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Easter Seals, Google Launch ‘Sketch-A-Space’ Contest


As the leading nonprofit provider of autism services, Easter Seals has teamed up with Google to launch Sketch-A-Space, an online design contest for people living with autism, their family and friends to create the room of their dreams using free Google SketchUp 3-D modeling software – all for the chance to win $2,000 to make that space become a reality. Entries can be submitted at www.easterseals.com/sketchaspace between April 26, 2010 and July 16, 2010. Winners will be announced early Fall 2010.

“A partnership between Google SketchUp and Easter Seals to launch this contest makes perfect sense,†says Tom Wyman, manager of business development at Google. “Not only is it a wonderful tool for individuals with autism to express themselves, it’s a great way for entrants to share their creative ideas for what makes a comfortable and safe space, whether it be a bedroom, family room, classroom or office.â€

“When it comes to living with autism, a person’s physical space and environment can be particularly important. Many individuals with autism report increased sensitivity to sounds, smells, tactile and visual stimuli – unique needs to be addressed,†says Dr. Paula Pompa-Craven, autism expert at Easter Seals Southern California. “It’s critical for families living with autism and professionals to begin to see environments through the eyes of a person living with autism and work together to find flexible, personalized solutions.â€

Google SketchUp is popular among people with autism, many of whom are visually and spatially gifted and especially adept at creating 3-D models. This helps people with autism use their strengths to express their creativity and develop marketable employment skills.

“This contest aims to raise autism awareness, especially around the importance of life-long services and supports,†says Dr. Pompa-Craven. “We hope it will encourage individuals and industry alike to address the unique needs of people living with autism and provide an avenue for greater independence through creative expression.â€

For more information about Easter Seals Sketch-A-Space contest, please visit www.easterseals.com.

Easter Seals Southern California is a leading non-profit organization with more than 50 locations providing creative solutions to help thousands of adults and children living with autism and other disabilities find and keep employment, live in their own homes and not institutions, learn daily living and social skills most of us take for granted, and access pre-school and after-school services. Learn more about Easter Seals at www.SouthernCal.EasterSeals.com.

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