Nesta to help young people with autism

Nesta Impact Investments is backing education technology that will help transform the classroom experience for people with learning difficulties

Nesta’s investment in Ai-Media UK willsee high quality live captioning (Ai-Live) being used to engage young people in schools and universities, helping them to improve their learning and development.

Originally developed in Australia to support people with deafness in mainstream schools and workplaces, the success of Ai-Live has led to it being developed for children and young people with many different needs.

Eileen Hopkins, Executive Director at Ai-Media UK says:’Ai-live has the power to transform lives. Children with autism or for whom English is an additional language face considerable barriers to accessing education. For students with an ASD, the technology helps by removing metaphor and figurative language, breaking down a teacher’s instruction into simple steps. It also allows teachers to analyse and improve their classroom performance. 

We’ve seen what a powerful tool this technology is for deaf people, and now with Nesta’s support we have the potential to reach many more young people and raise their educational outcomes.” 

Jude Ragan, Principal Of Queensmill School, which educates over 140 children and young people with autism in both specialist units and mainstream schools, says she believes it will be of huge benefit to students:“Children with autism are generally visual learners, and particularly when integrated into mainstream classes get lost and overwhelmed by the spoken language used.  

“Ai-live will give them the reassurance they need to be able to refer and crucially re-refer to either a verbatim real-time printed account of what has been said by the teacher, or a summary, depending on their need and understanding.”