Tag Archives: Non-Profit Community Engagement

Autism Acceptance Week: Sensory Friendly Events!!

As Autism Acceptance Week kicks off, communities and groups worldwide are getting ready with a variety of fun, welcoming, and informative activities.

These activities celebrate the autism spectrum’s diversity and offer learning, connecting, and personal growth opportunities. This blog post features three standout events. They are perfect for anyone interested in the autism community, whether you’re directly affected, a family member, an educator, or just a supporter. The following online and in-person events are set to provide valuable experiences for all who attend.

Dr. Temple Grandin: The Hidden Gifts of Visual Thinkers

First on our list is an inspiring lecture by Dr. Temple Grandin, one of the most accomplished and well-known adults with autism in the world. Hosted by the Hayner Public Library District, this event promises to shed light on “The Hidden Gifts of Visual Thinkers.” Dr. Grandin, a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, has made groundbreaking contributions to autism advocacy and animal behavior research. Her ability to see the world differently has revolutionized our approach to both fields. Attendees will gain insight into how thinking in pictures can be a tremendous asset and explore the unique talents that individuals on the spectrum can bring to our communities and workplaces.

Event details and registration can be found on the Hayner Library website. Given Dr. Grandin’s influence and the invaluable perspectives she offers, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

Animals Aglow at the Saint Louis Zoo

You can also check out “Animals Aglow,” a visually stunning event hosted by the Saint Louis Zoo. This family-friendly exhibit transforms the zoo into an illuminated wonderland, featuring larger-than-life animal lanterns that guide you through an enchanting journey. Designed with sensory sensitivities in mind, this event offers a mesmerizing experience that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages, including those on the autism spectrum. The zoo’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility makes “Animals Aglow” a perfect outing for Autism Acceptance Week, combining the beauty of nature with the magic of light art.

For more information about event dates and tickets, visit the Saint Louis Zoo’s official website.





Low Sensory Sundays at Six Flags St. Louis – Starting April 7th

Whether you are a kid or just a kid at heart, don’t miss “Low Sensory Sundays” at Six Flags St. Louis, starting April 7th. These special days are made with sensory sensitivities in mind, adjusting lights and sounds for a more comfortable experience. Six Flags is committed to ensuring that everyone can enjoy their attractions, and it is making a great effort to welcome guests on the autism spectrum.

For more information, visit the Six Flags St. Louis website, which details Low Sensory Sundays, including dates and accommodations.

Other Ways to Support

In addition to attending these events, there are several ways you can contribute to the cause and support autism acceptance:

  1. Educate Yourself and Others: Learn more about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and share your knowledge to help foster understanding and acceptance.
  2. Volunteer: Give your time to organizations that support individuals with autism, whether it’s during Autism Acceptance Week or any time of year.
  3. Donate: Consider donating to programs and research initiatives dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by autism.
  4. Advocate: Raise awareness and advocate for policies that support the rights and needs of the autism community.
  5. Support Local Programs: Engage with and support local autism programs and services—they are often on the front lines of providing direct support and resources.
  6. Social Media Engagement: Use your online platforms to promote autism acceptance, share information about events, and engage with initiatives like #StrengthInDiversity and #ItsOkToBeDifferent.

Join the Celebration

Autism Acceptance Week is more than just a series of events; it’s a movement towards understanding, inclusion, and celebration of the diverse spectrum of human experience. By participating in events like these, we can all contribute to a more accepting and supportive society.

Whether you’re learning from Dr. Temple Grandin’s insights, marveling at the luminous displays at the Saint Louis Zoo, or enjoying the thrills of Six Flags with a sensory-friendly twist, you’re participating in a global celebration of autism acceptance.

Let’s come together to support, learn from, and celebrate the autism community, not just during Autism Acceptance Week but every day.

Support Our Programs

Remember that supporting our programs is one of the most direct ways to contribute. They are tailored to empower autistic individuals, providing them with opportunities to succeed at achieving their goals. You’re positively impacting someone’s life and contributing to a more inclusive community by getting involved with our programs. Contact us to find out how you can join our mission at Challenge Unlimited.

Click Here to Make A Donation to our Autism Acceptance Campaign!

Manager of the Year, Challenge Unlimited Vice President of Finance is cashing in on impact

Kelley Young pictured here with her award
Kelley Young pictured here with her award

Kelley Young’s recent Manager of the Year award is not just a title; it’s a testament to her exceptional leadership and innovative approach at Challenge Unlimited. As Vice President of Finance, Kelley has revitalized our financial framework and demonstrated the critical role of compassionate and strategic leadership in the success of non-profit social enterprise.

Strategic Financial Management in For Impact Organizations

Kelley has been instrumental in redefining our financial strategy, a critical component in the non-profit sector. Her expertise has significantly boosted our operational efficiency and financial stability, ensuring optimal use of resources towards our mission.

The Unsung Heroes: Finance Department Administrators

Kelley’s role transcends traditional financial management, spotlighting the often overlooked yet essential administrative tasks.

Elevating Strategic Administration: Effective administration is the cornerstone of any successful non-profit. Kelley’s strategic alignment of administrative functions, including budgeting and planning, has been pivotal in maintaining our focus on organizational goals.

The Art of Balancing Non-Profit Finances: Kelley’s adeptness at managing finances is a testament to her ability to balance practicality and passion, ensuring our financial decisions support and enhance our mission’s impact.

Leadership that Nurtures and Inspires

Kelley & Her Team Setting Up Bingo for our Alton Skills Training Clients

Kelley’s leadership style blends empathy, patience, and strategic insight. She extends her role beyond managing, acting as a mentor who fosters an environment conducive to learning and growth.

Empowering Team Growth: Recognizing and nurturing individual potential within the team has been a critical aspect of Kelley’s leadership, enhancing our collective capabilities and fostering a culture of trust and open communication.

Extending Influence Beyond Financials

Terry posing for a Photo Op at BINGO!

Kelley’s contributions are not confined to the office. Her active engagement in community initiatives, such as implementing financial literacy training provided by her team to help individuals develop the skills needed to live more independently showcases her comprehensive leadership approach and commitment to our mission.

A Tribute to Non-Profit Administration Leaders

The Manager of the Year award is a testament to the importance of those handling critical and often underappreciated tasks in social enterprise administration. Kelley Young epitomizes this with her strategic financial management and compassionate leadership. Congratulations, Kelley, on this richly deserved honor. Your relentless efforts and visionary approach continue to contribute to our organization’s success.