Circus Starr’s Show and Tell Interactive Visual Story for Children on the Spectrum

image taken from the Circus Starr Facebook page

image taken from the Circus Starr Facebook page

Circus Starr, Show and Tell, UK – have developed an interactive visual story app for children who are on the autistic spectrum. The app is free to download.

This digital project is a joint collaboration with  Glyndŵr University, who are the Research Partner, Therapy Box the Technology Partner and advisory expert Heather Wildsmith, Development Officer at the National Autistic Society.The project is supported by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, Nesta, Arts Council England and Arts and Humanities Research Council.
By using the app, children can view the story about visiting the circus. Then their own personalized visual story can be made, by inserting photographs of themselves and family members, text can also be added. After the event, a social story can be made about the visit, once again by adding personal photographs and text.
Their Mission statement is as follows:

‘A ground-breaking R&D project that will explore the role and impact of digital technologies in widening audience access and increasing engagement in the arts.

Our ultimate goal is to develop a useful product for children on the autistic spectrum that will also benefit, support and inform the wider arts and cultural sector.’

Cath Logan, is the Community Engagement Manager at Circus Starr and is responsible for the running of the Show & Tell project from March 2014 – February 2015. Cath’s role also includes working closely with the 180 children involved in the research programme, including one-to-one interviews and running app training sessions prior to each performance, the Circus Starr website states.

Image taken from the Circus Starr Facebook page, meet the troupe

Image taken from the Circus Starr Facebook page, meet the troupe

The App’s features include:

  • An interactive, customisable, visual story
  • Featuring a range of circus images and show footage
  • Helps children familiarise themselves with the circus experience
  • Alleviates some of the anxieties associated with unknown experiences
  • Enhances the child’s enjoyment of live performance
  • Increases confidence and helps develop social skills
  • Can be used as a springboard into exploring further cultural opportunities
    (theatre, galleries, museums) with siblings, family and friends.

Click here for information on how to download the free app

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The website can be found here