- But this campaign is meant to jumpstart more than pretty words and inspiring photos ... it needs to lead to action!How?It starts with a tweet - but where does it end? To move beyond awareness there should be recognition:
There should be expectation:
There should be self-expression: (although I'm saying "ye-ouch!")
- But for all the public ways to tweet and share your support for awareness, it still needs to go a bit further. Why? Because there are millions of real people, real families, and real communities struggling to deal with the diagnosis of autism or the effects of the disorder.There isn't enough ACTION to make it easier for these individuals, families, and communities, because everyone thinks sharing a great picture means they have done enough.*EDITED - Seth contacted me after I published this piece to share a bit more information and made me realize that I was, in effect, putting down the efforts of individuals who have worked to raise awareness for autism. That was never my intention - I promise!I never meant to imply that getting a tattoo or having expectations and other forms of self-expression aren't helpful, I just feel it is so easy to be caught in the mire of awareness while forgetting to act. (see below for more about Seth's actions as well)
BUT There are EASY Ways to ACT, if You Just Look for ThemSeth (with the tattoo that made me go "YE-OUCH!" shared more that he was doing when he contacted me after the Storify originally was published. He was right - I should have asked him for more information when I included his picture, because one tweet really can't tell the whole story.Take a lesson from my blunder and look a little deeper:
- And you might see other ways regular people are acting to further awareness and real goals for the autism community:
- As Seth's story shows - it's easy to find more ways to become further involved in acting to promote autism awareness, and activism! There are actually a ton of ways to become active in local, state and federal activism for legislation and more - so this is a great example by Seth of helping change a system that tries to deny even appropriate insurance coverage (including quantified therapies, ongoing therapies, and more).
What about you? What else could you do if you wanted to act?Look around and be inspired by all the people who are making it easy for you to join their efforts!For example, a simple search of Twitter finds someone selling pins (I contacted them for more info - how easy would it be for you to do the same?) -
- Or this Radio Broadcast - a 12-hour marathon of a broadcast to raise funds (contacted them too ... how about you?) - Make a decision to listen, spread the word, help more people donate money - and how long did that take you?
- A Twitter or web search can bring up dozens of ways for you to become involved without spending a dime. And in that vein, I must point you to this post at the Friendship Circle website, who recently ran The Great Bike Giveaway to help 18 children with special needs receive an adapted bike!Their campaign was a great example of Awareness in Action (and I'll be covering it at the Cafe with another post on the subject!) - but look at this great post they have on how you can support Autism Awareness without spending anything!
The Point? It's NOT Hard to go Beyond Autism Awareness and Into Action!You just need to be willing to do so!Have a great example I should include in my next Awareness in Action STORY? I'd love to hear it, and your comments!