2014 Australian Mobile & App Awards

mobile, web, IoT, desktop, connected devices
design champion, best studio, best start-up & IoT
plus 20 specialist nomination categories

demand design, celebrate courage

Children with ASD & Disability [DRAFT]







Project Overview

For parents who have a child with disability or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused by information, amid the day-to-day demands of raising a child with special needs. Children with ASD & Disability is an app that gives parents the information and support they are looking for.

Designed and developed for use before and after diagnosis, this app enables parents to navigate local support and service systems, and learn more about disability and ASD wherever and whenever they need to.

Project Commissioner

Raising Children Network

Project Creator



Leon Young - Managing Director
Ross Duggan – Senior Producer
James Sutton - Art Director
Marianne Elliott - Graphic Designer
Phil Douglas- Technical Director
Marcus Lam - Senior Developer
Chris Davies - Developer
Nicole White - Instructional Design
Glen Jeffreys - Lead Instructional Design

Project Brief

Parenting a child with disability or ASD can seem overwhelming. There is a myriad of information, and many parents just don’t know where to start or what to expect before or after their child’s diagnosis.

The Children with ASD & Disability app enables parents to engage with information that de-mystifies what, where and how services and support can assist their child and family

With two pathfinders, ‘Explore ASD Support’ and ‘Explore Disability Support’, this app provides parents and carers with expert guidance to help them navigate through the Australian services system. These pathfinders give users information on funding and support before and after diagnosis, and outline what to expect in each stage of caring for a child with special needs.

Users can customise their information by connecting with a local directory of ASD and disability services. They can access the key contacts library to find organisations for support and assistance in their state, plus national websites and hotlines.

The app features videos of parent stories about their experiences, joys and challenges of raising a child with ASD or disability. Quality-assured articles provide accessible information on topics such as therapies and the emotional health of children with disability.

The app was developed by 2and2 for the Raising Children Network. Supported by the Australian government, the member organisations of the Raising Children Network are the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health and the Parenting Research Centre.

Project Need

Immediately after a child’s diagnosis of disability or ASD, parents are on a steep learning curve. Children with ASD & Disability is a comprehensive guide that de-mystifies information about the support and services available for children with special needs, and compiles them into one trustworthy resource.

The innovation of Children with ASD & Disability is its streamlined user interface and its ability to be personalised to each parent or carer’s situation. Children with ASD & Disability enables parents to engage and re-engage with the information available about ASD and disability support and services in Australia. It condenses it into localised information that can be tailored to a parent or carer’s individual situation.

Integration of video, text, and services pathfinders creates an engaging, user-friendly application that encourages exploration and engagement with the content. The Children with ASD & Disability app has videos of parents and carers talking about their real-life experiences with ASD or disability. They share their stories and give advice in areas such as positive family life, diagnosis, early signs, support, puberty, and school options and gives parents options for further information without overwhelming them.

Developed in consultation with parents, the Children with ASD & Disability app integrated suggestions and improvements made by parents to enhance the user experience and ensure the app provides critical support and information to parents and carers when they need it, where they need it.

User Experience

Our user-testing phase with parents highlighted how ‘time poor’ and busy parents of of children with ASD or disability are. It was crucial that the Children with ASD & Disability app provide a clear, consistent, and personalised experience so users can get relevant information quickly.

Each screen in the app presents a focused set of choices, which allows the user to access what they need straight away. The home screen’s simple interface gives parents and carers the option to explore one of two pathways – ASD support or disability support – or jump straight into finding a service in their local area. As parents progress into the paths, information is broken up into clear subtopics for easy navigation.

The app was developed in HTML 5 and Phonegap to allow a single code-base to be used for iOS and Android. Videos are integrated into the user interface to provide users with first-hand experiences from other parents and carers of children with ASD and disability. These are divided into subtopics again for easy navigation.

Another crucial feature of the app’s user experience is the ability for parents and carers to personalise information to their location and needs. The “Find a Service” tool uses Google Maps and Telstra Sensis geo-data to provide users with services and support in their postcode. Users can also bookmark services to come back to later under a “My Favourites” tab, so everything they need is literally at their fingertips.

Project Marketing

The Children with ASD and Disability app is to be promoted in print and online media, both internal (newsletters, staff bulletins) and external to Raising Children Network and its partner organisations the Parenting Research Centre, the Murdoch Childrens Institute and the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

Planning for a high-profile launch by a government minister is also underway, which will involve a media release and attendance by national media outlets. A short promotional video will be developed for use at launch and to promote through professional networks and peak bodies involved in the support of children and families with ASD and disabilities.

Raising Children Network will promote the app to its 32,000+ Facebook followers and its 2500 Twitter followers, and search engine optimisation strategies have been implemented to drive traffic to the resource. The app will also be promoted via Raising Children Network’s e-newsletter for professionals and through the Australian government’s Department of Social Services’ Disability Branch that connects with thousands of service providers across Australia.

Project Privacy

The app does not collect any personal information or track individual use.

This category recognises applications developed for Not-For-Profit organisations and charities.
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