presented at ALDEA Digital for Carlos Slim Fdn. & was on CNN MX
 
Top Goals for 2015-2016:

1.) Planning is underway for our 1st product launch into the marketplace in both Apple iTunes and Google Play.

2.) Continue to aggressively seek funding to provide parent and teacher training and other initiatives basing the funding applications going forward on previous awards and funding from:  having won the NE Patriots Foundation Myra Kraft Volunteerism Award 2014; Inducted into Parkway People;  Award Received by the Mass Advocates for Children for 20 Years of Volunteerism on Behalf of Children with Disabilities; Teamsters Local 25 Boston Grant Recipient; Mass Challenge Global Finalist. TechHub Boston providing free office space, mentoring, advice and networking opps

3.) Hire one or more of the following: a CTO & working up to a team to execute our vision

4.) Continue relationship with the City of Boston (COB), and expand our pilot throughout Boston, Massachusetts, the US & beyond.


Needs Statement


 

1. Create a strong, passionate, powerful Board.
 
2. Hire a Director of Development. In order to do so we need to raise some capacity building funds.
 
3. Put a team in place to execute our Business model, Management, Marketing and Social Media personnel in order to complete the development work and technical support to conduct webinars and remote trainings so that we may support everyone using the application and the staff needed to support all of our efforts.
 
4. Must raise revenue, i.e., approximately $1,000,000, to get fully staffed; we could start with a subset of the staff and build from there.

CEO Statement

As the parent of a son with autism, when autism was not a household name, I was isolated from everyone and everything. I had the child who was out of control and was constantly being shunned, denied programs and felt like my son and I were social outcasts. I was told to institutionalize my son, that he would never learn, speak, be potty trained and to send him away and get on with my life. I was appalled to say the least.  There were no services, no Googling the web, no support groups, no resources, nothing.  I worked relentlessly to find anyone that would help me help my son. When he was almost 3.5, I realized he was a visual learner he loved to look at pictures."If I see it then I understand." I took this visual strength that he had and used it to maximize his potential to learn; it was an amazing breakthrough!  It was like a lightbulb went off for my son. He didn't get the spoken language, however he could communicate and comprehend through pictures. 
I taught him many skills, routines, tasks, behavioral rules, dressing, eating, bathing and so forth.  You name it we had a picture for it! The countless hours I spent locating symbols/pictures/logos, printing, cutting, laminating velcro & ink costs was never ending as my son grew...the visuals had to grow with him.  It was exhausting!  When you think of what a child says in a day or plays with, if he is not feeling well, if someone hurts him, and so forth.  Everything needed to be represented visually. When I paired the picture with the auditory it was an amazing breakthrough, stronger family unit,  but the vocabulary was going to grow and so I had to grow with it otherwise he could not communicate. Alas 21st century problems require 21st century solutions & with technology surrounding us, there had to be a better, more efficient way to do this. Today we can do this in a fraction of the time I spent over the last 24 years and we can do it more effectively, cost efficient,  with video and camera capabilities. This technology will be a game changer for children with autism and to have the ability to have the mobile devices speak as well is HUGE! Our apps will totally be customizable with mom/dad, a sibling, neighbors voice etc. In addition to taking all the years of visual supports I created and putting them on a mobile device for a child, it is also less socially stigmatizing. The kids look just as cool as their typical peers! If the tech was available to my son then I wonder where he would be now. TAN can help other families, offer hope, without going thru what I did. My son had emerging speech at 12!

Board Chair Statement

I chose to be a volunteer in this organization because I have watched Marie grow with her son and never give up.  She has six children and it amazes me what she not only has achieved for her son but for all children with autism.  Marie has paved the way for others, it was never just about her son when I watched her fight for services and demand resources and support it was for all families living with a child with autism. She offers HOPE to families, in a warm, loving way. She has helped so many children, families, professionals with autism that it only felt right to volunteer and help this "warrior mom" she never ever gives up.  The landscape of autism has changed in the City of Boston because of people like Marie.  She is a force to be reckoned with and she will never ever turn down a parents quest for help. She is so passionate about autism, it is what drives her.  Her creativity in getting children with autism to communicate and function in their environments is heartwarming and truly amazing.  To take all the knowledge and the years of clinical experience and start an organization dedicated to helping children with autism and there families is a testament to Marie's unwavering love and passion for individuals with autism and complex communication needs. 

