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.
Open Streets takes on Ability Awareness
Last Sunday, lead awesome dude, Nick and his team invaded the Open Streets of Fort Collins for Open Streets 2018. Open Streets is an event in Fort Collins where an entire three-mile stretch of neighborhood streets are closed off for local booths and citizens of Fort Collins to bike through. We were invited to be a part of it.
Nick was excited to have Awesome Advocate Samantha Strong as a part of the event this year because she’s funny, smart and she brought some speech devices so passers by could experience what it’s like to use a device to communicate. Samantha works for PRC and helps individuals use tools to help foster inclusive relationships with others. For more information on Samantha and PRC, you are invited to check out their website at Prentke Romich Company.
At our Awesome in Action booth, we had several fun activities that people could try. One of which was the Wheelchair Obstacle Race, where racers would hop in a manual wheelchair and race through an obstacle course. Many kids loved experiencing what it’s like to drive a wheelchair around.
Another one of our fun activities was trying out a speech device that our wonderful friend Samantha brought along. Nick thinks speech devices are awesome because he can tell stories, he can speak his mind, share favorite movie quotes and clips with his friends.
We also got to roam around Open Streets with awesome Olivia catching a ride on the back of Nick’s wheelchair. Nick’s favorite part was using his speech device, named Percy, to talk to all of the people he passed by.
Overall, we loved being a apart of Open Streets because it was so fun. We loved sharing the mission of Awesome in Action with the people of Fort Collins, and letting them experience how people of different abilities use different tools to get through life. We are looking forward to next year!