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.
Meeting Nick Roussos for the first time is essentially a quick lesson in the advances of technology. He uses an ECO II device, fondly named “Percy”, to speak …. a computer, if you will.
Kids from all over Colorado have enjoyed learning how Nick communicates. During his presentations in schools, he carries along his first ECO model so that students and teachers can test drive it themselves! Click here to see Nick’s Speaker Flyer.
The Children’s Hospital Colorado, in conjunction with Colorado Easter Seal Society, conducts a Camp in the summer for kids who use such a device to communicate. Talking With Technology (TWT) Camp is a week-long program developed by Children’s Hospital Colorado for young people ages 6 to 21 who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. Children’s Hospital Colorado contracts with the Colorado Easter Seal Society for this week to be held each summer at its camp facility, Rocky Mountain Village, in Empire, Colorado.
This unique week-long program pairs the child with a graduate student or professional trainer the camper knows from school (such as a OT, paraprofessional, speech or ABA therapist). The pair then train together throughout the week.
What an amazing opportunity to find ways for those without the ability to speak to find effective alternatives to make themselves heard!
Thanks Children’s Hospital and Colorado Easter Seals. Your work is truly awesome!