Raising awareness of autism

Niagara College

October is Autism Awareness month, and staff and students are working to ensure that it’s on the radar at Niagara College with a month-long campaign.
Organized by staff and student volunteers from the college’s Autism and Behavioural Science (ABS) graduate certificate program, the second annual QR Code Hunt for Autism Awareness is now in full swing.
“We launched the annual QR Code Hunt an interactive way to raise awareness among students and staff about autism and the college’s autism and behavioural sciences program,” said Terry Poirer, autism and behavioural sciences coordinator and faculty-educational assistant, Special Needs Support program. “Following the success of last year’s campaign, we are broadening it this year as a learning experience for our student volunteers and hope to reach out to even more students from a variety of programs who may be interested in pursuing the autism and behavioural sciences graduate certificate.”
As part of the QR Code Hunt for Autism Awareness, posters that feature QR codes will be placed across the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses.
By scanning the codes, the college community will access information about autism, the ABS program and have a chance to win weekly prizes, said a release from the college.
Student volunteers from the autism and behavioural sciences program will also operate booths once a week throughout October, where passers-by can access information about autism and the college’s autism and behavioural sciences program.
“I think a lot of people don’t look up information about autism unless they’re faced with it. If we tell them about it, there’s a higher chance that they may become interested in learning more,” said autism and behavioural sciences student and campaign volunteer Alexis Leo. 
Niagara College’s autism and behavioural sciences is a one-year program that prepares graduates to work predominantly with individuals with autistic spectrum disorders.
“We hope we will make people more aware about autism and our program which provides the most up-to-date information available to us,” said autism and behavioural sciences student and campaign volunteer Katelynn Di Lello.
Students will operate a booth the Welland campus on Friday, Oct, 3 in the cafeteria foyer from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 16 in the Applied Health Institute foyer from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m; and at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus Friday, Oct. 10 in the cafeteria foyer from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m; and Tuesday, Oct. 28 in the cafeteria foyer from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.