On May 2, 2012 we were very privileged to host Marc Sirkin, VP of Social Marketing for Autism Speaks, at Hope Technology School. Marc participated in the world premier of I Want to Say in San Francisco and graciously made the time to visit our school during his trip from New York. He wrote an incredible article about his impressions of HTS entitled Inclusion + Technology = Hope. Marc’s impression of inclusion are both refreshing and inspiring, and we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to connect with him and the phenomenal work being done through Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks is now spearheading the Hacking Autism initiative and will be extending the project throughout the world. We look forward to this year’s hack-a-thon events this June in more than 20 cities throughout the world!
I Want to Say: A documentary short on autism and technology featuring many HTS families and faculty premiers tonight at Lucas Studios in San Francisco.
Watch the LIVE-STREAM of I Want to Say, Tuesday May 1st on hackingautism.org at 7pm PT!
We’re excited to invite you to the live-stream of the San Francisco premiere of I Want to Say followed by a Q/A session with the cast and crew.
Please join in the conversation and send us questions at any time via Twitter @autismspeaks #hackingautism which we’ll begin answering at 8:15 PT.
Thank you for your wonderful support – especially to the brave children and families sharing their stories of hope with the world.
Shoot Magazine, which focuses on the film community, recently published an article, “The Power of Insight Poignantly Comes to Life, Sparks Social Good,” chronicling the entire Hacking Autism project and the soon to be release documentary short I Want to Say. The account highlights the incredible effort made by so many including Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Bodega Studios, HP, Autism Speaks and Hope Technology School, to bring hope to families facing autism. The account describes many different facets of the project and the people who have been inspired to work tirelessly to see it succeed. Below is an excerpt about Hope Technology School from the article :
“GS&P hooked up with HP’s chief technologist Phil McKinney (since retired) who provided access to TouchSmart technology for designated families, working with the Palo Alto, Calif.-based, not-for-profit Hope Technology School, which specializes in educating a classroom mix inclusive of both neurotypical students and those with developmental differences. Technology plays a vital role in the motivation and progress of Hope Technology School students, fostering reading, writing, math and communication skills.”
Describing the families that participated in the documentary project producer, Clint Goldman, states,
“These families—particularly the children—opened their homes and bared their lives and souls to the camera in exchange, said Goldman, “for the hope that they can help just one other child. Maybe a child in some part of the world they’ve never seen who some day will get access to a discarded iPad and download some free software—and that child will be able to talk, to connect with others, to participate in life just like your children and mine. That’s all these kids want—to be like you and me.”
The documentary will premier in San Francisco on May 1st with viewing in select cities throughout the United States in the coming months.
I Want To Say is an excellent film about the crucial role technology can play in the lives of people with autism. A collaborative effort by Goodby Silverstein and Partners and Bodega Studios, directed by Peter Sorcher, and featuring the work of Hope Technology School’s staff and students, this documentary is an inspiring account of families helping their children with autism to have communication breakthroughs.
On January 28th, I attended a workshop called “Assistive Technology Solutions for Struggling Students,” presented by a Parents Helping Parents (PHP) AT specialist, Jan Tuber. The presentation offerred some great ideas for low tech assistive technology that I can use in my occupational therapy work with the students of HTS!
Preschool: Our licensed, fully inclusive preschool program supports academic and social development for students aged 3-5. Preschool hours: 9-5:30, year round program. Prices range from $350-725 monthly(9-2:30). See our website for after school care (2:30-5:30pm) prices. Now accepting applications for Fall 2012. Please contact email@example.com with questions.
Hope Technology School’s Speech Therapist, Sandra Burke, reviews Quick Talk:
I love this app! As a speech-language pathologist I’ve seen many AAC apps and this is the first that I’ve been able to use within minutes. It took me about 5 minutes to learn how to program the device and use it. I can use it with several of the students on my caseload, all with varying degrees of communication challenges, for Yes/No questions, simple choices, inclusion during circle times, classroom participation, and more. I don’t have to switch devices or apps, I can just use Quick Talk. The teachers are able to program this app easily and it doesn’t take several training sessions to implement use with their students. This app is able to bridge the gap between communicating basic wants and needs and complex phrases/sentences. It’s the quickest way for providing someone with quick, functional communication.
See other SLP reviews of Quick Talk here
Our Nicholas was a performer on Saturday night when Hope Technology School took the stage with holiday songs and performances. The middle schoolers sang “We Are the World” with a slideshow of photos, leaving me both happy & teary. Heartwarming to see all the families there. Especially the special needs families. Because I remember the years when Nicholas would not stay onstage without special accommodation, let alone try to sing or dance. Good to see our young man up there standing tall and laughing as he pointed out his parents to his buds during the singing. Little mischief streaks in him too. And amazing to see his arms stretch wide as he joined the other students in the song wave gestures – more motor planning gains here. Thank you, Mr Kiyuna, Ms Bev, Ms Adelaide, Ms Gema, Ms Jones, Mrs Straw, Ms Julie, Ms Sandra, Ms Hope, and all of his HTS team. It takes a village. You are an amazing team. Team Nicholas.
I am thankful.
Hope Technology School provides a rigorous academic program for all of our students. Standardized test scores highlight Hope Technology School’s exceptional education. Both typical learners and those with special needs thrive as a result of small classes (12-13 students) each including a teacher and para-educator. As one of the many measures of our program, we annually administer the CAT/6 national norm referenced test to our students with and without special needs in second through eighth grade. While test scores do not reveal the full extent of what our students are learning, the performance of our students compared to the national average reveals that Hope Technology School’s academic program is indeed exceptional.
Students at HTS were excited to have a race car driver visit their school last week. Race car driver Jeff Awender brought his shiny,bright yellow, open top racer with a thunderous engine into the school parking lot. The students were thrilled to wear a helmet, sit in the car and even get his autograph. What an exciting day for students to experience how a race car really looks, feels and the power of its sound. Most kids only see race cars in video games or on TV or movies. One student who had been awaiting the arrival of the race car and its driver all week summed it up perfectly exclaiming, “That was so cool!” It was another memorable day at HTS!