Autism Light: Hewlett-Packard

HP is a corporation with headquarters in Cupertino, California.  Some people still refer to them as Hewlett Packard, which represents the name of the founders and provided the words for the acronym HP. HP is an Autism Light because they hosted a Hackathon and are a critical sponsor of the Hacking Autism initiative that is collecting ideas to help people with autism use touch screen technology in new and innovative ways.

Hewlett-Packard along with Autism Speaks and the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation are sponsors of the initiative called Hacking Autism. Hacking Autism is set up to encourage ideas for new applications that will help people with autism use touch screen computers, tablets such as the iPad, or various smart phones. On October 11, 2011, Hacking Autism held a Hackathon at Hewlett-Packard’s campus. 429 application ideas have been submitted already.  Jim St. Leger who was an Autism Light on Oct. 17, 2011 was at this event and recommended an application. Below is a video providing an introduction to the Hackathon.    


The San Jose Mercury News published an article on HP’s valuable involvement in Hacking Autism on October 11, 2011.
Phil McKinney (an HP Executive) said volunteers were free to build on any software platform, including rival Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.  McKinney said, “Today is about making technology that gives a voice, and the ability to participate” (Source).Special thanks to HP for their key role in Hacking Autism and the recent Hackathon. Phil McKinney of HP indicates that volunteers are going to be refining the ideas brought forth at Hacking Autism and then they will be made available free to the public over the Internet. We hope this exchange of ideas on how to improve technology for those with autism will continue to be an ongoing initiative.

While HP has discontinued their production of a tablet, they still make the popular TouchSmart PC. The Hope Technology School has successfully used the TouchSmart PC to reach their students. An article about the Hope Technology School’s use of HP products to increase accessibility for children with autism is available at

HP also is a corporate donor for the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. They have donated 115 computers in recent years to the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism and sold additional ones at their cost to the foundation.

Social Media:  You can follow HP on the following social media areas:

For more information visit the HP website at or the Hacking Autism website at

Autism Light is a daily look at diverse heroes to the world of autism. 


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Alan Stokes
Autism Light is an upbeat but real blog that takes readers on a journey that recognizes diverse heroes in and for the autism community.
Alan Stokes

Alan Stokes

Autism Light is an upbeat but real blog that takes readers on a journey that recognizes diverse heroes in and for the autism community.

0 thoughts on “Autism Light: Hewlett-Packard

  • Anonymous

    Unfortuately, I would have to disagree with HP listed as an Autism Light.   While HP did support hacking autism, their own internal health insurance practices for employees with autistic children are quite lacking.   Even in CA with SB 946 mandating autism services such as ABA, HP with its model of self-funding its insurance plans is exempt and does not provide ABA services. 

    Trust me, as an HP employee Ive tried for ABA services for my son only to be denied.   Ive also exhausted a 30 session limit on speech therapy lessons.  Its just tragic to be a long time employee paying into insurance plans, and when a life altering situation needing medical attention comes up, only to find critical services are not available, it is a punch to the gut.   Like many parents with autistic children (HP or not), we have drained savings accounts, borrowed from parents, etc, to pay out of pocket.   I can honestly say, I understand how people could go bankrupt from family health issues related to Autism.
    I would list my name, but I dont want any trouble to come my way.   Honestly, Im happy to have a job given all the layoffs that have occurred.   But I do wish HP would do more for employees that have autistic children.


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