Organized by: David Dart
Special education has always been my passion and I have devoted my life to it. Currently I am preparing for another year as a teacher for my self-contained autism classroom in the heart of Phoenix, AZ. I have 9 students in my class full time. Our school houses all autism programs with-in the district. We're a title 1 school, and all the students (about 1000 k-5) at my school qualify for free lunches. The point is that a lot of the families in this country live in poverty and struggle to get by as it is. Imagine these families finding out their child has autism and needs expensive resources to give them a more fulfilling life.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with what Autism it is defined as “a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills.” For a neurotypical child, having limited access or no access to technology would not hinder their communication skills yet an individual with autism’s communication improves drastically with an I-pad/tablet. Ann Kaiser, a researcher from Vanderbilt Peabody College, found that [Children with autism who are minimally verbal can learn why and how we communicate.] “For some parents, it was the first time they’d been able to converse with their child,” said Kaiser. It’s evident that families, with children on the spectrum, with an I-Pad or tablet are greatly benefiting from it.
As I would love to get an I-Pad for all the students in the world, the ones who would benefit from it the most would be children on the spectrum. I am writing this to ask for help! Programs like zachsvoice.org have inspired me. They give out refurbished I-Pads for free to individuals with autism to aid with communication. Unfortunately Zach’s Voice only serves the Central Texas area. Lets make this happen here in Phoenix! Can you help people get the chance they deserve?
100% of the money goes to help the families I work with and families like them. When my student's have an I-Pad I plan to extend to the rest of the Valley/Phoenix area. As of now I am working on becoming my own non-profit so I can offer tax exemptions to businesses who are willing to donate tablets that they otherwise would put in salvage. Please email me if you know of any other way you could help. My email is email@example.com. Thank you!!!