Ciara-Beth Griffin

Founder, Mi Contact

Growing up with high-functioning autism, Ciara-Beth Griffin experienced difficulty maintaining eye contact, and the social isolation that came as a consequence. In an attempt to alleviate the negative effects that minimal eye contact had on her life, and the lives of others on the autism spectrum, Ciara-Beth created an app called Mi Contact.

The app and a small pilot study of its effectiveness won her a BT Young Scientist award and she went on to win the 2017 BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp. In partnership with the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre in Galway, Mi Contact was integrated into UNESCO’s campaign for empathy education.

In the next year, Ciara-Beth plans to launch Mi Contact in app stores worldwide. Her goal is to have the app in classrooms across the globe and to create a technological library of resources for therapists, teachers and parents to help young people with autism have better social interactions. In the long run, she hopes Mi Contact will create a larger dialogue surrounding the way society treats citizens with different social needs.