Guest Blog: Autism Acceptance Day
This guest blog was written by our friends at Between Friends who focus on abilities, not disabilities! Learn more about their organization and the programs they offer to create a safe and supportive environment.
BETWEEN FRIENDS CELEBRATES AUTISM ACCEPTANCE DAY
by Aurora Anderson, Program Coordinator, W.E.S.O.A.R! & Special Events
On April 2nd, people from all over the world celebrated Autism Acceptance Day. This date is recognized throughout the United Nations and celebrated in 193 Member States. Autism advocacy has increased over the years, due to greater accessibility and inclusion opportunities. There is a growing number of genuine Autism advocates, who have lived experience, that we encourage you to check out! These advocates offer educational opportunities on accepting Autism. They are available online or through local community-based groups.
Between Friends currently has 409 registered members. Of our entire membership group, 42% of our members are on the Autism Spectrum. Autism impacts a person's communication and social skills. Autism is experienced on an individual basis and impacts people differently. Between Friends commits to meeting participants where they are at. We have highly trained staff who make genuine connections with participants. We focus on connecting individuals through quality social, recreation, and development opportunities. This allows people with disabilities to connect, grow and belong. We are a pan-ability organization, which means you do not need a diagnosis or a disability to become a member or to participate in our programs. We don't look at the disability, we look at the individuals involved and strive to make programs that fit our diverse membership.
Our programs offer members individualized support to grow and develop skills. Through Group Learning and Opportunities Workshops (G.L.O.W.), we focus on social-emotional learning, personal development, and skill-based programming. This program launches in the Spring so keep an eye out on our social media for more information! We offer age-appropriate year-round programming. Our W.E.S.O.A.R! Programs (Weekend & Evening Social Opportunities, Activities & Recreation) include a variety of group activities. There are also summer options! Camp Bonaventure is a fun outdoor summer day camp for youth ages 4-17. Our campsite, located by Sandy Beach, gives children a safe and inclusive summer camp experience. We are expanding this year by offering a North location as well! There are many different programs and services that Between Friends offers. Check out our website or connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you can get involved!
Calgary Corporate Challenge is proud to support Between Friends, one of 10 local charity partners in the 2022 September Games.