Michael Igafo Te'o, Artist and AnimatorMichael Igafo-Te'o is an English-Irish-Samoan-Native American animator and is the Founder and CEO of Michael Igafo-Te'o Animation Studios. Skilled in traditional hand-drawn animation as well as Claymation, Michael and his younger sister Melody were also commissioned by The Disney Channel to star in the short film entitled, "The Time I Realized My Brother was Different." The film is based on a book Melody wrote as a child chronicling her own tales of playing games and eating pizza with her autistic brother.
Rumor has it that Michael already has a future independent film distribution contract with Warner Bros. Animation... All we know for sure, is he will always have a home in the Autism Today ARTS Network. Check out some of his stuff in his gallery!
And focusing on the visual engagement most people on the spectrum find success at, the Akiva Metaverse is accessible through Virtual Reality on the Oculus Quest 2. You don't even need controllers to make it work. Through hand tracking and a companion app, people of varying degrees of capabilities are able to take part in Akiva and they can do so at many stages of life development. While currently designed for both younger kids and older kids, the overall intention is for Akiva to stay with the individual and help them as they age and transition into adulthood. Constantly creating new worlds and stories, Akiva is a great way to immerse the user in an educational ecosystem in a fun and engaging way.
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