Video game tournament to benefit Bellevue College autism program

Date posted: April 9, 2014

Community can learn about condition that affects hundreds of thousands in U.S.

Bellevue College will hold the third-annual Autism Acceptance Video Game Tournament, April 26, to raise acceptance for autistic individuals and funds for its innovative Autism Spectrum Navigators program, which helps autistic students access college life, including academics, student services and more.

Admission is free and for just $10, players can enter and compete in an all ages Nintendo Wii Mario Kart tournament, with prizes handed out to the top competitors. All video game equipment will be provided.

In addition to the tournament, the event will feature several seminars designed to educate parents and others in the community about autism:

  • “Make Yourself Shine in the Workplace,” Dr. Nancie Payne, Payne & Associates
  • “Transition Starts Now: Preparing Your Student for College and Beyond,” Ben Wahl, MSW, Aspiring Youth
  • Autism Spectrum Navigators Student Panel

Other attractions include:

  • An Xbox Kinect Kids’ Play Room
  • A quiet room, provided by FEAT of WA
  • Board game tables
  • A silent auction with a variety of items, including a Stratocaster acoustic guitar, a “Salmon” basket which includes a $100 gift card to Anthony’s Restaurants, a “Knitting” basket which includes a two-hour knitting class for four people, and much more!

Bellevue College created the Autism Spectrum Navigators program in 2011 to help autistic students access campus services so that they could successfully complete college and go on to further education or careers. Students in the program have access to a network of support, including meetings each week with trained peer mentors and participation in group classes and discussions.

This year’s tournament is hosted in partnership with Autism Day WA, who will hold a Q & A session with Perspectives on Autism to answer respectful questions and talk honestly about what living with autism means.  This event will be held after the tournament from 4 to 8 p.m. at Eastside Catholic School.

“So many young people are attending college with an autism spectrum condition, and we need programs like this that can help students access college and campus services so they can have the bright future they deserve,” said Sara Gardner, the program’s manager, who has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder herself.

WHAT:  Third-annual Autism Acceptance Video Game Tournament

WHEN:  Saturday, April 26; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE:  Cafeteria (C Building) on the main campus of Bellevue College, 3000 Landerholm Circle SE

WHO:  People of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate in the tournament;

COST:  Free admission to event (including seminars); $10 fee to participate in the tournament

QUESTIONS:  Visit http://www.bellevuecollege.edu/autismspectrumnavigators/ or contact ASN at (425) 564-2764 or asn@bellevuecollege.edu .