This spring, a set of videos premiered in Philadelphia, documenting the experiences of local African-American families as each dealt with a child’s autism diagnosis. The films, produced by social worker Karen Krivit with a team of Drexel television management students, sought to reach a community that has been historically underserved with autism information and resources. (These videos are now freely available online, part 1 here and part 2 here.)
This wasn’t her first such effort; last year, she produced a video about autism for Asian and Asian-American families, that has been widely distributed online and translated into multiple Asian languages. (Watch this video online, here.)
This summer, the project continues.
Krivit and her Drexel student collaborators are next due to release the film “Autism for Hispanic and Latino Families.” It will premiere at two events at Free Library of Philadelphia branches in North Philadelphia and South Philadelphia. This video is in both English and Spanish, with subtitles.
These videos collectively aim to reach communities that historically tend to receive less information and fewer resources about autism. They have received seed funding from the Philadelphia Autism Project, a citywide initiative led by Philadelphia Councilman-At-Large Dennis M. O’Brien and conducted in partnership with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS). The goal of the Philadelphia Autism Project is to examine the services and supports for individuals and families including underserved and underrepresented populations living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the city of Philadelphia. This effort represents the first of its kind at the municipal level and is working in conjunction with the statewide Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training (ASERT) Collaborative, both housed at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute. Through the seed money project and other initiatives, the Philadelphia Autism Project engages individuals, groups, faith-based organizations, and grassroots organizations, and provides resources and information to these communities in the city.
“When families know what their child needs, they can advocate better for them,” Krivit said. “When more families get more information about autism, it’s going to help raise the level of services and supports for kids who may be in underserved communities.”
The two screening events for “Autism for Hispanic and Latino Families” are free and open to the public, including families with children with special needs.
They will be held on:
- July 29 2015, 3-4pm at the Wyoming Branch, Free Library of Philadelphia, 231 E Wyoming Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19120
- August 10, 2015, 6-7pm at the Charles Santore Library, Free Library of Philadelphia, 932 S 7th St., Philadelphia, PA 19147
The events will feature education and healthcare resources for families with children with special needs. These events are sponsored by the Philadelphia Autism Project in partnership with the ASERT Collaborative, Elwyn and The Free Library of Philadelphia.