The Digital Autonomy Support in the Autism Spectrum (DATA) system and the connected services were developed by a research and development consortium of the Hungarian National Autism Society (Autisták Országos Szövetsége, AOSZ) and the HAS-ELTE ‘Autism in Education’ Research Group, on behalf of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Needs Education. The project was funded by an EFOP grant from the European Union and the Hungarian government.
The DATA system and services are designed to support and improve daily living skills, autonomy, and social participation of individuals with autism by providing an integrated mobile platform for visual supports at home-, school-, work- and broader social environments.
In the DATA system – comprised of a browser-based online ‘Planner’ and a connected mobile application (the ‘DATA app’) – several functions are available for visual support in a flexible, combinable and practical form.
The DATA services assist the implementation and use of the system in various forms: via a mentor-program by a HelpDesk-team, thematic workshops, e-learning materials, video presentations, user manuals etc.
The goal of the DATA / Digital Autonomy supporT in the Autism spectrum project is to develop a digital assistive system for enhancing autonomy and independence in the daily life of people on the autism spectrum.
The concept of the system builds on that of the one-time HANDS system: its main components are
- an assistive mobile application (the DATA app, both for Android and IOS), used by the user with autism; and
- a browser-based content management and monitoring service (the Content Planner), used by a supporting user.
As a key challenge, we attempt to provide a solution for users with autism from the broadest possible range of the autism spectrum.
Development is to take place through 2 prototypes and the final, to-be-publicised DATA system. A strictly evidence-informed design-development-evaluation process has been implemented.
The Project started in 2018, and is to be completed in March 2021. It is is funded via an EFOP grant, co-financed by the EU and the government of Hungary (EFOP-1.1.5-17-2017-00007). The main grantee (the lead of the Consortium) is the Hungarian Autistic Society (AOSZ), working together closely with the partner grantee, the ‘Bárczi Gusztáv’ Faculty of Special Needs Education of ELTE University (Budapest, Hungary).
The work of the ELTE team is also supported by a grant from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences within its Content Pedagogy Research Programme.
Who we are: the ELTE University team
The most of the research and development activities within the DATA project are done by the HAS-ELTE ‘Autism in Education’ Research Group (‘MASZK’ Research Group) in close cooperation with the Hungarian Autistic Society.
Our research group was officially formed at 1 September, 2016, and has been funded by a four-year grant from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS), within its Content Pedagogy Research Programme.
Our group amalgamate expertise from special education, psychology, health sciences, and human-technology interaction, in order to create and validate novel tools and methods to enhance the life quality, autonomy and personal development of people on the autism spectrum. We are convinced that effective and applicable pratices and methods can be developed on the basis of high quality systematic research only.
Beyond the members of the HAS-ELTE ‘Autism in Education’ Research Group, we invited several other colleagues into the team.
- Dr Miklos Gyori (MASZK Research Group): research team head
- Dr Judit Csákvári: coordination of large-n quantitative effectiveness studies
- Ágnes Havasi (MASZK Research Group): coordination of autism-specific aspects of system development
- Fanni Varga: coordination of lab-based effectiveness studies, research organisation
- Dr Anita Virányi: coordination of training and training methods development
- Dr Krisztina Stefanik (MASZK Research Group)
- Dr Márta V Molnár (MASZK Research Group)
- Ildikó Kanizsai-Nagy
- Csilla Bertók (MASZK Research Group)
- Sára Csuka
- Bianka Kármán
- Éva Kis-Jakab
- Bianka Bogdán
Most of us are also faculty members of the ‘Bárczi Gusztáv’ Faculty of Special Needs Education, ELTE University.
Our tasks within the DATA project
Our main responsibilities within the DATA project are:
- designing the functionalities of the DATA system on the basis of available educational and psychological evidence
- designing and running usability and effectiveness studies on, and overall evaluation of, the implemented DATA prototypes
- developing usage and administration methods and protocols for the DATA system, and their evaluation
- developing training protocols and materials to help users in learning and using the DATA system, and their evaluation.