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Communication Showdown

Can you get by without Facebook or Twitter, just for one day? Social communication is one of the biggest challenges for people with autism. But on November 1, 2010, the world will have some idea of what this is like.

Communication Shutdown, initiated by the AEIOU Foundation in Australia, is a new initiative to raise funds for autism groups in more than 40 countries. By shutting down social networks for one day on November 1, 2010, we hope to encourage a greater understanding of people with autism who find social communication a challenge.

The CHAPP tells your friends that you’re voluntarily shutting down; it gives you a shutdown badge to wear online; and it create a cool mosaic from the profile pictures of all the supporters and celebrities involved.

Members of the autism community are getting behind the fundraiser including Dr. Temple Grandin who said, “I can remember the frustration of not being able to talk. I knew what I wanted to say, but I could not get the words out, so I would just scream. People will have some idea of what this feels like when they take part in Communication Shutdown.”

And Rachael Harris, another supporter on the autism spectrum says, “Electing to shutdown social communication mirrors autistic silence. But it also draws attention to the isolation and intense loneliness experienced by those who are impeded from connecting socially with others. The CHAPP is a powerful way to create a sense of empathy towards those on the autism spectrum.”

Rather than spend donations on advertising, this fundraiser is powered by the people and is ironically using social media to shutdown social media.

Communication Shutdown Facebook page
Communication Shutdown Twitter page

Marianne Harvey
Communication Shutdown

The views expressed in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the NLM Family Foundation.

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