Help us to become makers for autism, donate for a 3d printer and supplies.

We are trying to use technology like 3d printers to become makers for autism!

We are trying to raise the money to buy a 3d printer or 2 and supplies.

Our plan is to the use the printer for autism educational projects and fundraising events.

We are also trying to become a non-profit foundation for tech and the arts too!

Please help us get the funds to make a difference!

 

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Give Your Old Tablet to Arts4Autism and Help an Autistic Child by Vickie Ewell!!!

 

Technology News Zone aka Arts4autism wants to give the gift of technology to autistic children. If replacing your iPad or other tech equipment, why not donate your old one?

A new Nevada nonprofit corporation, Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Inc., appeared on the scene last January. Their mission? To give the gift of technology, educational assistance, music, and the arts to autistic individuals and families in need. Run by David J. Berkowitz, a tech-savvy brainiac with Asperger’s Syndrome and father to three children on the spectrum, Berkowitz wants to “pay it forward” by making a difference in the lives of those affected by autism.

Do you have a microphone or DVD player gathering dust in the closet? Are you thinking about replacing your current tablet or laptop? Do you want to update your digital camera to a newer, better model? Why not take a moment and consider how many autistic families can’t afford what you’re not using, or are about to throw away.

Cost of Raising a Child with Autism Hinders Their Future Employment Possibilities

With autism affecting at least 1 in 110 individuals, the direct and indirect costs of raising autistic children in an atmosphere of continued recession here in the United States is hitting Medicaid programs hard. According to The Autism Society, because of declining tax revenues and drained budget reserves, “the vast majority of states are proposing deep and sweeping budget cuts that will hurt families by reducing necessary and proven services.”

Reductions and cuts in health insurance, support services, sensory integration therapy, specialized school programs, family training, and employment support programs means families will either be put on a long waiting list or have to pay for their child’s needs themselves. The less funding families receive in meeting these needs, the less likely they will have money to expose their child to the world’s technological advances that could help prepare them to hold down a job – and therefore benefit society – in the future.

Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Inc. Wants to Take Up the Slack

David Berkowitz, President of Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Inc. and regional sales manager for a technical software company, has a passion for technology, education, music, and the arts. When researching how he could personally help his fellow autistics, he found articles and studies that showed tablets were an excellent tool to replace Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices. “There is a kindergarten class here in Nevada that is using them for education,” Berkowitz says. “I live, die, and breathe technology. Love it, as do my kids.”

Many children on the spectrum are attracted to technological devices. By capitalizing on that strong interest and obsession, it’s possible to give these kids a strong enough tech foundation to make a real difference in their lives, and the lives of their families. For example, last March, Fox News reported that an Apple iPad could help autistic kids deal with sensory overload.

Many children with autism have trouble communicating their basic needs, making a tablet extremely useful. With the help of apps, tablets provide these kids a way to unlock their “closed state” and communicate their desires and feelings, as well as educate.

Berkowitz shared that “One of my sons, 15-years old, has Asperger’s and is in tech theatre at his high school.” However, educational funding in Nevada is quite low. Berkowitz hopes to be able to receive enough donations that he can gain a 501c status, which will then enable him to help buy things like iPads that schools, families, and other organizations need.

What Can You Do to Help?

While Tech News Zone hopes to receive monetary donations that they plan to put towards buying tablets and other new tech devices for autistic individuals, schools, and other organizations – depending on their need – they also accept used equipment. “It doesn’t have to be the newest technology,” Berkowitz says. “If you don’t know what to do with your old stuff, you can donate it to Tech News Zone.” Examples might include:

Tablet PCs and iPads
musical instruments
microphones for band, choir, and drama clubs
all types of computer equipment
computer software like older Photoshop versions
PC and video games equipment
portable gaming systems
VCRs and DVD players
radios, stereos, and disc players
E-book readers
digital cameras

Basically, anything that deals with electronics, music, or the arts – including corporate sponsorships, name exposure, and anything that will help build autism awareness for their cause. Berkowitz would also like to help give autistic families tickets to plays, concerts, sporting events, or movies; and would appreciate gift cards for various electronic and tech devices.

Giving the Gift of Technology Can Change Lives

Over the past four years, each of the four houses Berkowitz rented went into foreclosure. “I have been downsized, right-sized, and left-sized,” he says. “These foreclosures have harmed our credit. My kids’ lives at times were not as fun as their peers, since we could not afford things like plays, and Disneyland.” While Berkowitz wants to reach out to everyone, his dream is to “help autistic people, their families, and Special Ed classrooms and programs.”

Before you toss away that older laptop, digital camera, tablet, or other technological device, take a minute to think about the difference you can make in someone’s life. “I have always wanted to make a difference,” Berkowitz says, “and decided to finally do it.” Like Berkowitz, you too can decide to give the gift of technology to an autistic child.

Sources

Autism Society, “The Budget Crisis,” (accessed June 14, 2011).

Fox News, John Brandon, “Is the iPad a ‘Miracle Device’ for Autism?” March 9, 2011 (accessed June 15, 2011).

