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Win $2000 in the Sketch-A-Space Competition for Students with Autism

Easter Seals and Google SketchUp are teaming together to help make spaces more accessible to students with autism in the Easter Seals’ Sketch-A-Space Competition. $2000 to design your ideal, dream space is up for grabs for students with autism, students interested in learning more about autism, or students who have someone in their life that lives with autism (aged 13 and older). The Sketch-A-Space Competition aims to raise awareness about autism while helping students express their creativity. Google SketchUp has become very popular for students with autism since many autistic students are visually and spatially gifted and are well-crafted in creating 3-D models.

How to Win $2000 for Your Dream Space

To enter, students must use Google SketchUp’s free 3-D modeling software to design their dream space.

Step 1: Browse the competition rules. If the student is under the age of 18, parent or guardian approval must be granted. Note, there are four categories of competition.

  1. Youth with Autism: individuals with autism age 13-17.
  2. Adult with Autism: individuals with autism age 18 and over.
  3. Youth: individuals without autism age 13-17.
  4. Adult: individuals without autism age 18 and over.

Step 2: Create your dream space in the Google Site Template. Don’t forget to name and save the entry page. Be creative if you are in it to win it!

When designing your space, keep in mind the unique needs of students with autism. Here are some interior design resources for students with autism provided by Easter Seals.

  1. Advancing Full Spectrum Housing:  Designing for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (PDF).
  2. Opening Doors:  A Discussion of Residential Options for Adults Living with Autism and related Disorders (PDF) (Chapter Six specifically addresses design needs)
  3. Design + Autism.
  4. Classroom Design for Living and Learning with Autism.
  5. Individuals with autism may present with a variety of sensory needs.  The following site has information about how these needs may present in individuals with autism and how they might be addressed.

Step 3: Submit the Sketch-A-Space competition entry by July 16, 2010, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

Step 4: Await the results. Winners will be notified no later than September 1, 2010. Entries will be judged on a variety of categories including how innovative the design, how the design addresses the unique needs of students with autism, thoughtful use of materials, and the quality of the SketchUp model.

Step 5: Accept your prize! 3 of the four finalists will receive $1000 to a home design/home improvement store. One grand prize winner will receive $2000 to a home design/home improvement store.

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