One of the most rewarding things about creating assistive technologies for people with disabilities is how they sometimes deliver surprising, unexpected benefits that go beyond their intended purpose. It happens so often that it’s become one of our technology team’s founding principles -- when we make a product more accessible, we improve it for everyone.
That sentiment has never been more true than when it comes to technology and its impact on people with autism. After all, just about every person with autism communicates, interacts, and learns differently and the “spectrum” of social, communication and behavioral challenges can vary dramatically by individual.
With that in mind, meet Logan, an amazing, funny, and engaging 8-year-old from Annapolis, Maryland, who also happens to be autistic. He discovered our Xfinity X1 voice remote and talking guide – technologies that assist people with visual disabilities. Yet Logan, who was non-verbal for many years, gets tremendous value from the cause-and-effect of talking or pushing a button to make things happen. The remote has even encouraged him to try and expand his vocabulary.
We’ve added Logan’s story to our Xfinity X1 On Demand library and if customers say “autism awareness” into the voice remote, they’ll find his video alongside a collection of related content including, shows, movies, TED talks about autism, and videos from Autism Speaks.
And with Xfinity Home, families impacted by autism can get peace of mind by using features that provide alerts when doors and windows are opened in the home. Customers also can monitor their home by using our security cameras and App.
Finally, for families who want to keep their children’s internet habits on schedule, Xfinity xFi includes WiFi parental controls, time alerts and usage schedules that are simple and easy-to-use. These features are especially useful when parents want to pause WiFi during family dinners or bedtime hours.
All of these features and more are available within our suite of products, ensuring that Xfinity creates a positive experience for people of all abilities.