Interview with the President of Autism Advocacy Technology News Zone, Inc., David Joseph Berkowitz

Technology, Music and the arts for Kids with Autism: Tech News Zone Wants to Help by Vickie Ewell!!

Ipads helping people with autism learn and communicate
Ipads helping people with autism learn and communicate

iPads for Kids with Autism: Tech News Zone Wants to Help

Tech News Zone’s Project TEACH offers kids with autism and their families the gifts of technology, music, culture, the arts, and educational assistance.

When the Apple iPad surfaced in April 2010, many schools adopted it to help children with communication and language skills – but with a starting price of $500, it’s pricey. Out of reach for many families with autistic children who could benefit from the device, Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Inc. (a Nevada nonprofit corporation) wants to help iPads get into the hands of those children.

Established on January 11, 2011, the company has been actively seeking sponsorships and donations to purchase iPads and other technological equipment they can give to those in need; but the response has been lower than anticipated. Even so, David J. Berkowitz, Tech News Zone’s founder and president, remains hopeful that as word spreads and people become aware of their existence, his dream for getting iPads to kids with autism will become a reality.

How an iPad Can Help Autistic Children

Children on the autism spectrum struggle with communication, social, and engagement skills. They have difficulty integrating sensory information and dealing with change. An Apple iPad offers help in all those areas, as well as a unique ability to attract autistic children through their fascination with technology.

While many kids show an equal interest in an iPod, fine motor control difficulties can interfere with their ability to use the tiny icons. An iPad works better because it’s larger, but still portable. For an example of how this newest technological device helps children learn, you can watch a short video of a child with autism tracing letters and learning to spell and read whole words, rather than through phonics.

While many on the spectrum are lower functioning than the child in the video, other apps designed for those with special needs teach:

independence
counting
drawing
life skills
memory skills through remembering pictures
how to make digital puzzles

By keeping autistic children engaged in playing games, this newest trend can eliminate or lessen their desire to withdraw from the world around them. It also helps attention span, motivation, and their ability to interact with parents and educators.

What Makes Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Inc. Different?

Helping autistic children overcome the negative aspects of autism is a goal that parents, educators, and companies like Tech News all share in common. While not the only ones attempting to raise money for iPads, this company differs because Berkowitz has Asperger’s Syndrome himself. “I know what it’s like to live with autism,” he says. “So I want to help.” With a strong passion for technology, as well as education, music, and the arts, his mission and dream to serve his fellow autistics and their families fuels the upward climb to overcome the obstacles that most newly organized companies face.

But being able to relate to what autistic children go through isn’t his only reason. After losing four rental homes in the last four years due to each going into foreclosure, Berkowitz also understands what it’s like to live on a shoestring budget, to have his credit ruined due to circumstances in life, and not be able to give your kids everything they need.

The drive to advocate for those even less fortunate than himself propels him forward. “I live, die, and breathe technology,” he says. “I love it, as do my kids. I am a brainiac, high functioning as pie.” In addition to the gift of technology, Berkowitz also wants to “help arts programs and inspire them to include those on the spectrum. I am Asperger’s, and my three kids are too. So I have a vested interest in making a difference.”

What Does David Berkowitz Want to Do?

In addition to securing as many iPads as he can get his hands on – through monetary donations, fundraising events, and corporate sponsorships – Berkowitz has implemented Project TEACH. Using each letter in the word to guide him, Berkowitz wants to give the gift of:

T = technology: provide tablets, AAC communications devices, and other computer technology to autistic individuals who need them.
E = educational assistance: ballet lessons, swimming lessons, and skills classes.
A = the arts, culture, and entertainment: donate musical instruments to individuals and classrooms; and provide free tickets to shows, concerts, the theater, and sports events to those who can’t afford them – “So more autistic individuals and families can enjoy their lives.”
C = care and assistance: pay it forward by helping all those in need.
H = holiday help: whether that’s Chanukah or Xmas.

Securing iPads for Kids with Autism is Only the Beginning

It takes a big heart to take on such a large project like giving away Apple iPads, but Berkowitz’s grandiose dreams come with no limits. In fact, he’d like the company to grow into a national foundation for autism one day. But for now, his focus is on getting the necessary funds to gain 501c3 status, engaging with others on Twitter, and running his website: TechNewsZone. “We need all the support possible,” he says. “We accept articles and stories, as well as rants, with regards to the daily struggles of autism.”

He’s also looking for people who can donate their older technological devices gathering dust in the closet, something they just want to update, or their old musical instruments. In addition, he’s always looking for help in building autism awareness and furthering his company’s goals. “If they can get us known, or on a show like Ellen, that would be huge.”

Sources

AOL News, “Engage and Educate Kids with Autism” (accessed June 15, 2011).

Autism Research Institute, Temple Grandin, “Teaching Tips for Children and Adults with Autism,” last revised December 2002 (accessed June 16, 2011).

Interview with the President of Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone, Inc., David Joseph Berkowitz