Easter Seals and Google Team Up for Autism Awareness

Would you like to win $3,000? Easter Seals, supported by Google SketchUp, is hosting its second annual Sketch-A-Space contest to draw attention to the employment needs of people with autism.

Easter Seals is calling on you to use the free Google SketchUp 3D modeling software to design a space that represents your dream job, career interests, or plans for future employment.

The competition offers people with autism, those interested in learning more about autism, or those who have someone in their lives with autism an opportunity to celebrate the unique contributions people with autism make to our nation’s workforce.

“Easter Seals’ Sketch-A-Space contest aims to raise autism awareness and increase community understanding that individuals with autism can be successful in the working world when they have access to the supports they need and find the right job match,” says Tom Wyman, manager of business development, Google. “We hope it will encourage employers to consider individuals with autism and other disabilities and provide an avenue for creative expression.”

Sketch Your Space Today — Contest Ends January 13, 2012

The Sketch-A-Space competition offers an opportunity for people with autism, as well as those interested in autism, to win $3,000 and improve their resume and employment portfolio. Google’s 3D modeling software, SketchUp, is very popular among people with autism, many of whom are visually and spatially gifted and especially adept at creating 3D models. Capitalizing on strengths with SketchUp is one way to make meaningful employment a reality for people with autism and other disabilities.

Entries can be submitted at www.easterseals.com/sketchaspace up until the new January 13th deadline.

A panel of judges consisting of three experts in architecture and design, along with last year’s Sketch-a-Space winner, JP Saikali, a college student living with autism, will pick the top three entries. Easter Seals will feature those picks online and the public will vote on the grand prize Sketch-A-Space winner.

Examples of ideas to model include a work space, like a landscaper’s garden; something you’ve designed at work or for a school project, like a game developer’s storyline or set design for a concert; or a tool that will help you at work, like a firefighter’s fire truck.

“It’s exciting to partner with Google SketchUp again this year,” says Patricia Wright, Ph.D., MPH, national director, autism services, Easter Seals. “Not only is it a wonderful tool for individuals with autism to express themselves and develop marketable employment skills, it’s a great way for entrants to share their hopes and dreams for employment.”

For more about Easter Seals’ Sketch-A-Space contest, visit www.easterseals.com/sketchaspace.

Source/Photo: PR Newswire/Easter Seals

17 comments

ra a.
ra a.4 years ago

Our Kids are fast becoming adults... this will help raise that awareness

Jennifer C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks.

Valli Sarvani
Valli Sarvani4 years ago

A good cause indeed.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks for this great article.

Lynn C.
Lynn C.4 years ago

Good for you Kelly! You've brought up a good idea. Volunteering is many times a way to stay active and around people which can lead to employment. Your story proves it! So glad you didn't give up.
Congratulations on your new job and your new life!

Kelly M.
Kelly R.4 years ago

I have Asperger's, and tried to find a job through an agency which helps people with disabilities find jobs. I tried going there two different times, and didn't find anything. On my own, I started volunteering at the SPCA animal shelter when they opened one. After spending a year of volunteering, I applied for a job to be a cashier at Home Depot... on my own. I mentioned I have Asperger's in the phone interview, and the woman had a psychology degree and was very educated on Asperger's and autism!!!

I got the job, and have been working at Home Depot now for 16 months!! I'm 25 years old, and when I was 21 and diagnosed with Asperger's, I was told I'd never work again!! So I've been volunteering at SPCA for over 2 years now. I'm a totally different person now and more outgoing and I love my job and I love the SPCA.

Gina P.
Regina P.4 years ago

I'm not autistic, but this gave me some great ideas. Thanks.

Mary L.
Mary L.4 years ago

Great idea.

William Eagle
Bill Eagle4 years ago

A good cause

Susan N.
Susan N.4 years ago

Good post.