Today, April 2, 2017, individuals and organizations recognize World Autism Awareness Day. Iconic landmarks, from the White House in Washington D.C. to Rockefeller Center in New York City, are lit with the color blue to bring understanding and acceptance to those with autism. Read more about Light It Up Blue here.
Our beloved Sesame Street has joined this effort as well by debuting a new character later this month. Her name is Julia. She has autism.
Also, recently published to the iBooks Store is We’re Amazing, 1, 2, 3! Available in both English and Spanish, this read aloud story stars familiar characters Elmo and Abby, as well as their friend Julia, who has autism.
At the end of the book, adults are challenged to share how they are using the book by posting pictures on social media with #SeeAmazing.
In addition to the new character and the book, Sesame Street has provided many other resources on their website, sesamestreet.org/autism. Visit the site for videos, printables, activities and daily routine cards.
Throughout the Visioning Document we read mention of the necessity to provide opportunities for all learners to access content, demonstrate understanding through assessment, and for the accountability system to support empowerment of all students throughout their educational career.
Specifically, within Article II: The New Learning Standards, the premise reads:
IId. Standards should respect and value students’ “multiple intelligences” and talents, and provide opportunities for all students to excel and experience success.
I encourage you to watch and listen to Todd Rose (@ltoddrose) as he shares The Myth of Average during his TEDx Talk: http://ed.ted.com/on/4s8O5loM.
If there is no such thing as an average pilot, does there exist an average student? If not, then if we design for the average student, we design for nobody.
I challenge you to recognize that students vary in each dimension and we must respond accordingly. Ban the average. Design to Edges.
The entire month of April is designated as World Autism Awareness Month