Category Archives: disability awareness
Open Streets – June 16, 2019
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.
Anyone Can Be a Hero at Johnson Elementary
On May 21st Nick joined Mrs. Morris’ class of 1st graders at Johnson Elementary to engage them in his “Anyone Can Be a Hero” presentation. Nick worked to show the kids that anyone can be a hero when they harness their inner superpowers, and that special abilities come in all shapes and sizes.
The students were respectful and engaged in learning about Nick’s message. Nick talked to the students about focusing on what they are good at and what makes them happy, and not letting failures or challenges stop them from trying.
Nick told the students about his own experiences and the unique challenges he has faced in his life and used these examples to show the students that they can do anything if they use their own superpowers.
Are they good listeners? Good at sports? Good artists? Nick encouraged the students to think about their own abilities and how they can use them to help themselves and others.
The students worked to make their own superhero masks with the help of Nick and his job coaches Liz and Audrey. Nick loved seeing the many different masks the students worked hard to create. The masks reflected the students abilities, and Nick and his job coaches helped the students create a superhero name.
Many of the students were very interested in learning more about how Nick communicates. Nick answered their questions using his speech device, PRC, while they avidly watched his screen.
Nick was able to give the students new perspectives on abilities and what it means to be a hero in their community. And he made some new friends too.
If you or someone you know would be interested in Nick’s exciting and interactive “Anyone Can Be a Hero” presentation or any of his other engaging presentations in their classroom or gathering, contact him for more information via his email or Facebook.
Thank you to Jennifer Morris for welcoming us into her classroom and allowing us to present to her respectful group of students.