On Thursday ACT’s (Autism Connects Tanzania, an EdPowerment program) managers, Kerri Elliott and Jillian Swinford, hosted a showing of Temple Grandin, a biographical movie about Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who overcame the limitations of her condition to become a Ph.D. and expert in the field of animal husbandry. Watching the movie was one of the first special needs teachers in the area, several other educators, a local drama class, and Brenda Shuma, Director of the Gabriella Children’s Rehabilitation Center. The attached photo shows Brenda discussing the characteristics of autism and translating bits of the plot that the teachers may have missed because the movie is in English.
Because there are so few forums to talk about special needs here, everyone stayed afterward to discuss early intervention, perseverance, and how to garner community support. Participants were anxious for others to see it because much of Tanzanian society does not believe that students with disabilities can become successful/productive members of society.
We are making copies to give to the teachers in Arusha, Brenda’s husband, Anthony’s, class at the Kilimahewa Christian Medical Center, and a few other schools in the area.