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Help us to make stretch goals for Android and tablets for a FREE app to find, add, rate, & review places for their autism friendliness.
Find, add, rate, & review places for their autism friendliness. Funded for iPhone & Android and working on iPad & tablet! Learn more on our site!
Find, add, rate, & review places for their autism friendliness. Funded for iPhone & Android and working on iPad & tablet! Learn more on our site!
1,236 backers pledged $75,393 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Autism Village | Easily Find Autism Friendly Places

$75,393

1,236

You made our goal! Now let's keep going to our stretch goals! 

 $63,500 will be enough funding for the Android Version of Autism Village.

$88,500 will be enough funding for the iPad Version of Autism Village.

$113,500 will be enough funding for the Android Tablet Version of Autism Village.

We have a challenge! A friend of the project will give us an additional $1 for every backer if we achieve more than 10,000 backers!

Many of our rewards are made by people with autism. With each contribution, you are also supporting someone with autism who is making your reward. And we've added two new rewards!! Check them out!!

Please help us to exceed our goal to endow Autism Village and make this app FREE forever!

There are 3 million families living with autism in the U.S. alone. 1 in 68 children who are born this year will be diagnosed with autism. Some researchers believe that by 2025 half of all children born in the US will be diagnosed with autism.

For autism families all over the world, a serious problem is finding autism friendly businesses, organizations, and places. For example: safe playgrounds and parks, highly recommended schools and therapists, or autism friendly retail services from restaurants to barbers.

Autism Village is…

...a FREE app which identifies autism friendly businesses, organizations, and services with ratings and reviews for their "autism friendliness" just for and by the autism community. New locations are easily added and existing ones discovered and reviewed by the autism community.

Why this app is important?

Autism Village helps autism families to find places that:  

 And the list goes on…

  • What restaurants are friendly and have the food we like to eat?
  • Where are safe playgrounds or parks where our kids can be kids? 
  • Where is there a barber or dentist who "gets" autism?
  • Is there an equestrian therapy nearby that’s good?
  • How about surfing, art, music, play, or other specialty therapies?

Autism Village will be a FREE app just for the autism community where we can work together to add, discover, rate, review, and find what places are “autism friendly”.

But we need your help to finish development and release the app.

We Know Who You Are...

We launched our Facebook page and Twitter accounts a few months ago, and this is what you've been telling us:

Our Facebook page and Twitter feeds quickly skyrocketed to over 10,000 followers and you gave us encouragement and positive feedback.

You improved our work with your suggestions and input.

You live in "The Village".

You are autism moms and dads and siblings and grandparents and godparents and friends.

You are teachers, aides, TSSs, psychologists, psychiatrists, specialized therapists, and developmental pediatricians who have made helping folks with autism your life’s work.

You are the millions and millions of people who love and care and are making a better future for those with autism.

And you are those unique, wonderful, talented, and out-of-the-box thinkers who are autistic.

Here is one of the dads from Kirby's boyscout troop explaining how Autism Village would help him:

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Who are we?

The Village is being created by autism dad Topher Wurts and an extended group of volunteers as a project of passion.

We say that Autism Village was founded by Kirby, Topher’s son, because it’s been the journey of raising Kirby and immersing ourselves in the autism community that has ignited us to bring together our skills to create better futures for those with autism and the ones who love them.

There are literally bunches of volunteers working on Autism Village. The support for our early efforts has been humbling. We won’t go through them all but here are a few of the key folks who are bringing Autism Village to life:

Why Are We Here on Kickstarter?

We need your help to bring Autism Village's free app to life.

We need to raise money to finish, release, and keep the app free.

It’s just that simple.

What Are We Asking of You?

We’d like to ask you just three things:

1. We are asking you to share this project and our mission with your friends, family, and others. Spreading the word is the single most valuable thing that you can do to help us succeed here on Kickstarter.

2. We are asking you to help us with a contribution to our project. Even the smallest level shows solidarity and support for what we’re doing. The number of supporters is as important as the total dollars.

3. We are asking you to check out the amazing rewards on the right. Every reward has a special linkage with this project and also to the autism community. We’d love you to pick the “No Brainer” level of support.

Please help us to exceed our goal and endow our app so that finding autism friendly places will be FREE forever!

Where Does the Money Go?

We’ve had a ton of help from friends, family, and volunteers but eventually it takes more, it takes…well...a village, to raise the money that’s needed to go forward.

