Category Archives: Ability Awareness
Open Streets, organized through City of Fort Collins Bikes, was a fun filled community event in old town Fort Collins on June 16th with vendors from the community, food trucks, and live music. Nick was stationed at the Maple St. hub, prime real estate to make connections and build new friendships while educating the community on different abilities and challenges that come with them.
Community members had the option to participate in several different disability simulations including a wheelchair obstacle course, experiencing the course while blind, experiencing having limited mobility in their hands while buttoning up a shirt, experiencing sensory integration issues, and lip reading.
Kids who tried the wheelchair obstacle course found it much more difficult than they expected!
Most kids hit a cone or two but came away with a new appreciation for what it is like to move a different way and the challenges that come with it.
Nick had his speech device available for community members to see and experience a different way of talking. Nick demonstrated his device for many interested kids and parents.
As the day went on, more and more people stopped at Nick’s booth to see what we were all about. With our cones, wheelchairs, and canes people quickly became interested in what we had to offer.
When they learned that we were offering simulations of different challenges experienced by those with different abilities, attendees were really excited to see that Nick was out in the community advocating for those who live a little differently.
Nick’s favorite part of the day was watching the kids navigate the cones!
Parents loved seeing their kids engaged in these simulations and often helped Nick teach the kids about why it is important to understand that different people have different challenges in life and we should be respectful of everyone we meet.
Nick had copies of his book, Helping in Action, for sale at the event and many kids enjoyed checking out a copy.
Nick handed out bookmarks to anyone who loved to read.
Nick met many members of his community who share his passion for education, like music therapist Daniel Goldschmidt. Nick and Daniel have both done TEDx talks! Check out Daniel’s TEDx talk on YouTube.
Nick would like to thank the City of Fort Collins Bikes for this opportunity to educate and advocate.
Open Streets will come back to Fort Collins on September 29th, 2019, and Nick will be there to continue to show his community that even though we all have different challenges, we can still connect and care for one another. Come see him and support Awesome in Action and Nick’s message of inclusive diversity.
We had our first visit of the year in November with the pre-kindergarten class of High Plains Elementary. Nick read his book, “Helping in Action” and shared a bit of his life story growing up in Ethiopia and shared about the unique story of how he had a pet lion!
Kids were in awe. A pet lion?
So many questions. How can we bring similarities and differences into a classroom where some may have not met a man that grew up in Ethiopia, or had a lion as a pet, but have had similar favorite colors and animals? It is an experience that is priceless for young ones to acknowledge — the beauty of differences and the beauty of similarities.
We were so excited to be invited by friend and fabulous teacher, Jessica Soulek!
Thank you, Jessica, for your support and encouragement. We enjoyed our time with you and your students!