The IDEA Project
The IDEA Project is a non-profit organization that provides interactive disability education awareness in schools. With custom programs tailored to each grade level, our goal is to create understanding and empathy by educating students about differences and different abilities.
The IDEA Project is a non-profit organization that provides interactive disability education awareness in schools. With custom programs tailored to each grade level, our goal is to create understanding and empathy by educating students about differences and different abilities. The organization is still in early stages of development, but has proven our impact. The IDEA Project was first started in 2013, and officially incorporated in 2014, when the organization expanded to multiple schools. This funding request is a core component of The IDEA Project organization’s mission to bring disability awareness education programs, and with it improved quality of life to schools across Washington State.
Allison Bureau, a mother of a child with special needs, first started The IDEA Project when her son Wyatt started elementary school and was using a tablet computer to help him communicate. After witnessing the other students’ confusion as to how to include Wyatt, Allison spoke to his class about differences and different abilities, and led an activity that simulated speech difficulties. By combining the experience, along with informing students what Wyatt’s difference was, and how they could communicate with Wyatt in a different way, the program empowered the other students to form a relationship with Wyatt. Instead of being left out on the sidelines, his classmates were fighting to have Wyatt on their team.
With the success of this experience, other teachers began to contact Allison and ask if she could speak to their classes, as they had students who were being bullied because of their disabilities. Allison took this feedback and ran with it, creating a more comprehensive program that would work on a school-wide basis, and could reach students all across the state of Washington. Over the last four years, The IDEA Project has conducted this program twenty-two times in nineteen different schools across seven different school districts. As a result this program has impacted over 16,200 students who have directly participated in our program.