The funds will go to:

  • Complete the graphics for the screens
  • Complete user interface design
  • Finalize the back-end database and delivery system
  • Finalize the development of the app itself 
  • Testing and Quality Assurance of the app and delivery system
  • Quality review and pre-loading of businesses, organizations, and places
  • Connecting to location based services for “near me” functionality
  • Creating redundant systems to serve the app 
  • Moving delivery systems to high availability managed hosting centers
  • Getting the word out about the app to develop critical mass of users
  • Ongoing support and maintenance of the app and delivery systems

Exceeding our goal will keep Autism Village FREE!

If we surpass our initial goal for the iOS app, we will be able to complete this same list for Android and the browser versions. After that, funds will be used for stretch goals including: add-on features, ongoing operation and support of the free service, and the development of other planned apps and services on our roadmap.

The Fine Print

There’s really not much fine print. We will do our best to finish this first app and release it quickly. We expect it to take only a matter of months before the free app is available in the app store. We are experienced in app design and building and have done enough of the foundation work to be confident that the app will be completed and released in a timely manner.

Because of the success of this Kickstarter, the app will be free for all to use and we hope to raise enough funding to keep the service free. However, eventually we may need to fund the ongoing operation of the app and we have formed a non-profit entity to continue to provide the free service. A combination of charitable donations, advertising, and possibly subscriptions may eventually be required to sustain the ongoing operation of the app for free.

Thank you for joining the Village

If it takes a village to raise a child; it takes a very special village to make a better future for many children.

Trust me, it’s worth it.

The future will be full of autistic people and it will be richer for them.

If we can all come together to accept them and to help them to succeed, they will reward us with a completely new way to see our world and to create, together, a brighter future for everyone.

Welcome to Autism Village where we have all pledged to be a part of that future.

Together, we are creating a better future for families living with autism and those who love them.

Thank You

Risks and challenges

Development risk

This is a mobile, web, and server based software project. While we are experienced software developers and app builders, many of us are also volunteers. The funding from this Kickstarter will allow us to hire the much-needed help to get the service completed but we are always balancing our day jobs with the volunteer work for Autism Village. We don’t expect this risk to result in anything more than potential delays – and it’s our goal to complete the software early – but it’s a risk so we’re noting it here.

Deployment risk

As this is a mobile app – there are various risks in approval and deployment from Apple (and Google if we can raise enough to do Android) that are out of our control. We can’t imagine any problems but it’s a process that we do not control so we’re noting it here.

Hosting of this app will be in a cloud based service. This will have an ongoing cost and Autism Village does not yet have sufficient track record as a company, non-profit or otherwise (our non-profit filing is in process), to ensure that we’ll be able to fund the hosting on an ongoing basis. As a result, we could run into issues with contracts with the cloud hosting provider accepting us as a customer. Of course, if we overachieve in our fundraising here on Kickstarter, we can prepay months or years of hosting. Various project founders might also be willing to co-sign for this hosting.

Quality Assurance/Bugs

It is possible that once we get the end to end software completed, we come across some software bug or quality issue which generates additional work which delays the release. This is always the case in any software/system project but we’ve lots of experience in this and we’re sure we’ll get through it if it pops it’s ugly head up.

Adoption risk

It is critical that we quickly develop a large user base for this app to make it really useful for the autism community at large. We are planning for good word of mouth and word spreading through the social networks on Facebook, Twitter, etc. to achieve this. We have not planned on much use of funds for promotion. If we’ve underestimated the cost and effort to get the word out, and we don’t overachieve our funding goal to make up for this, we could have a released app with too few users to be useful. If this becomes the case count on us to make every personal effort to get the word out and to raise more funds to help.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    #Tag10forAutism reward!
    Get a free download of The Johnny Orr Band's song about life on the spectrum: We'll Get By

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    69 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You receive an in-App Founder's Member Badge, giving you access to the Autism Village “Founder’s Room”, an online place for our true believers to help shape the future of Autism Village. And, of course, a shout out on our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages as well as a mention on Topher’s blog!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The previous reward PLUS a personal thank you card designed by our own Becki Lapotsky and signed by Kirby sent to you in the mail!

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    100 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ALL of the previous rewards PLUS a silver key ring or shepherd's hook bookmark with your initials stamped on a silver puzzle piece charm assembled by Autism Village's founder Kirby!

