Event Marks 10 Years of Ending Isolation For Young Autistic People
Over the last decade, The Lab – Australia’s technology club for young people on the autism spectrum – has empowered thousands of neurodiverse people aged 10 to 18 across Australia through the most difficult transitions of their adolescence. They’ve done this by breaking down the barriers of social isolation, exploring interests and learning new skills, all through interactive technology.
Tomorrow, 13 November, The Lab will host a world-first ‘SuperLab’ to celebrate a decade of amazing work. Communities and participants from across Australia will unite for a virtual day of fun, which will include presentations from Melissa Jayne Webster, Chair of The Lab Network; awards for projects submitted for The Lab Tech Challenge; and a gaming tournament.
‘’The SuperLab will provide some much needed fun and respite from yet another challenging year, bringing with it some healthy competition and celebrating our community as a whole,” says Melissa Jayne. “The SuperLab will also be a great way for participants to see this huge community they are a part of – which is at the heart of The Lab, building this sense of inclusivity and community.”
After launching in Melbourne’s western suburbs in 2010, the Lab Network has grown nationally to around 30 physical venues, along with the award-winning online offering The Lab Online. The Lab Network supports community organisers – such as parents, carers, community members and disability service providers – with tools, resources and support to establish and operate new community-based Labs.
The Lab Online has scaled up over the past 12 months to ensure continued support and community for young people on the autism spectrum, throughout the duration of the pandemic and beyond. Expanding the online offering has been a long-held goal for The Lab, who have always held ambitious plans to provide support networks for young people more likely to experience higher levels of isolation across rural and regional Australia, as well as metro. The SuperLab will underline these efforts, allowing participants from all corners of Australia to get involved.
A year in the making, The Lab has challenged participants to contribute to creative projects for The Lab 10 Year Tech Challenge, including designing The Lab 10 year tee, creating videos, animations and 3D artwork, video games and much more. The Lab has received over 20 submissions that will be awarded at the SuperLab.
The gaming tournament will include four classic games played across virtual game rooms: Super Smash Bros, Minecraft, Rocket League and Gartic Phone. Each game will be played in a tournament format, starting with a large number of participants whittling down to a smaller number and eventually a winner. All participants will receive a giveaway for participating.
The SuperLab event is open to existing Lab participants only.
Expressions of interest for The Lab can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting The Lab website: https://thelab.org.au/.