This guest piece is written by a man passionate about his vision. David Berkowitz lives in Las Vegas, is an honorably discharged veteran and spent the last 20 years in sales and marketing. David lives with Asperger’s Syndrome and is raising three kids also on the spectrum. Looking to improve the lives of individuals with autism through technology and the arts, David wants to share a bit about his vision with AutismSpot readers. Please help me welcome, David.
As an individual with high functioning Asperger’s and the father of 3 kids who are also on the spectrum, I have always felt a need to give back to the world and community, to truly do something exceptional, and make a difference for the people with autism. I dream of establishing a national organization like the American Heart Association or American Cancer Society to make living on the spectrum better for those with autism related disorders. So, I decided to make a difference utilizing my knowledge and passion for technology with my personal experience and interest in autism spectrum disorder. On January 11, 2011, our website went live to make a difference for autistic people.
We are a tech-focused state nonprofit and are now working on obtaining 501c status. Once we get funded we intend to help those on the spectrum via technology-tablets, related computer technology plus the gift of music and the arts all to make the lives of people with autism, educational facilities serving them and their families better.
We have a unique approach, view point and ideas.
What we plan to do once funded:
Our intent is to give the gift of technology through donated tablets and along with proper training to children and young adults with autism, their families, and the educational programs and schools that could make use of them. We also plan to fund applications to use with the technology.
Tablets are a very kinesthetic device which seems to make learning easier for many people with autism. Tablets like Apple iPads aid in education and improve the level of involvement in many aspects of their lives. However, a decent tablet runs $400-$800 which is very expensive for most families of people with autism.
Our second intent is to give the gift of music and the arts. Schools are very short on funding especially for the arts and music. Most parents of kids with autism cannot afford instruments, band trips, choir events and other arts materials. We want to help.
We will donate musical instruments to people with autism and education to improve quality of life. In addition we will give the resources to provide help to theatre programs in both private and in public schools, as well as other arts (like ballet programs as long as they will accept people with autism in their programs). We will strive to promote inclusion and acceptance.
In order to further the quality of life for people with autism we want to expose them to cultural events. We will donate tickets, to musical events, theater, and other arts to enrich their lives.
I feel that many people with autism are talented in the arts and music. Even if not talented in the arts, I feel they can definitely benefit from the exposure to arts, music and technology.
How are we going to do this?
In some cases as we can handle the volume of giving, we will give directly to the people that can benefit from the services, music and technology. In other circumstances we will partner with educational institutions. Alternatively, we will also partner with other autism organizations referring individuals, their families or schools so that we can help make a stand for autism. If you are in need of assistance to get technology, music or the related equipment, please go to our website contact section and send me your story and contact information. We will post as many stories as we can, and will try and donate to as many people with autism or their families or educational institutions as we can.
I am smart, different, and am going about it on my own; I am not rich and need support so that I can help other people with autism. If you are interested in helping our organization, Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Please do not hesitate to contact me.