Tech startup helping people with learning disabilities to live independent lives. Creates and updates video content that users access by scanning QR codes with the AutonoMe app.

An app that helps disabled people complete tasks around the home and reduce the amount of support they need over time.

Switching up disability support

Ten years ago, founder William Britton was working a temp job at a local college, supporting students with learning disabilities. He began creating videos to help his students complete their work and came up with the idea of linking those videos to QR codes. His idea proved a success and he soon realised that the technology could help a lot more people. A year later, AutonoMe was founded.

Now AutonoMe‘s users scan QR codes placed around the home with their phones to access videos on how to complete everyday tasks – anything from making a cup of tea to using the washing machine. The library has expanded to over a 100 videos and William’s team work closely with service users to work out what content to create next.

The AutonoMe app helps disabled people reduce the amount of support they need over time, helping them become as independent as possible.

We looked at companies that could offer what we needed and we saw that CookiesHQ is involved with companies with a social impact. When one of our board members recommended them, it justified our feeling that they’d be a good choice.”

- William Britton, Founder of AutonoMe

Adapting to users' needs

When we first met William and his team in 2018, the app needed some work. We partnered with them to create a stronger, fuller-featured version of version one of their app – and we’ve happily watched the startup go from strength to strength since.

In early 2019, we released version two. Expanding on the initial idea, it has more content, a better video player, QR login, notification and search facilities and improved security. We added a scoring system, so the user can self-assess how much assistance they needed with each video. This will be displayed to the user after each video is viewed, giving them the choice of three levels of support. AutonoMe can then use this data to track the user’s progress over time and make further improvements.

Version two also has a tiled layout that’s easier to navigate and responds to the user’s needs – all designed to make it as easy as possible for a disabled person to lead an independent life.

Choosing React Native to build the app allowed us to reuse the JavaScript skills we already use to build web apps and create an app with a native behaviour (without having to juggle different languages to target both Android and iOS). We couldn’t be more pleased with the result.

Technologies used: React Native, Firebase, TestFlight

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