Animated Language Learning to create 100 jobs

Irish start-up to establish centre for language development in Co Westmeath

Animated Language Learning chief executive Enda Dodd with twins Charlie  (left) and Billy Moody Webb. Photograph:  Maxwells

Animated Language Learning chief executive Enda Dodd with twins Charlie (left) and Billy Moody Webb. Photograph: Maxwells

Mon, Jun 24, 2013, 01:00

A centre of excellence for language development is to be established in Co Westmeath as part of a €100,000 investment by Animated Language Learning (ALL) and will see 100 new jobs created over the next five years.

The centre, which will feature state of the art audio visual technology and software, will be located at the headquarters of Irish Autism Action in Multyfarnham, according to ALL chief executive Enda Dodd. He said the 100 jobs will consist of software development, graphic design and support roles.

Developed by Mr Dodd, ALL is an internet-based software programme specially developed for children with autism and moderate to severe language learning difficulties. He created the programme following numerous failed interventions with his twin sons, Conor and Eoin, both of which have autism.

The internet delivered language learning works by building on the visual learning skills autistic children have, using repetition to reinforce the concepts of characters, action words, and socio-emotions. It uses clips from popular Disney Pixar movies like Toy Story to help autistic kids learn how to speak.

“The time has come to move the agenda globally from autism awareness, to effective intervention using 21st century visual tools,” Mr Dodd said.

Helping children with autism to communicate is steering them away from institutional care and from the lonely world associated with their condition, chief executive of Irish Autism Action Kevin Whelan said.

“It is great that an Irish man is driving this hugely significant global development, and we are proud and excited to have a centre of excellence here in Multyfarnham.”

ALL employs 10 people between Ireland and the US. The software is currently in its final study and will be launched in 2014.