This is a very exciting day today! My dear friend Dr. Florian Sohn of Passau, Germany has translated “I Am Going To The Parthenon!” into German!!! I have known Florian since 1990. I had just been robbed and was having a meltdown in the Copenhagen train station. This young West German from Passau helped me calm down and we’ve been friends ever since.
Florian is no longer a 19 year-old West German, he’s now a something-something year-old German Doctor who flies a plane and still has a heart of gold.
Florian has opened some doors for people in Germany who have autism. These books have a single purpose. Open a door for somebody. Help them get out into the real world. I’ve seen estimations that there are over 200,000 people with autism within the three major German-speaking countries (Switzerland, Austria and Germany). That means there are 200,000 families who dream of vacations and visiting amazing places like the Parthenon. Add those to the 800,000 people in English-speaking countries who have autism and think of their family vacations. Why can’t the Parthenon be within their grasp?
In a perfect world the airports would all have a book, and the metro would have a book and there would be supports like this for every step of the way. But this is the start. There is a book for the Portland International Airport http://www.mrbsclassroom.com/uncategorized/39/ so I am doing what I can.
And today, with Dr Florian’s help, we’ve Start den Ball ins Rollen. (See, I can speak German when I need to!)
Ability Guidebook_ I Am Going To The Parthenon! GERMAN
I am hoping to complete quite a few books from my trip to Italy. In the making I have books on the Arch of Constantine, The Roman Forum, The Vatican Museum and more!
It is my hope that people who speak other languages will step up and translate some of the books into their own language. This book, for instance, may be of great assistance to an English speaker with autism who is visiting the Pantheon. I know that only a handful of people might need such a support. But I am more than happy to make this for a handful of people. In my classroom I was making these for one person in particular at first. I saw how much it changed their world and so I am willing to keep creating the books in the hopes that it will open up someone’s world. I want there to be a tourist, somewhere, who needs this book.
But, honestly, what I am truly hoping to do is inspire others. I’m hoping and Italian speaker will see this and translate it. THEN we have a whole different audience. In Italian this book becomes and opportunity for every person with autism in Italy. This book might mean the difference of some kid who is neuro-diverse getting to go on a field trip with the rest of his class. In Italian, this book can be a tool for every kindergarten or first grade teacher taking their class to the Pantheon.
And then if we ad German and Dutch, French and maybe Hungarian, then we are opening up a world. And those translators might be enlightened and encouraged to create their own books for their own city’s. My friend Florian from Passau is translating some now into German. Mike has translated several into Spanish. There are now books for Oregon and Washington, D.C., Peru, Italy and Greece.
I’m trying to make the world a bigger place for people with autism. I think it is working!Ability Guidebook_ I Am Going To The Pantheon!
Hello! I am very excited to announce that I have finished another Ability Guidebook! These “guidebooks” are basic instructions on how to visit community destinations and events. I began writing these books to assist my own students with autism in attending field trips but I realized that I could be doing so much more.
In 2015 I had the amazing honor of being named an National Education Association Foundation Global Fellow. Through this program I was sent to Peru as an ambassador for American educators. I’m the first special education teacher from Oregon to be named a Global Fellow and the trip to Peru gave me a chance to do what I do best: support people with special needs. From that trip came my first international Ability Guidebook “I’m Going to the Museo de Inka!” I’m absolutely grateful to the NEA Foundation for giving me the opportunity to share this project with another country.
In 2015 I also had the joy of going on my honeymoon and from that trip will come the next round of international guidebooks. I have realized that I can make books whenever I visit a new city. I can show the teachers and Autism Specialists around the world of a new and better way to support our students. If our students aren’t out participating in the real world then we haven’t succeeded in our jobs. I want to make sure that I have done everything I can to help.
I am thrilled to say the first honeymoon book is finished! I know that a book like this would have helped my own students visit the Acropolis and I hope it will help other people as well.
I am also hoping to find people to translate books into their native languages. If you can translate this into Greek or any other language, get in touch!
Ability Guidebook_ I Am Going To The Parthenon!
As many of you know, I have been working on my Ability Guidebooks for years but I had always stuck pretty close to home. It was a big deal to me when I made the book for the Oregon City Elevator and Willametter Falls because they were my first books outside of Portland.
Last week I posted my new book for the Inca Museum in Cusco, Peru and was thrilled to have gone international. Today I am crossing the country and presenting my newest guide: I Am Going To The National Museum of the American Indian.
Since being Teacher of the Year I have travelled over 85,000 miles and visited many different states. I’ve taken pictures for books on every trip. My goal is to get the ball rolling in other cities with the hopes other teachers may create more books for their community.
In February I attended the NEA Gala in Washington D.C. as part of being an NEA Global Fellowand took the opportunity to visit the museum. I’m super excited that students and people with autism will now have this guide on how to visit the museum. I hope it makes their world a little bit bigger and a little bit better.Ability Guidebook Museum of the American Indian
People with autism often have difficulty facing new situations. That is why I teamed up with the Port of Portland to create “Let’s Fly, A Photo Guidebook Tour Through Portland International Airport.” It is a step-by-step guide on what to expect when you use the Portland Airport.
I want my students to have a bigger world. Supports like these can make that happen.