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Virtual Environment for Social Information Processing (VESIP)

Award Information

Department of Education
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Soar Technology, Inc.
3600 Green Court Suite 600 Ann Arbor, MI -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Virtual Environment for Social Information Processing (VESIP)
Agency: ED
Contract: H133S100019
Award Amount: $74,964.00


This project creates an immersive, theory-based tool that can assess and eventually train, social information processing (SIP) skills in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This tool leverages existing technology to rapidly create a virtual environment where children with ASD can participate in simulated social interactions. The virtual environment for social information processing (VESIP) system provides an environmental guide for children with ASD through social problem-solving situations based on the seminal Crick and Dodge SIP model. The VESIP system provides a significant improvement over existing measures of social skills in the following ways: (1) providing a standardized, computer-delivered form that reduces training requirements and scoring time, and increases comparability across populations; (2) theory-based assessments designed to pinpoint specific deficits in the SIP process for later individualized intervention; and (3) building an immersive, easily-customizable, game-like interface that is more engaging leading to greater ecological validity and a more accurate assessment of real-world skills. The VESIP for children with ASD provides significant social benefits by improving children’s social competency and independence in educational, recreational, and employment settings and improving long-term social functioning.

Principal Investigator:

Michael Van Lent

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Soar Technology
3600 Green Court Suite 600 Ann Arbor, MI 48105

EIN/Tax ID: 383382261
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No