Friday, January 20, 2012

Dream for Autism Wiki

One of my dreams is that someday we will have a freely accessible and constantly evolving information website like Wikipedia, but a Wiki style system that is focused specifically on subjects related to the international autism community. We could call it Autipedia or something similarly fitting.

In order to have a page on the site the subject will have to have some connection to autism, as a person, resource, or organization. Celebrities included will need to have at least said or done something consequential in public discourse about autism. Unlike Wikipedia the people featured won't have to be famous in any respect, because all types of diverse stories can help the autism community find solutions to challenges.

Here is an overview of how Wikipedia works. A similar type of system could have value for the autism community and be a key reference in research on the many voices and resources of autism around the word.

I realize it may be a challenge to get this project underway because of the reality of the project.
  • This idea won't make any person famous. Instead it will empower people with knowledge and the opportunity to volunteer to participate in writing the story of autism. Content will be edited and categorized by a large group of volunteers and the subjects who have pages should be encouraged to self-edit so their information remains current. After all Wikipedia is what is because it's always being updated by volunteers and the original creators are somewhat of an afterthought today. 
  • This idea will not make anyone money. Donations will be needed to cover the cost of server space and the system, which possibly an autism foundation will want to back. Like Wikipedia no advertisements should be allowed, because that would possibly influence the neutrality of the presentation of the information. 
  • This idea won't promote a specific theory or treatment above others. It will be inclusive and include all ideas on autism, even the ones that reasonable minds differ about their value. 
Ronald Reagan said, "You can accomplish much if you don't care who gets the credit." I'm presenting this on the Internet in hopes that someone with the resources and maybe another someone with the technical background will feel the passion to help it come to fruition.

Contact me at if you have an interest in this. Quite possibly the concept has already been birthed somewhere and if so I'd love to be part of an existing project seeking to accomplish this. I believe this is a great idea, but I am only one person and can not do it alone. If you support this idea please leave a comment to that effect, so that others may see the level of interest.

Photo: The photo in this post was taken from Wikipedia and is in the Wikipedia Commons.

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