While some in-person events are still planned for World Autism Month (April) many schools and businesses are canceling their plans due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). I would like to suggest the possibility of moving their events online.
Rather than saying “Wait until next year” groups can still take steps (using technology) to deliver awareness messages to the growing autism communities. As I am sure you are aware 1 in 59 individuals are affected by autism today in the U.S. and the 70-million worldwide.
It’s so important to deliver this message in April; that you highlight awareness and discuss educational opportunities for autistic students K-College as well as focusing on issues of diversity & inclusion that will lead to a decrease in bullying, depression& isolation.
For businesses, a large number of Americans say they prefer to patronize an organization when they show their commitment towards diversity through special events along with fair-work place practices for those with disabilities.
Growing up with autism I always had a special appreciation for technology. Years later I would receive my EdD in Educational Technology Leadership where I learned about the significant advantages of online learning. Today I’m a professional speaker delivering my message both in-person and virtual events to educate our communities. I would urge, before you decide to cancel your upcoming events, to contact me on ideas for virtual events you can host for World Autism Month.
Video conferencing – Zoom CEO just made his video conferencing technology available for free for K-12 schools. Video conferencing will allow you to host a guest speaker, present a PowerPoint presentation via their share screen technology and allow interactive Q&A/chat capabilities. This could be used for lesson plans (reading an autism children’s book to younger students), guest speaker lectures and for professional development. For businesses – you can use Zoom or Google Hangout for a small monthly fee. That way if you were planning any form of special event you still have the opportunity to do so!
Facebook/Youtube Live – Have a guest speaker take over your social media channels to present a lecture style event on autism. You can even host a small panel comprising of people in your local community and/or employees you know of that may have a personal connection to the cause.
Facebook/Go Fund Me Fundraisers –Would you like to take your events a step further? Have your school or business host a virtual fundraiser going back to a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization via your social media channels. I have a nonprofit organization called KFM Making A Difference/Kerry’s Autism Journey where we spotlight people impacted by a diagnosis and give scholarships for students with autism to go to college.
This is just the start of events you can do! Let’s take advantage of the digital age we live in so together can make a difference in the lives of those with autism.