Manila pilots autism learning program

Together with the Autism Society Philippines (ASP) and Globe Telecom, VizZle has partnered with the Department of Education of the Philippines (DepEd) to meet the needs of children with autism in metro Manila schools. The ASP reports at least 500,000 Filipino families have a member affected with autism. Manila has approximately 5,000 of more than 6,000 children enrolled in the country’s special education elementary schools.

During the 2011-12 school year, the company’s flagship product will be piloted in two schools – P. Gomez Elementary School in Sta. Cruz, Manila, and P. Villanueva Elementary School in Pasay City – to gauge the effectiveness of technology in supporting specific learning styles of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

VizZle is a web-based authoring tool that helps educators to create fun, interactive, visually supported curriculum customized to the needs of children with autism and other learning challenges. Using any of the thousands of pre-made lessons from the peer-reviewed shared library or using lessons created with flexible templates and thousands of in-program or imported images, audio and video clips, teachers can track improved outcomes by IEP goals or any state standard

“According to DepEd data, only 195,000 children are currently enrolled in special education (SPED) schools in the Philippines, which is roughly 5 percent of the total number of Filipino children with special learning needs,” says Terry Murphy, CEO of Monarch Teaching Technologies, the company that created VizZle. “It is our hope that through the use of VizZle, we can help the families affected by autism in the Philippines effectively engage, communicate with, and educate individuals with autism.”

The DepEd was able to acquire two licenses for VizZle through the ASP, while Globe Telecom offered one year of free Internet connectivity to the pilot schools. The ASP provided training for 10 teachers from each school in late March, including strategies for teaching students with autism effectively using VizZle.