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Brain Parade brings developers together for Autism Speaks

This blog post is by Jim McClafferty, Brain Parade Founder and President.

I’ve been a proud partner of Autism Speaks for almost a year now. My company, Brain Parade™, launched our iPad app, See.Touch.Learn.™ in March 2011 and I created a special “Light it up Blue” library to raise funds Autism Speaks™ and celebrate Autism Awareness month. I’ve also participated in Autism Walks in Southern NJ, Westchester, NY, and the San Francisco Bay area and have a tremendous amount of respect for the organization.

It’s always been important to me to give back and I’m always looking for creative ways to do so. The Light it up Blue library idea is one that I am particularly proud of. When the folks at Autism Speaks contacted me about the iPad giveaway program to see if I would be interested in participating in some fashion, I said absolutely. I would provide one copy of See.Touch.Learn.™ Pro 2012 to each iPad recipient. That was a $4,000 contribution, but that was too easy. I was looking for something more creative, more impactful.

Brain Parade belongs to a collaborative of developers who build family-friendly apps. It’s called Moms with Apps and it was started by four moms who were developing family-friendly apps and who connected through Twitter to share ideas and best practices. It has grown to over 600 developers including some “Dads with Apps” like me. I reached out to the Moms with Apps community to see if developers were interested in providing some free apps to give away with these iPads. I wasn't expecting any one developer to provide enough copies for every iPad recipient. I figured I would mix and match so that everyone got one or two additional apps. You see, what most people don't know is that in the Apple world, developers are only allotted 50 free copies of their apps that they can give away. Free app codes are a pretty hot commodity for us developers. If we want to give away anything more than 50 copies, we actually need to purchase them from Apple and then give them away.

So imagine my surprise and delight when 43 developers responded to my request and pledged 1,000 apps worth over $3,500! The common response was “Sure, I’d love to participate. Thanks for asking”. Thanks for asking? They were thanking me for asking them to give away copies of the apps! Amazing!

But it gets better. Shortly after Autism Speaks announced the iPad giveaway and we began to publicize the apps that we were bundling, I was contacted by more developers who wanted to participate. In a matter of days the total value of apps donated skyrocketed to over $17,000! Wow! I was floored.

To see the developers who have generously donated their Family Friendly apps visit

I started Brain Parade because I wanted to build something that made a positive difference in people’s lives. Partnering with Autism Speaks has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me, and the response from the developers who stepped up for this effort has been truly inspirational. This is only the beginning. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Jim McClafferty

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.