CSUF Entrepreneurship Alumnus Launches App to help Special Needs Kids

CSUF Alumnus David Chamberlain Launches App for Kids with Special Needs
CSUF grad David Chamberlain is shown with the Interact App he created in Irvine on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. The app helps parents of special needs kids find schools, health care and activities appropriate for their kids and provide feedback to other parents. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The OC Register recently published a great article on one of our alumni, David Chamberlain ’14, titled CSUF grad’s app connects special needs kids with resources just for them. David, like many CSUF Entrepreneurship students, has decided to really take on the challenge of launching his own business. And he is tackling a niche that is very important and far too often neglected by most entrepreneurs: services for kids with special needs.

Here’s a taste from the article:

Chamberlain has launched Interact, an app that allows parents of special needs kids to find suitable schools, health care and activities. It serves as a clearinghouse for information and allows parents to rate the providers and share feedback with other users.

The idea didn’t come to him until after he graduated from CSUF’s entrepreneurship program in 2014 and had been in the working world for a while. He got the itch to start something of his own, particularly in technology, and thought back to growing up with a friend with a learning disability.

“I’d go over to his house on the weekends; we’d go to the lake or go on vacations together,” Chamberlain said. “I saw over the course of spending time with him and his family how difficult it was for his parents to find activities for him or services for him locally that would be able to take the amount of care and provide the amount of attention he’d need to progress through a math course or a higher-level English course.”

Chamberlain realized there were gaps for people trying to find services for developmental or physical disabilities on traditional review sites such as Yelp. That site has added special needs services, he noted, but it takes a targeted search to find them. And other such sites specialize in one condition, such as Love My Provider, which focuses on autism. He wanted to provide everything in one place.

As soon as he realized there was an opportunity, he called a contact in web development in Rancho Santa Margarita to help him put together a basic mobile app. That contact was the father of his junior high friend with the learning disability.

David’s isn’t the only entrepreneur in the Cal State Fullerton community making things happen. We have many other success stories to inspire your creativity.

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