NEWS & EVENTS | August 18, 2017

Treating Autism: USB Professor Receives Grant for Translation of Online Tool 

Computer, Ipad and earphones


A project of an international scale is taking shape at Université de Saint-Boniface (USB): the development of a French version of the online tool Simple Steps1, a resource website for helping with the treatment of autism. Geneviève Roy-Wsiaki, psychology professor at USB and project coordinator, is happy to announce the support of the Winnipeg Foundation in this initiative with a contribution of $50,000.

Simple Steps is an online tool offering training and comprehensive resources for treating Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). “The site is of course intended for parents of children with ASD, but it can also be helpful for all parents, professionals, students, as well as those interested in the subject and looking to promote favorable behaviour”, explains Geneviève Roy-Wsiaki.

Based in North Ireland, thus originally made available in English, the website is gaining in popularity around the world and has now been translated into ten languages. However, not yet in French. “It’s suprising. Though, the more this site is translated, the more people will be able to benefit from the tool.”

Professor Roy-Wsiaki’s expertise is applied behavioural analysis, an area with little French-speaking experts. When she was first contacted, the USB professor jumped on the chance, knowing well that a tool like this would be of great interest to the Francophone community in the province. “I feel quite lucky that we thought of me for this project. I obviously accepted, seeing as there are so many Francophones in Manitoba.”

The creation and translation of the website are the two major costs. Due to the Winnipeg Foundation’s contribution of $50,000, as well as USB’s $5,000, the project can go forward. “We are so close to our objective. It’s marvelous!”

With USB, and Société de la francophonie manitobaine and St.Amant as partners, this project has quickly become a community initiative. In fact, a pilot project is set to be launched by the community and for the community. Parents, professionals and students will be invited to take the website for a test flight, free of charge for a month, before the lifetime subscription is introduced at the cost of 35 £ ($75). “Feedback is very important. With it, we’ll be able to enhance the website before its official launch.”

As the first to implement this new tool in French, Manitobans are behind an innovative project that will serve the French community on an international level. Geneviève Roy-Wsiaki hopes to have the website in place by Spring 2018.


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