Geographic Area Served

INTERNATIONAL
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
STATEWIDE
We are located in Boston and are focusing first in testing locally within Greater Boston and New England.  However, the resources that we are creating can be used globally and ultimately the community will benefit from the diversity of its members.  There will be special attention to low income families as well that may not have the means for these supports, for example, "Boston's Circle of Promise." We have also made the app available in 14 languages.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Special Education
  2. Health Care - Patient & Family Support
  3. Unknown - Unknown

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Yes

Programs

Online Community

An online community where members can share experiences and resources to help with all types of issues related to supporting someone with autism, including the ability to share content.  Initially there is development costs and then there would be ongoing support costs.
Budget  $400,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Specific Populations
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success 
All the professionals and parents with a child will be able to share content and results and be able to communicate about progress.   Achievements are tracked and progress is quicker.
The first step is to create the community so that we can develop a membership. 
Program Long-Term Success  Be the go to resource for families, professionals and individuals with autism to be able to utilize innovative technology that can be used to foster improved learning and daily living skills.  Members of the community would be able to share content and ideas as well as learn best practices from experts and learn how to progress.
Program Success Monitored By  Incorporated in our community will be experts that can provide guidance to families, teachers and other professionals.  All of the activity that is being done within the app will also be tracked so that actual achievements within the app will be tracked and progress can be documented.
Examples of Program Success  After our first training sessions with Boston Public Schools, we were getting requests from many other schools to allow them to be part of our pilot.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Mostly, we need to raise revenue.  We are a fairly new nonprofit and 100% volunteer-run. However, we already have earned the attention of international Foundations and individual donors like Carlos Slim from Mexico, and local support such as Bob Kraft and the New England Patriots Mrya Kraft Foundation,  significant support from the late Mayor Thomas Menino.  We partner with The Boston Public Schools to pilot test the apps and have gained much respect for the work we do. We must now raise the funds to bring our work to scalable models.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Marie Duggan
CEO Term Start Dec 2009
CEO Email marie@tech4autismnow.org
CEO Experience

Technology for Autism Now, Inc, Founder

December 2009 – Present (5 years 4 months)

Improving the lives of children with autism and their families through innovative technology solutions.
Developed and successfully piloted TAN'S first in a suite of Autism Apps within Boston Public School System with an expansion taking place full swing this school year. With its cost savings and patent pending built in data collection system, this app is a win win for the children, school districts, teachers, parents/professionals and caregivers.  Mother of a 24 year old son who is severely autistic who lives at home with his parents and 5 siblings.  
Initiated and started the Mayors Autism Task Force, Organized with the Mayor's Office the 1st Autism Summit at the Landmark Ctr in the US Started a pilot for children with autism in Boston's Circle of Promise to attend a summer camp that was hugely successful at The Bridge Center. Started a highly innovative technological program for adolescents on the spectrum with the Mayor and BPS.  National and International Presenter on the use of technology and visuals across all environments. 

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
yra Kraft Community Volunteerism NE Patriot's Foundation Volunteerism 2014

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Non Profit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

Boston Public Schools

City of Boston 
Lesley University
EveryoneOn
Telmexhub 
New England Patriots Foundation
CanopyCity 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 3
Number of Contract Staff 6
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 2
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 1
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No Bi-Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A

Governance


Board Chair Mrs Marie Duggan
Board Chair Company Affiliation Children's Hospital of Boston
Board Chair Term Dec 2009 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Delia Devito Community Volunteer Voting
Joseph Edward Duggan Community Volunteer Voting
Marie Duggan Children's Hospital of Boston Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mrs Marie Duggan Jason Roberts Challenger League Special Needs Baseball Voting

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Marie Duggan Jason Roberts Challengers Baseball League Voting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 5
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 3
Other (if specified): Disabled
Gender Female: 6
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

    --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

We are looking for non profit Board Members that share our mission and funding for a Director of Development in order to help us with a capital campaign and fundraising.

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2014 to Dec 31, 2014
Projected Income $175,000.00
Projected Expense $165,000.00
Form 990s

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

2010 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $88,001 $86,192 $98,098
Total Expenses $44,854 $41,516 $26,053

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $88,001 $86,192 $98,098
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $44,854 $41,516 $26,053
Administration Expense -- -- --
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.96 2.08 3.77
Program Expense/Total Expenses 100% 100% 100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $246,199 $203,052 $158,376
Current Assets $48,785 $22,552 $17,216
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $246,199 $203,052 $158,376

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf inf inf

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

As an additional note - TAN has invested significant amounts in the development of its technology and software application to be launched in 2015, which has been capitalized and not reflected in prior years expenses above.

Foundation Comments

This is a newer organization, founded in 2010. Financial summary data in the charts and graph above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available. 
 
For fiscal year 2014, the organization indicated a total Program Expense of $63,941; however, this exceeded the amount listed for Total Expenses. As such, the total Program Expense reflects the Total Expense amount listed in the 990: $44,854.
 
For fiscal year 2013, the organization indicated a total Program Expense of $44,675; however, this exceeded the amount listed for Total Expenses, as such, the total Program Expense reflects the Total Expense amount listed in the 990: $41,516.
 
