1 in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and the rate is climbing. In April 2013 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released a study that estimated the number of children having Autism to be 1 in 50, which creates the likelihood that most of you have knowledge firsthand of the needs of these children and their families.
Debbie Armstrong, Owner of BioMat 4 Autism and Director of Camp Createability has been an educator for over 15 years and has been orking with individuals with disabilities over the past 28 years. Besides teaching in both regular and special education programs, Debbie has worked with children with Autism in school programs, individually, and in intensive in-home programs. She has also educated the community about children with disabilities. She has provided education and training for child care centers, school districts, and parent groups. Her diverse experience in working with children and adults with disabilities and special health care needs and their families helps her to create preograms and treatment options that work!
Throughout her 28 years of working with children and families, one of the greatest concerns parents have expressed is what will happen to their child when they transition into adulthood. Will they have the necessary life and vocational skills needed to succeed?
Camp Createability started 5 years ago with a small 3 day film and entertainment camp geared towards individuals on the Autism Spectrum and has grown into an inclusive digital media, animation, film and entertainment program for individuals ages 8 through adult. We have successfully grown our programs and student population three-fold over the last 5 years.
Camp Createability is designed to address social, cognitive, communications and interpersonal skills of children with autism and other disabiities. The workshops held throughout the year and annual summer camps offer individuals the educational opportunity to learn the process of making a short film and stop motion animation, all while learning vital skills such as cooperation, negotiation, listening, and taking direction. This is truly a unique opportunity for individuals to learn socially and experientially, while developing skills that will help them inthe real world. Whether in social activities or job related situations the skills they learn will help them to be more confident and successful.
One of the biggest fears that parents of a child with special needs is what happens when the school bus stops coming. There is very little available to help these young people become productive citizens. Because of this 2/3 of the young adults with disabilities are either unemployed or under employed.
WHAT WE NEED
Camp Createability is in it's 6th year and with the rate of continued growth the camp is in need of more cameras, lighting and sound equipment, lap tops, editing software and misc. equipment to keep up with the growth. The Adult Vocational Program will be participating in 3 film festivals this year. In 2017 they participated in the Madison 48 Hour Film Festival where they received several nomination and won the Best Use of Genre award. A great accomplishment for their first Film Festival participation.
We are also in the process of creating 2 full length films that need your support to be sure that we are able to produce them. One film is on the importance of employing individuals with disabilities in regular integrated settings. The other is a story of our very own "Dylan the Villain" Ziegler. It will look at the struggles of growing up with Autism, the bullying, and often misunderstood child. Dylan is now employed in jobs that he loves and has big dreams of becoming a famous Movie Director. His dreams are no different than most young adults without disabilities. Our program gives individuals with Autism or other disabilities a chance to learn the social and vocational skill to become a successful member of society. Your support will help assure that we can continue to support these individuals and provide the quality programming that we have been providing for the past 5 years.
Outside of a couple of part time employees, Camp Createability is a volunteer run program and all funds donated go directly to cover the costs of the camp including editing the final film projects, equipment, insurance, transportation rentals, marketing, camp scholarships and administrative costs. Our goal is to provide an affordable camp so that as many individuals as possible can participate. Sending a child, teen or adult with a special need to this camp means that they have a chance to learn from some of the best film and entertainment professionals in an environment alongside typically developing peers. This will help participants succeed and have a lasting impact on the quality of their life. With the rate of Autism on the rise, finding programs that acutally cater to the interests of individuals with high functioning Autism, Aspergers, and other related disorders only allows for opportunities for them to thrive in the future.
Your support whether big or little will assure that Camp Createability is able to provide this unique learning opportunity to children and adults ages 8 and up with Autism and other disabilities.
On site staff include, videographers, actors/actresses, makeup artists, trained behavioral therapists, aides, and many more of which are all volunteering their time. The more money we raise the better likelihood that we will have all the necessary equipment and could give a small stipend to some of the professionals for all their time and work.
Inclusive programs of this caliber are very rare to non-existent. Providing affordable camp options for individuals with Autism and other disabilities is our goal. This campaign will allow us to achieve our goal. Learning a vocational trade, making new friends through creative collaboration, and feeling good about yourself goes a long way. For individual on the spectrum, this is extremely challenging. Under the direction of Debbie Armstrong, Film producer/Entrepreneur - Justin Yapp, Videographer - Tiffany Yapp and the talents of many other photographers, actors/actresses and the many volunteers, magic happens. The completed 2017 short films and PSA's premiered at 2 Red Carpet events held at Bonefish Grille and the Bartell Theatre in Madison, WI. Without support from you , we cannot continue to produce this quality camp and all of the films that we continue to produce. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, truly matters. "Together we can change lives!"
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP
We understand that not everyone can donate, but as the Jamaicans say, "no problem!" Simply, spreading the word and creating awareness is an invaluable contribution as well! So, please spred the word about this amazing program and films! Help us by forwarding this campaign to individuals with Autism or other disabilities who may want to participate in our programs or perhaps may want the camp to come to their town. Share with corporations who may be looking to sponsor a camp/program for individuals with Autism or other disabilities. Forward our website link www.campcreateability.org or find out more from our facebook page www.facebook.com/CampCreatability
Make the most of your social media networks and help Camp Createability to continue to soar! Remember, Camp Createability is "Changing Lives... One Film At A Time!"
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