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Celebrate Neurodiversity in Education

Our curricula and trainings empower autistic and neurodivergent youth and the educators that teach them

$10,530
pledged of$20,000 goal
22
34Days Left
Fund it
Campaign Ends on September 3, 2021

Project Description

Bridges Learning System is pioneering how we think about autism and neurological differences.

 

As a curriculum development organization, our courses and trainings celebrate neurodiversity, empower individuals, and build bridges of understanding between neurotypical and neurodivergent youth.

A teal blue background with an illustration of a pink geometric brain on the left side. Text reads, "Neurotypical:  A person whose neurological development and current state conform to what most people would consider typical, or normal." A turquoise blue background with an illustration of a rainbow geometric brain on the right side. Text reads, "Neurodivergent: A person whose neurological development and current state are viewed as atypical, or outside the norm."

 

As a former educator and having worked in the field of education for over 20 years, founder Dr. Katrina Martin has seen firsthand the dangers of "othering" children who think or behave in ways that don't fit our expectations. Children are bribed, threatened, and manipulated into "overcoming" their disability. As a result, there are growing accounts of autistic and neurodivergent adults who have been traumatized by an education system that discounts their unique ways of thinking and being. 

 

Navy blue background with a drawing of a white women with brown hair, a purple top, and blue skirt. She is holding a mask and looks sad. The text reads, "Conventional services for autistic youth encourage masking. Masking: Suppressing natural behaviors (e.g. stimming or echolalia) and taking on unnatural ones (e.g. making eye contact or fluctuating ton) to appear less autistic. Masking is linked to: misdiagnosis, low self-esteem, burnout, and suicide."

 

At Bridges Learning System, we create curricula centered by autistic and neurodivergent voices that celebrates neurodiversity for both young learners and the educators that teach them. Our online curricula and trainings include in-depth lesson plans and guides, engaging workshops and games, and essential resources to use outside the classroom on an easy-to-use platform that makes learning and teaching possible from virtually anywhere.

 

Navy blue background with illustrations of three faces. One is a person with short purple hair in a bob, the other a person with short, cropped hair with yellow glasses, and the last one with long blue hair. The text reads, "The Neurodiversity Lens: A paradigm shift from the conventional way of approaching neurological difference. Difference in neurotype is a natural and valued component of human diversity. Autistic individuals are valued as they are. Neurodivergent needs are validated."

Instead of forcing children to “overcome” their disability, at Bridges Learning System, we break down barriers of understanding for both youth and adults to champion what each person brings to the table. With our Neurodiversity Training Series, educators are encouraged to dismantle their own ableism and empower inclusion in- and outside of the classroom. And, our flagship program, the Social-Emotional Acuity Bridge, or SEA Bridge, is designed for small groups of neurodivergent children ages K-5 where all types of interactions, expressions, and engagement are valued, and students are encouraged to become self-advocates from a young age.

 

Navy background with illustration of a bridge. Text reads, "SEA Bridge (Social-Emotional Acuity Bridge): SEA Bridge is guided by a neurodiversity lens, and informed by the insight of neurodivergent collaborators. Topics covered in the curriculum include: Handling changes in my environment and routines, coping with overwhelming emotions, navigating communication differences, getting my needs met, celebrating my strengths, and identifying emotions in myself."

 

We have a small but mighty team of neurodivergent, autistic, and neurotypical staff and collaborate with a growing group of autistic and neurodivergent folks to help inform all that we do! From what to teach, to how to best teach it, to what it should look like on the page. 

Your contribution will allow us to be able to provide up to 6 FREE SEA Bridge curriculum subscriptions for educators to use to get to know our program without the financial commitment. Any contribution you can provide means a step toward a more inclusive learning experience, where autistic and neurodivergent youth are able to grow with dignity into confident adults, assured of their self-worth. 

Thank you immensely for your support!

-Bridges Learning System Team

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • When are the Neurodiversity Training Series available?

Now! 

  • When is the SEA Bridge curriculum going to be released?

The SEA Bridge is on track to be released in August! Interested or eager to learn more? Reach out to us at info@bridgeslearningsystem.com 

  • I supported the Swaggy-est  Friend reward. When can I expect my tote bag and sensory toy?

First off, thank you for your support! We are planning to ship tote bags and sensory toys together following the end of our crowdfunding campaign at the beginning of September. We will follow-up with shipping confirmation once they have been shipped!

  • You all are doing great work! How can I stay involved?

We'd love to stay in touch! You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram, or sign up to our email list on our website to stay up to date with future updates and information. 

 

 

Patrick Miller
07/26/2021
Monetary Contribution
$100
07/23/2021
Monetary Contribution
$5
RALPH MUNOZ
07/16/2021
Anti-Ableism Ally
$350
Kristin Parone
07/02/2021
Mad About Music
$100
Elizabeth Simakoff
07/01/2021
Casual Conversationalist
$60
Katie Skaar
07/01/2021
Anti-Ableism Ally
$200
06/30/2021
Anti-Ableism Ally
$200
Troubadour Music
06/30/2021
Our Hero!
$5,000
Sue Phillips
06/29/2021
Monetary Contribution
$300
Jina Park
06/28/2021
Monetary Contribution
$50
Monetary Contribution

Thank you so much for your support! Any contribution you can provide goes a long way!

11 Supporters
Select this reward
10.00 USD
Virtual Fist Bump

We appreciate you endlessly! Sending a virtual fist bump your way. 

0 Supporters
Select this reward
20.00 USD
First Look VIPs

Get a 15 minute tutorial into the SEA Bridge curriculum by our fantastic staff! Learn more about our development process, collaborators, and all the fun that we have in store! 

Sneak peaks will be available starting July 6th. We will contact you about scheduling.