For fiscal year 2010, the organization indicated a Program Expense of $49,500, for the development of the technological devices for children with autism. However, this exceeded the amount listed for total expenses, the organization is working with its preparer to adjust, and any new financial documents will be posted above as they become available. 

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Ultimate Goal, Desired Social Change and Intended Outcomes:

TAN aims to address the many unmet service needs that autistic individuals of all ages face today which is helping these people lead more functional lives in their homes, schools and communities. We are providing the tools to make this possible through innovative technology.  The desired social change and intended outcomes will include: improvements in communication thereby lessening their tantrums, frustrations, aggression and anxiety and ultimately resulting in greater understanding among their peers, family, community, school in addition to increased achievements and accomplishments at school, social situations, community, and jobs.   

Equally important, TAN will be providing critical supports and tools for parents, teachers and caregivers who are often poorly equipped to deal with the sometimes debilitating demands that come with raising a child with autism and other disabilities.

Goals for the Next 3 to 5 Years:

TAN Aims to Develop, Refine and Launch the Digital Toolset, which will Provide Practical Point-of-Need Applications (Apps) 

TAN plans to develop applications and software solutions for various mobile devices such as iOS & Android as well as a robust web portal (“online digital toolkit”) to share best practices and practical, easy-to-use tools for families, teachers, professionals and caregivers dealing with children and autism.

The TAN apps will enhance teaching, socialization, communication, organization, and behavior for children on the autism spectrum thereby improving the family unit as autism is the highest divorce rate out of any other disability.

Long-term success is defined by:
With the proper implementation, these applications will help children on the autism spectrum develop transitioning and vocational skills including job placement as they mature into young adults, will be less costly on government and will require less financial support on schools, families and society.

TAN will also develop programs for parents and teachers to educate these caregivers in a series of applications and devices in order to create a support system for children on the autism spectrum.  Eventually, TAN plans to create similar techniques and applications to assist language, communication and comprehension skills for people with other disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, various developmental delays and hearing impairments and people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia or those recovering from strokes and brain injuries.

We will know we have been successful when: 
TAN applications are in place in multiple schools and locations for multiple students and other users, and the users, their teachers and family members indicate significantly increased rates of improved communication and understanding of the individual's wants and desires.  In addition the built in data metrics will be made available to hospitals, universities, researchers, mathematicians and scientists in order for them to look at autism through a different lense. Seems everyone is seeking a cure but we have proven scientifically that given the tools these individuals can learn and the tools we've created can be utilized from early diagnosis right through adulthood.  We are opening a new window into autism!

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

The major strategy at this time is to generate revenue for TAN and build its momentum to foster its full benefits for its consumers.  We plan a major product launch with Apple iTunesand Google Play  To do this now, we are striving to take the current TAN pilot that occurred last year with great success in three classrooms at the Boston Public Schools (BPS) working with students in substantially separate classrooms.  The students were all in younger primary school grades, between the ages of 6 and 11.  They all had severe communication delays, were in segregated classrooms and extremely behavioral. 

All teachers involved in using TAN'S iPad autism app to teach their students reported improvement in communication skills and expressed 100% satisfaction with the tools.  They stated that the application saved them significant time and costs in printing visual aids, and making visual supports, finding symbols, printing, paper, ink, laminating and then having to use velcro.  Instead, they could devote more quality time to teaching their students and giving more immediate feedback to students' needs, questions and desires by having the visual aids & voice output immediately accessible by the technology. IEP goals and objectives were met more readily.  Teachers reported with the built in ABA prompt hierarchy & dashboard in the cloud, charting progress was not only a huge time saver but a consistent way to regulate progress.  They could customize the tasks for the children using familiar voices in their native language 

The next step would be to take this pilot and expand to at least 17 BPS classrooms, collect and analyze the data on the use of the newly developed app based on teacher feedback from the first pilots success with more children in the schools, more teachers, save more time and a huge financial cost savings to the Boston school district, increased teaching time and meet more IEP goals and objectives, decrease student frustrations and increase student satisfaction, inclusion, acceptance by peers, expression and learning. 

Eventually, the next part of the strategic plan will be to go beyond the increased number of classrooms in the BPS and extend to as many schools as possible in Massachusetts, the nation, and beyond, collecting and evaluating data along the way and publishing results for dissemination and replication purposes.  There are thousands of autism apps out their but what separates us from them is the fact that we took the time to put the science behind the app, conduct pilot studies by a scientific researcher with the goal to publish in a peer reviewed journal, we also did usability testing at Lesley University in Professor Keefe's autism graduate program with great results. We have a plan to introduce the app into rehabilitation settings, adult day habs and vocational programs that service individuals with autism in order to help them become more independent. In addition we have invitations to meet with Penn State, OSU, Children's Hospital, Mass General Hospital Autism Program, Developmental Medicine, Private Autism Programs throughout MA and CT as well as inquiries all over the US. TechHub Boston has just launched their first TechHub in the US and has invited TAN to be a member and offer advice, help, free office space and mentorship.  Google in Cambridge has selected TAN to provide us with a team of 3 Google experts from April through June 8 hours week to help us with SEO, Google Ad Words, and how to utilize all of Googles products in order for us to become more organized

