The Mind the Gap in Education project was created to address the “gap” in the education system regarding meaningful inclusion, instruction, and overall progress of students in our schools (pre-k through post-secondary), with an emphasis on students with autism.
With the Mind the Gap project, we strive to directly provide supports to schools, classrooms, students and workers. Some of the supports come from our annual school supply donation drives, annual autism education campaign, workshops, consultations, education advocacy services, and other projects. One of our favorite aspects of the Mind the Gap project is the educator appreciation awards. During the year, we ask that people send in nominees; a teacher, aide, therapist, principal, or other school staff, who has positively impacted the lives of students, advocated for their students, and has facilitated the ICAA philosophy of inclusion, advocacy, and support, in their field. This year, two awards will be given, and following the presentation, we will announce more information about the teachers, and their work. We believe in strongly encouraging and praising educators who are making the world a better place. All winners receive a certificate and a gift from the organization, along with mention or interview on the ICAA Radio program.
Last year we were joined by the Dave Glover Show and friends for some of our school supply drive events.
The Wrightslaw conference is scheduled for May 14th, and there is a scholarship available for parents, and self advocates. For more information, please see the flier. Wrightslaw 2013 Flyer-1 Contact Mary Kay Savage at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-743-7634 for more information on the scholarships.
We will be announcing the ICAA Mind the Gap in Education educator awards this month. Thank you for all submissions, and thanks to all the dedicated educators, paras, aides, therapists, and school principals for your service. Our Mind the Gap in Education program is dedicated to facilitating meaningful inclusion, supports, and services, for students with differences, and schools (Preschool to college level) to ensure equal access, and advancement in education for all.
Some of the activities throughout the year include the annual educator appreciation awards, annual school supply drives (which includes tools and supplies for therapy and support purposes, along with typical supplies), silent auctions, and fundraisers to help provide more tools for classrooms, and our autism education card campaign which are sent to at least one school per year for students and staff. Through MTG, we make ourselves available to parents, and schools for inclusion, team-building, 504, and IEP workshops, consultations, and more. Contact us with any questions, or to make us aware of a school in need, a teacher who’s been a great advocate, or to volunteer with this program: email@example.com
Many of you have been asking about the recent case involving an O’Fallon, Missouri family which found a child with autism who was caged in the basement. Here is the information we have thus far:
March 15, 2013: Autistic child in O’Fallon, MO found in cage. Two and a half year investigation ends up with parents chaged with felony. They are not in jail as of this post. Please see here for more. Please send inquiries and information on how to send support for the child(ren) involved to the reporter, Vera Culley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you may contact the O’Fallon, MO police department: 100 N Main St, O’Fallon, MO 63366. Phone: (636) 240-3200. You may also send support and questions to the St. Charles County Children’s division: Continue reading
The ICAA President and first Vice President appeared on the Missouri Viewpoints show with Mike Ferguson. It was an honor to be invited on to share information about the ICAA, our perspective, and continue to help raise the social consciousness. Emily and Julian were invited to stay longer than expected, to discuss more in depth, some of the many issues facing educators, schools, and mostly, students on the spectrum.
ICAA is dedicated to the advancement of people on the autism spectrum and with other differences. Discrimination, educational rights, civil rights, and human rights for people with autism is not something that many people even seem to consider, and that baffles us. Much of the focus surrounding “autism awareness” is often centered on autism as a “parent’s struggle” or as something that causes a family suffering. The sad result is that the actual autistic individuals (whom the awareness raising is supposed to help) are almost an afterthought, if not hurt, as a result of all this awareness raising.
Each year millions of dollars are collected for efforts like Autism Speaks to search for a cause, cure, and even prevention, for autism (talks of prenatal screenings have been stirring up for years). If we put that same amount of effort, or even half of it, into ensuring education, practical supports, and empowerment, we would already have made enormous progress. The ICAA Autism Education and Defense Fund, and other ICAA projects, have been designed to promote inclusion, support, education, advocacy and the overall advancement of individuals with autism. Continue reading
One of the first things many people on the spectrum talk about when discussing disclosure, is considering the environment. Is it safe to come out? Seeing a lot of the hateful internet posts and videos during “autism awareness month”, internet auto-search results on Google and Yahoo, the nonchalant bullying and insult that we see regularly in the media, and more, of course an individual will wonder if it is a safe environment to come out, if he or she is able to “pass” in the workplace, or at school. Dr. Grandin and Larkin Taylor Parker are two autistic advocates who have made different statements on the matter. ICAA Radio will be discussing this topic this week. We have much more to get into in the coming weeks regarding recent cases of concern, including the child who was caged in his family’s basement, separate schools being built for autistic students, public schools pushing students with autism out, celebrities making our civil rights struggle harder, and more. Please keep up with us here, our Twitter and our Facebook pages.
ICAA seeks to raise enough funds, and technological donations, to provide 500 assistive technology devices to people who need them. We have had a waiting list for quite some time. There are many people throughout our community who rely on technology to communicate even basic needs. For examples and more information on the different kinds of devices available to people with communication challenges, and the price ranges, please see here. Approximately one fourth of people on the autism spectrum do not verbally communicate according to many studies. It us up to us to mind the gap and help more people access supports and educational assistance, so that more people have at least the opportunity to be heard. The International Coalition for Autism and All Abilities is an all volunteer, 501 (c)(3) organization developed to advance the futures of people with autism and different abilities. If you are interested in helping with this campaign, please consider a tax deductible donation, or contact us for more information on how to help.
April is autism awareness month and April 2nd is autism awareness day, according to the CDC and just about any autism related organization around. When we think about awareness about any topic, we tend to think about educating the greater community about the topic. When it comes to autism, this has proven to be difficult. Continue reading