Workplace Acclimation for the Neuro-Diverse


Autism Speaks

My Role(s)

UX/Product Design
AR Design

Project Type

Case Study


We designed a comprehensive program to help those with certain neurological conditions including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) effectively navigate the difficulties of the modern workplace, abiding by BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) principles.


Unemployment rate among people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is 85%.

*according to a 2020 Autism Speaks study.

In contrast, overall US unemployment is 7.9%.

*as of September 2020

What are the barriers to BCBA implementation in the workplace?




How does being employed benefit those with ASD and/or other disabilities?

What does WAND stand for?

Workplace Acclimation for the Neuro-Diverse

HOW will it work?

By partnering with companies to create apps that can assist with acclimation to the specific jobs the company offers through utilization of BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) principles and evidence based techniques such as video modeling.

WHY will it work?

WAND is a workplace tool that we have developed based on 4 of the main Applied Behavior Analysis principles:

  • Training
  • Priming
  • Prompting
  • Reinforcing
AR Technology
Proven behavior analytics
A framework versatile enough
to be applied in a
number of workplaces.

Mobile App

The WAND mobile app pairs with the AR technology of Google Glass to break down workplace tasks into manageable pieces - providing guidance to individuals with learning disabilities (including those on the autism spectrum) to perform tasks, all within a framework flexible enough to be applied over a number of workplaces.

WAND is merely the vehicle by which this is achieved and can be adapted or re-branded to each client’s needs and specifications.

Google Glass Integration


This video provides an overview of the UI within the Google Glass from a first-person perspective.

As Glass listens in and detects a long lull in a conversation with a customer, it will provide the user/employee with guided prompts to ask follow-up questions until the matter is resolved.

Here our user/employee is tasked with returning an out-of-place item to its proper shelf location. Rather than resorting to a store map or their own knowledge of the store's layout, Glass walks them through the whole process step-by-step.

The Process

User Persona

  • Highly skilled, but has struggled to retain employment
  • Has been written off, since none of his bosses have understood his learning style 
  • Participated in an ASD workplace training program at a local shelter, but felt it wasn’t personalized enough
Corey, 29

Mobile App Wireframes

Thanks for Reading

Final thoughts

This was one of the most challenging projects I've ever been apart of, as I had to wear many hats on my team and navigate several unknowns. The challenge of designing & simulating an AR experience (with Spark AR) was a valuable one that enabled me to further develop in my skill set.

The Team

  • Chris Cole, AD
  • Kevin Ma, CW