People always ask me what we do at InfiniTeach, and being a pretty literal person, I respond with the stock answer, “We build technology to support the autism and IDD community…removing barriers to inclusion…etc etc” But, just the other day, someone pressed further, asking why we do what we do. ‘But what's your impact?' she kept saying.
As we talked further about the barriers that exist in inclusion and representation and authenticity (all topics in upcoming blog posts!), she looked at me and said ‘ Well, it sounds like you're trying to move the needle on social isolation.' That's exactly right, I thought.
Unfortunately, social isolation is a real and widespread challenge our society is facing, especially amongst people with disabilities. A recent study out of the U.K. found that adults with autism are 4 times more likely to feel socially isolated than the general public, and up to 70% of families impacted by autism report feeling socially isolated.
The effects of social isolation are real and far-reaching as well. University of Chicago psychologist Louise Hawkley, PhD, identified evidence linking perceived social isolation with adverse health effects, such as depression, poor sleep quality, and impaired immunity.
Our mission is clear – we exist to help communities break the cycle of social isolation by welcoming and engaging individuals with IDD and their families and friends. We cannot underestimate the impact and importance of this mission. Autism should not be a disability of isolation – no disability should. Thank you for joining us on this mission!