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

Founder of TAN, Marie Duggan, and Her Story:

Marie Duggan is the type of woman who hears "yes" when others say "no." As a mother of six children, one severely affected with autism, she is also the type of woman who gets things done. Told that her son Michael would never speak, she helped him find his voice. Told that Michael would never be able to stack blocks, she bought soft blocks, colored blocks, big and small blocks, and patiently coached Michael until he learned to stack them all.

A medical professional once told Marie, “Your son has the goods; we need to provide him with the tools.” That was all the motivation Marie needed.  The problem: there were no tools. So Marie Duggan created the tools, and the toolbox, herself.

Through trial and error with Michael, from his childhood into his adulthood, she forged creative modes of communicating,  used functional ASL, developed innovative solutions, and refined emerging technology—from creating a series of visual schedules, cues and pictorial locators using a software program with over thousands of symbols to setting up a tablet-style computer with an onscreen icon-based keyboard that enables Michael to form a grammatically correct sentence.  Marie’s strategies have led the way to many of the assistive technology communication solutions used today.

Along the way Marie Duggan also became a fierce advocate, fighting the system whenever it failed to support parents and caregivers, helping overwhelmed teachers find ways of coping with the immense demands of working with children with autism.  After meeting the Mayor of Boston when Michael was a young boy, Thomas Menino, she formed a relationship that led to the creation of a special program for low-functioning students with autism in 2006, sparing many parents the pain of sending their children to residential treatment and saving Boston more than $300,000 per child per year in the cost of outside placements.

It wasn’t long before Marie became an internationally recognized advocate for all children on the autism spectrum.  To continue on her path, she founded Technology for Autism Now, Inc., an organization devoted to developing alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) tools that help children with autism lead fuller, more functional lives at home, in school, and in their communities. 
 
Marie’s ideas for creating Mobile applications (iPads, Tablets and Smart Phones) for people with autism generated support from Boston’s Mayor Menino, hospitals such as Children’s Hospital Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital, schools, and technology leaders such as the MIT Media Laboratory and FableVision, a Boston-based educational  children's media developer and publishers, as well as Getfused in Boston's Innovation District. 


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

The individuals we work with will define the progress we are making in addition to the patent pending data we are taking from within the application on the basis of Applied Behavioral Analysis which is stored in the cloud and readily available to view or print wirelessly in a variety of exceptional info graphics.  The information collected on the dashboard of each individuals unique cognitive processes we can anonymize and make available to researchers etc.  Certain permissions are assigned on the dashboard i.e, a teacher can only see her own students, a principal can see all the teachers in his school and how their students are progressing, the Superintendent can see how their whole district is doing overall and the Dept of Education can see how the entire state (once implemented across all school districts that service kids with autism) in addition a teacher can give a parent permissions regarding their particular student.  In addition this application is not only helpful for children and adults with autism but also anyone with a traumatic brain injury, down syndrome, stroke victims, alzhiemers or anyone with a complex communication need.  This application has the potential to improve the lives of so many individuals.  Not only do we fall under the education realm but we believe we can have an enormous impact with the healthcare community as well.  

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

`Developed and successfully piloted TAN'S first in a suite of Autism Apps within the Boston Public School District with an expansion taking place full swing this school year. With its cost savings and patent pending built in data collection system this app is a win win for the children and their families school districts, teachers, parents/professionals and caregivers.

Founder Marie Duggan recently presented at ALDEA Digital in Mexico City, the world's largest technology digital inclusion conference in the world with over 259,000 participants! They made 3 new Guiness Book of World Records this past April 2014. In addition to presenting at ALDEA DIGITAL on Technology For Autism Now and the newest autism app "AutiKnow," she also stayed for a week while a team of developers at TelmexHub worked diligently to translate the app into Spanish by way of the Carlos Slim Foundation in order to make it available on the Android, Windows 8 & Blackberry platforms. TAN will soon start its first International pilot in Mexico City!

TAN is currently working on a product launch both with Google Play and Apple iTunes.
 
TAN has recently become a premier partner with Everyoneon which is an organization with a mission to enable all people able nor disabled with low cost accessible internet service and hardware across the entire US!  TAN is very excited to be partnering with them in this initiative as we all know that autism is a world wide epidemic and knows no socio economic background.  We are planning that the children across the US that sign on for this extremely low cost service we may have our app already loaded on the device we provide to them.  These are some of the initiatives we are in discussion with.