A TOUCH OF UNDERSTANDING INC

Rating: 4.98 stars   44 reviews

Issues:

Location: 5280 Stirling Street Suite 102 Granite Bay CA 95746 USA

Mission: A Touch of Understanding''s mission is to encourage acceptance and respect for all individuals. Our educational programs are designed to increase understanding of differences, thereby minimizing discrimination and social isolation suffered by children and adults who are perceived as different for any reason, but especially those with disabilties.
Target demographics: students and adults
Direct beneficiaries per year: over 6000 students
Geographic areas served: the Sacramento area
Programs: disability awareness workshops. A Touch of Understanding provides approximately 100 presentations each school year to students in the Greater Sacramento, California area. Each student participates in the two-part program. In one part the students handle braces and artificial limbs and write in Braille, using a slate and stylus.  They use wheelchairs and white mobility canes. They complete tasks using a mirror and headphones to understand the challenges of learning disabilities and autism. The second part includes volunteer speakers who share their experiences and insight with the students. These two parts complement one another by giving students experience with the assistive devices used by people with disabilities as well as the opportunity to meet individuals who uses these tools each day.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

A Touch of Understanding has changed my life. This program cannot be described in a small area such as this. To see the way children respond to the volunteers and really understand why they should be including children of all abilities in their lives is truly amazing. But the school programs are just the beginning. The ATOU Youth F.O.R.C.E. (Friends Offering Respect ~ Creating Empowerment) has grown into an unbelievable program for young people... and young at heart. They work together to bring "fun" to everyone that attends their events! The other program ATOU provides to the community is the AccessToCare Fair. This is a free community event where they provide an opportunity to see the services and products that are available to people with disabilities.. that includes senior citizens, Veterans, just about anything you can imagine. A Touch of Understanding can change your life too... just come to a program and witness the experience. I challenge you to come back without having a completely different attitude about children and people in general... and if you really want to make a difference in the world, write them a check or how about spending a little time volunteering?

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

A Touch of Understanding is an unusual type of organization that you almost need to see to believe their results. They are able to change childrens attitudes about how to perceive people in just three hours. They teach acceptance of all differences which has certainly addressed the bullying issue. This program should be in every school throughout the Nation... it wouldn't hurt adults to go through the program as well!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I became involved with ATOU when the previous Volunteer Coordinator came in to my college classroom with a young woman named Hope who spoke about the program and the Youth F.O.R.C.E. I became a volunteer as soon as I could after their presentation. As I continued to volunteer with ATOU I came to the conclusion that ATOU is more than just an organization that advocates for people with disabilities and it is more than a provider of a disability-awareness workshop but that it is a family of people who all share the same passion of ushering a new generation of children into the future with an understanding that we are all the same on the inside and that we are equal and we should treat everyone with love, kindness, and respect.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Fifteen years ago I was new to the Eureka Union School District and was told that I had to go see a program for disability awareness at one of our schools. I saw the program, now called A Touch of Understanding, in action and saw the immediate positive impact it had on not only students with disabilities, but all students and adults on campus. Over 50,000 students later, it has only grown stronger and when I retired it was the only non-profit that I said yes to when it was time to get involved. ATOU changes lives.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I first saw this organization in action in 1998 at a school in a district where I served as the Assistant Superintendent. The impact on students was immediate and longterm as I watched students befriend students with disabilities and back away from fear and bullying. After watching the program in action for ten years, including four when I served as Superintendent, I have watched the program grow and expand. When I retired, many groups asked me to join their boards, but this was the group that hit me in the heart, so it was the only one I joined. Now I'm working to get the program into as many schools as possible as ATOU reaches beyond the 50,000 students we will have reached as of this year.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Changing the lives of young people who were either fearful of or ready to pick on others with disabilities, and the impact on those with disabilities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Replicate it across the state, and the country.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

How did you learn about this organization?

It came to a school in my district.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Continuing to impact as many children and adults as possible.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Making it so disabilities don't matter any more than hair color as people are interacting with each other.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

ATOU has been a part of my family's life since 2006 when my son and I became volunteers. This is an extraordinary disability awareness group that helps breach the gap between disabled students and adults and their able-bodied peers. These peers get a chance to experience some of the day to day issues disabled people face, through a hands-on demonstration and participation in the use of wheelchairs, canes, braille, prosthetic devices and other disability tools. It is also a real eye-opener for the children to listen to the disabled speakers. The safe environment of the school setting allows for very open dialogue among all. Everyone learns so much from the ATOU experience.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been associated with them through my foundation at work (PASCO in Roseville) and personally through volunteer events for the past 10 years or so. They are a very caring non-profit agency. Not only do they affect the lives of the children to whom they present – but they change the lives of the volunteers (some challenged and some not) by adding to their sense of worth and appreciating their talents. ATOU volunteers make a big difference!! And now – they have added a Youth Force – where they are changing the lives of young people by giving them the chance to have fun and do normal things with their peers. ATOU is an absolutely wonderful organization!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Touch of Understanding is an amazing program where students of all ages gets to learn a little bit about others who may have different abilities. It is such an inspirational program that advocates inclusion for people of all abilities. Since volunteering with the program, it has motivated me to continue to volunteer with them. The students are always enthused about the program. A life changing program that must continue to exist for furure generations.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Through his involvement with A Touch of Understanding I have seen my sons confidence grow in leaps and bounds. This is largely due to his connecting with the caring volunteers and staff. They have great activities including ski trips and leadership development for special needs individuals. We are so grateful to be involved.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

A Touch of Understanding is breaking barriers between social classes; those with disabilities and those without. A Touch of Understanding enter our schools with the tools needed to give young people a more intimate impression of what dealing with a disadvantage might be like. This leaves the audience a greater understanding of the similarities between all of us verses the differences. They succeed in bringing about a greater connection to all social classes rather then a potential divide.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

ATOU is a very amazing and touching program. As a volunteer, I get to see what they do, and the effect it has on the people they touch. I hope this program continues to reach as many schools as possible. Thank you for all you do ATOU!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally seen the many results of this program. Between volunteering with them, and just seeing the expressions of the kids, and what they see to each other between and during the program. Not to mention the notes and emails they receive regarding their amazing program!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Reach more schools, as many as possible. As well as visiting more schools focused on kids with special needs. Please visit www.tridynamic.com Thank you.

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Review from Guidestar