Diversity & Equity Newsletter

April 2022

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Inclusive Quality Education for All

Every year, the UN chooses a theme to follow for World Autism Day. This year's theme is "Inclusive Quality Education for All." While looking at how the pandemic impacted education for all students, the UN recognized that students on the autism spectrum were affected especially hard. Loss of services, virtual school, loss of social opportunities, and routine disruption. The fourth of their 17 Sustainable Development Goals is Quality Education. Their main goal this month for education will be addressing the goal to "Leave Nobody Behind." Last year's goal was inclusive and equitable workplace opportunities for autistic people.

Using Your Identities to Leverage Learning

This month, staff will learn ways to utilize their own identities to connect with others and learn more effectively. We all have different identities that make up who we are. These identities affect how we see and interact with the world. By tuning in to your own identities and those of others, deeper connections can be made.

Children start creating their own social identity very early on. As a child grows and learns, others around them can reinforce the identities that they have or have had assigned to them. Humans naturally try to form connections with people they think are similar to them, and learning how is an important part of an idividualized and effective bond being formed. By tuning in both with your own identities and those of your student, you can gain a fuller understanding, trust, and desire to learn from that student!

The Autistic Identity - A Personal Note

Many adults on the autism spectrum, myself included, consider autism to be an integral part of their identities. Autism is not a "label", but a diagnosis explaining how our brains work. Autism is a word that explains our wiring and the way we experience the world around us. Talking frankly and positively about autism helps to create feelings of pride and strength from autism.

Knowing that I am Autistic opened up my brain to a level of self-awareness and self-acceptance that was previously unreachable for me. It gave me words to explain my experiences. It validated feelings I've had my whole life that I was different from other people, while encouraging me that that wasn't a negative or something I was doing "wrong."

Autism as an identity, for me, opened up opportunities for me to connect with others in a way I wasn't previously able to do. It afforded me the words I needed to explain my own experiences and ask for things I needed. Autism, to me, means freedom and connection.

Part of identity effects our language choices. Many Autistic self-advocates prefer identity first language over person first. This is because "person with autism" makes it seem like autism is something we carry with us, or something we can leave at home sometimes like a handbag. "Autistic person" puts the emphasis on the whole person, since we cannot separate our autism from our own brains and thought processes.

It is also important to remember that every Autistic identity will be different, as every person is different.

Please see the links shared at the bottom of this newsletter to continue learning!
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Add A Recipe

LOGIN INFORMATION: Group: AStepUpAcademy Password: garlic864

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ASUA Presents: Bowling for Scholarships!

Saturday, April 30th, 4-7pm

1475 Street Road

Warminster, PA

Join us on April 30 for our Bowling for Scholarships fundraiser! Fun for the Whole Family!

$25 per Person; Includes Shoe Rental

$160 - Lane rental for up to 6 people and shoe rental, includes 1 Pizza and Pitcher voucher

$15 - Pizza and Pitcher coupon

Scan the QR code above -or- email Trish@AStepUpAcademy.org for Tickets & Information.

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Eagles Autism Challenge

Saturday, May 21st, 7:30am

One Lincoln Financial Field Way

Philadelphia, PA

Join Team A Step Up Academy for the Eagles Autism Challenge!

There is a Bike Race, a 5k, and a Sensory Walk to choose from.

Register using this link to join our team:


On The Spectrum Series - Panel Interest Surveys

The Diversity and Equity Committee will be hosting panel-style workshops featuring adults on the autism spectrum. Please fill out this form so we can see what topics and questions you might like to have covered during these sessions.

Diversity Terminology & Language Glossary

Check out the Diversity Terminology & Language Glossary for current terms and language used to talk about diversity topics. This document will be frequently updated to keep on top of the ever-changing conversations about language usage.

Diversity Suggestion Box

Do you have a topic or issue for the Diversity & Equity Committee to discuss? Have you found a resource, tool, etc you think would be beneficial to our goals? Do you have any questions or suggestions? This form is anonymous.

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