Autism Society, Greater Akron Chapter Announces:
Sensory – Friendly Fundraising and Sporting Event
( Akron ) … The Autism Society, Greater Akron Chapter announced today a first for the chapter and possibly the nation – a “Sensory Friendly” sporting event that also will raise money for the local chapter.
On January 16, 2010, at 7:00 p.m., at the Canton Memorial Civic Center , the Ohio Vortex, a newly formed soccer team that is part of the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL), will play the Louisville Lightning. This game will be different in that it will be sensitive to the unique needs of children with autism.
Laurie Cramer, President of the Greater Akron Chapter said, “The difference for many of our families in being able to enjoy a sporting event is the level of noise and degree of activity. Part of having a diagnosis of autism often includes having sensory integration challenges. From loud noises, to lots of people, to flashing lights, all of these represent a challenge to our children.
“The Ohio Vortex has been wonderful about working with us to suggest ways to “turn it down” so our children can participate in a fun family event. On January 16, the music will be turned down, announcements will be minimal, and cheering is going to be with our hands instead of our voices. We will also have a separate room available should a child need a quiet place.”
Cramer concluded, “A few changes can make a huge difference for our families. Moreover, the game night is an opportunity for others to learn about autism. Our children do wonderfully with accommodations; it’s really a matter of understanding what needs to be done to include them. Our national office of the Autism Society is watching our experience closely and hopes to broaden the sensory-friendly aspect of a sporting event to even more venues.”
About Ohio Vortex
The Ohio Vortex is a non-profit soccer team that is supported by corporate sponsorships. The team gives 85% of the gate proceeds and 10% of the concession sales to selected charities. The Greater Akron Chapter was one of seven charities chosen to receive the donation. The Ohio Vortex will play their games in Canton , with the last game being January 16. Nick Bogdan, the owner and CEO of the Ohio Vortex, is a former Canton Invader, which played in the National Professional Soccer League in the 1980’s. Bogdan formed the Ohio Vortex team this year with a non-profit business model.
About Sensory Friendly and AMC Theaters
The term “Sensory Friendly” is being trademarked by AMC Theaters, which were the first to use the term when accommodating children with autism at the movies. AMC and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring Sensory Friendly movies to AMC theaters nationwide.
For more information and to purchase tickets for the January 16 game, please go to www.AutismSocietyGr eaterAkron. org. To learn more about the Ohio Vortex and its game schedule, go to www.ohiovortex. org. Nick Bogdan, can be reached at (330) 354-7778, or Bogdan@ohiovortex. org.
The Autism Society is a national organization with chapters in almost every state. Like most Chapters, the Greater Akron Chapter is a volunteer-led organization. The Greater Akron Chapter serves Summit , Medina , Portage , Stark and Wayne counties. The mission of the Autism Society is “Improving the Lives of all Affected by Autism.” The Center for Disease Control estimates that one in 110 children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Canton Memorial Civic Center
1101 Market Ave N • Canton • OH • 44702 • 330.489.3090