We are motivated to engage this work as part of a larger effort improve the unacceptably low employment numbers for neurodiverse young adults.


Overview

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affect 1 out of 59 individuals, cost $137 billion per year in the U.S., and result in a staggering unemployment rate for adults who have the cognitive skills to contribute substantially to the technology workforce.

Over the course of 8 weeks, our interns work in teams as programmers, project managers, artists, testers, and designers with the aid of a peer coach to develop a research-based video game. They will develop their game from concept to production by fostering a stakeholder relationship with researchers. At the end of the program, interns present their achievements to the community, including industry partners and advocates, during a showcase event.

Our goal is to provide comprehensive workplace training in a supportive environment to enable individuals to thrive in tech occupations.


Details

Each year we engage a group of 25 individuals who are underrepresented in the tech workforce–individuals with developmental disorders, specifically autism spectrum disorders. This includes those who are either preparing to enroll, are currently enrolled, have graduated from 2- to 4-year college or post-secondary training school, or are otherwise seeking employment.

The primary criteria for admission are:

  • A strong interest in video game design or development applied to a research setting
  • A longstanding personal understanding of autism spectrum disorders or living with neurodiverse conditions.
  • Must be at least 18 years old, and have high school diploma or equivalent/GED by the start of the internship (June 14th).

We are interested in eager, motivated learners with a wide range of skills and abilities. Candidates will be selected based on qualifications and interest in the program. Interns will receive a stipend for their engagement in the program.


Interns will be expected to:

  • Engage in their assigned role and their team to make a cool project.
  • Be willing to learn, communicate, and engage in constructive collaboration with their interdisciplinary team, their coach, other members of the internship, and their stakeholders.
  • Work remotely in a professional environment for at least 20 hours a week (at least 4 hours for 5 days a week).
  • Attend and report during daily team meetings, biweekly stakeholder meetings, Lunch & Learn events, and a final showcase to demonstrate the culmination of their project work.

Interns will gain:

  • Experience in project-based work, allowing teams to gain knowledge of standard tech workplace practices and procedures.
  • Productivity skills including time management, focused note-taking, and effective communication.
  • Strengthened technical skills and exposure to workplace etiquette and expectations.
  • Proficiency in constructing a resume and using network-building tools such as LinkedIn.
  • Specific skills and familiarity related to different aspects of video game design and development.

Roles and Responsibilities

Each development team includes a programmer, project manager, artist, tester, designer. Each intern will learn to perform tasks to fulfill their designated role during the internship.

Programmer

  • Develop with Unity and the C# programming language
  • Use Git to compare and share code with other teammates
  • Write code that you can explain thoroughly to others with or without programming knowledge

Artist/Sound Designer

  • Use a graphic art software to create 2D/ 3D assets, and acquire graphics online for the game’s characters, background, UI, and objects
  • Import graphics into the project and review with the designer & tester
  • Sound Designer specifies, acquires, and creates auditory elements, like music and sound effects, using audio production techniques and tools

Designer

  • Communicate, document, and study the game’s design needs and best practices
  • Reflect the game’s intent, target audience, requirements into the game design
  • Work with the peer coach and project manager to adjust the game’s design based on stakeholder requirement and resource limitations

Tester

  • Repeatedly test for, attempt to replicate, and report bugs and errors in the game
  • Think outside the box to find ways players may inadvertently or deliberately produce bugs in the game
  • Work with the team to help ensure that features are working as intended according to the stakeholder specifications and design limitations

Project Manager

  • Use project management tools, like Jira, to plan project deadlines in an agile development cycle
  • Oversee project quality and progress through communication and evaluation in order to meet deadlines
  • Report progress to the stakeholders at the biweekly meetings

**Applications for the 2021 Internship are now closed**

Please contact us if you’d like to be informed of our
2022 Summer Internship Program


CHECK OUT PREVIOUS YEARS OF INTERNSHIP!

2020 Internship | 2019 Internship | 2018 Internship