The IDEA Project is a non-profit organization -501(c)(3)-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 was started by Allison Bureau, the mother of a child with special needs. When her son, Wyatt, started elementary school, he used a tablet computer to help him communicate. After witnessing the other students' confusion as to how to include Wyatt, Allison asked to come talk to Wyatt's class about his differences. She spoke to students about differences and different abilities, showed a video of Wyatt doing things the other students might not think he could do, and led an activity that simulated what it is like to have speech difficulties. After observing the students' improved understanding of Wyatt and his difficulties with speech, she decided to create a disability awareness program.
While developing her program, Allison was asked by another teacher to come and talk to her class because of a student with a disability was being bullied. Three weeks after Allison's presentation about differences and different abilities, the teacher let Allison know the bullying had stopped. With the success of her program in Wyatt's classes year after year and in the classroom where bullying was taking place, Allison decided to create a more comprehensive program that would work on a school-wide basis.
After four years of research and input from Speech, Occupational and Physical therapists around the Seattle area, Allison created a customized disability awareness program tailored to each grade level of school.
We can learn to understand each other's differences.