From 2011 to 2014, the FIRST project aimed to develop a tool called Open Book to assist autistic people to adapt written documents into a format that is easier for them to read and understand.
The Open Book tool sought to empower autistic people to read documents with confidence and autonomy. As a result, their social inclusion was increased as they gained better access to educational, vocational, cultural and social opportunities in Europe.
The software developed primarily assists autistic people to access to written information, thereby increasing their quality of life and social inclusion.
It also assists clinicians, support workers, family members of autistic people and teachers, to provide more efficient assistance to autistic people to help them understand written information. The software can also be helpful for people with low literacy or learning difficulties, as well as people who are learning a foreign language, and the elderly.
Open Book is available online in English, Spanish and Bulgarian.
FIRST was a collaborative project involving nine organisations across Europe, funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7, 2007-2013).
Autism-Europe’s played a dissemination role, ensuring that the autism community was aware of the project and the software programme was made available at the end of the project.
About the Seventh Framework Programme
The Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) was the European Union’s main instrument for funding research in Europe in the years 2007-2013. FP7 was the successor to the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) and was the result of years of consultation with the scientific community, research and policy making institutions, and other interested parties. The FP7 programme had a budget of 53.2 billion euros over its seven-year lifespan. Since their launch in 1984, the Framework Programmes have played a lead role in multidisciplinary research and cooperative activities in Europe and beyond.