1 Supporter
Select this reward
40.00 USD
Coolest Cat Around

Have a furry feline friend? With this reward, you can submit a photo of your cat to our Illustrator, Tess, and she will send you a custom digital print!

Limit of one illustration per donation. Once you've donated, submit your cat photo to info@bridgeslearningsystem.com and we will follow-up with you.

14 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
50.00 USD
Swaggy-est Friend

With this reward, you'll receive a Bridges Learning System branded, reusable tote bag (design to come) and a fun sensory toy for kids and adults alike! 

Totes and toys will be shipped after the campaign has closed, with expected deliveries in September.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
60.00 USD
Casual Conversationalist

Ever find yourself wanting to learn more about autism directly from an autistic individual? Virtual coffee and chat with Kat is your opportunity to do just that!
 
Kat is a white, queer, multiply disabled autistic woman. While she cannot speak for all autistic people, a conversation with her can provide insight into the experience of autism from her lens and identities. Talk with Kat about masking, sensory differences/needs, late diagnosis, autistic burnout, and more. Don’t know what some or all of those things are? Kat can answer questions and point you in the direction of additional resources if you’re looking to learn. We'll reach out to you to set up a meeting.
 

11 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
100.00 USD
Marvelous Music

Virtual Mini Concert with Lindsay Munroe!

Supporters of this category will get to participate in a LIVE virtual mini-concert with Lindsay Munroe! Bring your family to this musical event and have the opportunity to meet Lindsay! Limit to 10 sign ups per concert. One sign up link per donation.

Concert dates:

  • September 4th, 1pm PST
  • September 11th, 1pm PST

When you donate, please indicate which concert you would like to attend.

Learn more about Lindsay's music and hear her first album I Am Kind!

19 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
200.00 USD
Anti-Ableism Ally

Uncover your ableism with our founder, Dr. Katrina Martin! Supporters at this level will take an individual ableism assessment and then have the opportunity to meet one-on-one for 30 minutes with Katrina to review your responses and further dismantle your own ableism. 

21 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
800.00 USD
Ultimate Supporter

Show the ultimate love! Cover the startup fees for our educators! This reward is a pure monetary donation of the initial startup fees for a SEA Bridge curriculum, set to be released in August.  

We will cherish you forever!

0 Supporters
Select this reward
3,200.00 USD
Our Hero!

Not all heros wear capes, but you do! With this donation, you are covering the costs of a full year's subscription to the SEA Bridge curriculum (set to be released in August), including startup fees. 

Words cannot express our deep gratitude for supporters at this level, but we are happy to try! Let us know how we can best honor you.

1 Supporter
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Thank you so much for your support! Any contribution you can provide goes a long way!

11 Supporters
Select this reward
10.00 USD
Virtual Fist Bump

We appreciate you endlessly! Sending a virtual fist bump your way. 

0 Supporters
Select this reward
20.00 USD
First Look VIPs

Get a 15 minute tutorial into the SEA Bridge curriculum by our fantastic staff! Learn more about our development process, collaborators, and all the fun that we have in store! 

Sneak peaks will be available starting July 6th. We will contact you about scheduling.

1 Supporter
Select this reward
40.00 USD
Coolest Cat Around

Have a furry feline friend? With this reward, you can submit a photo of your cat to our Illustrator, Tess, and she will send you a custom digital print!

Limit of one illustration per donation. Once you've donated, submit your cat photo to info@bridgeslearningsystem.com and we will follow-up with you.

14 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
50.00 USD
Swaggy-est Friend

With this reward, you'll receive a Bridges Learning System branded, reusable tote bag (design to come) and a fun sensory toy for kids and adults alike! 

Totes and toys will be shipped after the campaign has closed, with expected deliveries in September.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
60.00 USD
Casual Conversationalist

Ever find yourself wanting to learn more about autism directly from an autistic individual? Virtual coffee and chat with Kat is your opportunity to do just that!
 
Kat is a white, queer, multiply disabled autistic woman. While she cannot speak for all autistic people, a conversation with her can provide insight into the experience of autism from her lens and identities. Talk with Kat about masking, sensory differences/needs, late diagnosis, autistic burnout, and more. Don’t know what some or all of those things are? Kat can answer questions and point you in the direction of additional resources if you’re looking to learn. We'll reach out to you to set up a meeting.
 

11 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
100.00 USD
Marvelous Music

Virtual Mini Concert with Lindsay Munroe!

Supporters of this category will get to participate in a LIVE virtual mini-concert with Lindsay Munroe! Bring your family to this musical event and have the opportunity to meet Lindsay! Limit to 10 sign ups per concert. One sign up link per donation.

Concert dates:

  • September 4th, 1pm PST
  • September 11th, 1pm PST

When you donate, please indicate which concert you would like to attend.

Learn more about Lindsay's music and hear her first album I Am Kind!

19 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
200.00 USD
Anti-Ableism Ally

Uncover your ableism with our founder, Dr. Katrina Martin! Supporters at this level will take an individual ableism assessment and then have the opportunity to meet one-on-one for 30 minutes with Katrina to review your responses and further dismantle your own ableism. 

21 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
800.00 USD
Ultimate Supporter

Show the ultimate love! Cover the startup fees for our educators! This reward is a pure monetary donation of the initial startup fees for a SEA Bridge curriculum, set to be released in August.  

We will cherish you forever!

0 Supporters
Select this reward
3,200.00 USD
Our Hero!

Not all heros wear capes, but you do! With this donation, you are covering the costs of a full year's subscription to the SEA Bridge curriculum (set to be released in August), including startup fees. 

Words cannot express our deep gratitude for supporters at this level, but we are happy to try! Let us know how we can best honor you.

1 Supporter
Select this reward