The I Can Network has some formidable achievements under our belt, but this may just be our crowning jewel to date; a double win at the Aspect National Recognition Awards.
These are held once a year, to celebrate the achievements of people on the autism spectrum.
This year, not only was our Network itself nominated for an award, but two of our staff, Chris Varney and Elise Muller, won individual achievement awards. This is an Australia-wide thing, mind you, so they were chosen out of nominees from all over the country. For our relatively small organization to win two of the awards is pretty extraordinary.
Then again, so are Chris and Elise.
Chris built the I Can Network from the ground up, and Elise is one of our rising stars. She only turned 18 a few weeks ago, and already her inspirational work has been recognized at the national level.
In her acceptance speech, Elise discussed how our education system, and indeed our society as a whole, can better embrace people with autism. “Autism is not the main reason why people suffer,” she points out, “the problem is the repercussion of people’s lack of understanding of the spectrum. We need to refine the way schools see the spectrum. We need to educate people about the spectrum.”
A massive congratulations to them both for this phenomenal accomplishment!