Exceptional Minds, the first vocational school for young autistic professionals in digital fields, is partnering with the nonprofit organization behind “Sesame Street” for an initiative spreading autism awareness.
The school will be working to develop, implement and disseminate resources for Sesame Workshop’s “See Amazing in All Children” campaign. According to Exceptional Minds spokesperson Dee McVicker, the partnership will be open ended.
“[T]he possibilities are far reaching,” McVicker told TheWrap. “Exceptional Minds is a working studio, so we do post-production work, digital animation, storyboards, that sort of thing. So, yes, we could help out in any of those areas with the campaign or perhaps on the children’s show itself.”
“Matt Asner is the regional Los Angeles chair for Autism Speaks, and his father, actor Ed Asner, is on our advisory board at Exceptional Minds. We all saw a natural partnership forming between the three of us,” she added.
The school, which will graduate its first nine students in June, focuses on job creation for autistic individuals.
“We are excited to be partnering with Exceptional Minds to utilize the creativity of these artistic young adults to help us create resources for this initiative. This is truly a demonstration highlighting the talents of all children,” Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President for Community and Family Engagement, said in a statement.
According to research and advocacy group Autism Speaks — which is also working with Sesame Workshop — 40 percent of autism sufferers have exceptional visual, musical, and academic skills. But the majority are disproportionately underemployed or unemployed.
“We can’t think of a more worthy and trusting organization than Sesame Workshop to be working with as our students navigate this new and expanded world for anyone with autism,” Exceptional Minds founding board member Ron Burns said.