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    168 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    AUTISM VILLAGE SWAG REWARD

    You'll receive an official Autism Village T-Shirt! The first 25 backers will also receive an "All Access Pass" we had printed for our Autism Village Dance Party event with your name on the pass!

    *Please note this is a standalone reward and not included in the other reward levels.

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    13 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    ALL of the previous rewards PLUS Cisco the Autism Alpaca made by autistic adults with our own Autism Village scarf! Cisco is made out of alpaca fur and is a cuddly companion!

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    49 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    EARLY BIRD!
    ALL of the previous rewards PLUS a unique autism awareness key chain/lanyard personalized with the addition of a sterling silver puzzle piece stamped with your initials assembled by Autism Village's founder Kirby.

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    Limited 124 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    ALL of the previous rewards PLUS a unique autism awareness key chain/lanyard personalized with the addition of a sterling silver puzzle piece stamped with your initials assembled by Autism Village's founder Kirby.

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    4 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    ALL of the previous rewards PLUS a beautiful hand crafted, painted, and fired 8" square ceramic tray! Your tray will be hand crafted by autistic adults just for you.

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    8 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    EARLY BIRD NO BRAINER LEVEL!
    ALL of the previous rewards PLUS an Autism Village autism awareness candle made by autistic adults. Your Founder member badge is UPGRADED to the Silver Level to let everyone know you supported us at the $150 level!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    SLEPT-IN BIRD NO BRAINER LEVEL!
    ALL of the previous rewards PLUS an Autism Village autism awareness candle made by autistic adults. Your Founder member badge is UPGRADED to the Silver Level to let everyone know you supported us at the $150 level!

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    Limited 7 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    NO BRAINER LEVEL!
    ALL of the previous rewards PLUS an Autism Village autism awareness candle made by autistic adults. Your Founder member badge is UPGRADED to the Silver Level to let everyone know you supported us at the $150 level!

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    16 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    ALL of the previous rewards PLUS a very cool Autism Village wooden block desk calendar crafted by autistic adults and personalized with your initials!

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    12 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ALL the previous rewards PLUS two CDs signed by Kirby: Dreaming in the Land of Can which helps kids on the spectrum to get to sleep and Kingdom of Should which is a movie length audio tale teaching acceptance, compassion and the possibilities of people who are perceived as different. You or your kids don't have to be autistic to appreciate these as well!

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    All of the previous rewards PLUS a limited edition Autism Village inspired throw pillow designed by Kirby's friend Jenny Lee Katz. Jenny is an award winning Welsh textile designer. Pillow signed by Jenny and Kirby!

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All of the previous rewards, PLUS a limited edition Autism Village inspired tote bag designed by Kirby's friend Jenny Lee Katz. Jenny is an award winning Welsh textile designer. Signed by Jenny and Kirby. PLUS your Founder member badge will be upgraded to Gold Level letting everyone know you supported us at the $1,000 level!

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    7 backers
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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    All of the previous rewards PLUS an invitation to dinner, music, and dancing with the Autism Village team! Music by Kirby’s favorite troubadour, Dan Frantz and special musical guests! You'll be able to cut the rug with Kirby and the Autism Village team!

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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    All of the previous rewards PLUS Kirby's friend Dan Frantz' duo Bubblin' Crude and Kirby will come to your house or your event for a TWO HOUR gig (Kirby's attendance is optional). Must be WITHIN 2 HOURS DRIVE of Philadelphia or you pay travel expenses. Availability based on prearrangement of schedule with Dan. PLUS your Founder member badge will be UPGRADED to PLATINUM, letting everyone know you came in at the $2,500 level!

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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    All of the previous rewards, except the $2,500 level, PLUS Kirby's friend Dan Frantz' duo Bubblin' Crude and Kirby will come to your house or your event for a THREE HOUR gig (Kirby's attendance is optional). Must be WITHIN 3 HOURS DRIVE of Philadelphia or you pay travel expenses. Availability based on prearrangement of schedule with Dan. PLUS your Founder member badge will be UPGRADED to RHODIUM level letting everyone know you came in at the $5,000 level!

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  20. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    All of the previous rewards, except the $2,500 level, PLUS a 14k White Gold Diamond Puzzle Piece Charm on your choice of key ring, bracelet, or necklace chain. The charm has fourteen round Diamonds for .16tcw. PLUS your Founder member badge will be UPGRADED to an icon matching your charm to let everyone know that you are one of a very elite group of major supporters of Autism Village!

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Funding period

- (45 days)