The perfect judge for our Sketch-A-Space competition

Google's Tom Wyman, Easter Seals' Patricia Wright, Maurice, Google's Aidan Chopra and Easter Seals' Jim Williams. Photo by Greg Davis

Recently I was fortunate enough to travel to the Mile High city of Denver for the annual Easter Seals Training conference. The most special part of this conference was that I was selected to be one of the judges for the Easter Seals Sketch-A-Space competition. That gave me the opportunity to share my unique perspective on design with people from Google, the #1 Internet company in the world.

Here’s a description of the contest:

The Easter Seals’ Sketch-A-Space competition offers people with autism — and those interested in learning more about autism or who have someone in their life that lives with autism — an opportunity to design their ideal dream space using Google SketchUp free 3-D modeling software.

Design the room or space of your dreams — for a chance to win $2,000 to make that dream space come true. Join us in helping to make spaces more accessible to people living with autism!

What was the most interesting about the conference was they gave us the opportunity to tinker with Google SketchUp. Being named a judge also gave me the opportunity to express my point of view as an individual with autism. During a Q&A with my colleague Patricia Wright, I explained to her that a person with autism would need solitude with peace and quiet in order to concentrate. I had an opportunity to describe my involvement with the Easter Seals Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research prior to it being built. The carpeting had a checker board pattern which was disruptive to students. My alternative was to intentionally have the carpeting break the pattern (alternating shades of gray and colors of paint on the walls) in order for the students to transition to the different rooms, which makes it easier. So far, my design idea has been a success!

I was glad to meet different Google representatives, including Dave Springer and Aidan Chopra and many more.

Overall, the conference was a huge success. If you visit the Sketch-A-Space page of Easter Seals’ Web site you can find more details on downloading the actual product to your own computer and give it a try, just like I did! And then enter the contest! You could win $2,000!


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  1. Maurice Snell Says:

    Eunice, I would love to meet your son in the future!