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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Disabilities, Disabled Persons Rights, Education, Health, Primary & Elementary Schools, Secondary & High Schools

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.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Excellent disabilities awareness organization! I am a congenital disabled person that is a powerchair user. Was bullied/teased through my public school career. I am also a parent of a congenital disabled adult child. Wish there was such an organization when I was in public school!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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.

1 Chemene P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ATOU is an amazing program that has touched many students in our school district. Through their creative stations, videos and presenters, students have been able to get a feel and understanding of what it is like to be someone with a disability. Through the program, students have also learned the correct way to approach and treat others with a disability. ATOU is a program like no other, and I hope that it continues to be successful and grow throughout our region and beyond.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am an educator who works with kids ages Kindergarten to High School. I am so impressed with the approach ATOU has to help breakdown the barriers/walls between students with/without Special Needs. The Speakers are precious, the activities are powerful (hands-on!), and the love/compassion they do it all with is priceless! Keep up the great stuff ATOU!!

Review from Guidestar

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My mother has been a volunteer with ATOU for the past _ years. I've been involved with the program when possible (I live out of the area) and love what they do. All of the volunteers genuinely care about the cause and are nurturing, understanding, and educational. Watching the reactions of the children was a heartwarming, touching experience. As the child of a parent who is disabled, I'm not only grateful that this program exists, I feel it is a necessity.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have seen ATOU's presentations several times. I was amazed at the response of the children to the opportunities they had to experience things from the perspective of the disabled person. They seem so thankful to be able to talk openly to people with disabilities and hear honestly from them about their challenges & also their sameness with the general public. It is also a thrilling experience to hear the life stories of the volunteers & know that there is so much hope. My own son had an accident & brain injury recently. I know who I can talk to for support & understanding & much hope for recovery.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have written several stories on ATOU for the Grantie Bay View. The organization and the work they do is incredible. In addition to touching the lives of both the people they present to and those who present, they have been very active in the communities in which they belong. They are a well run and much needed organization and I have seen people of all ages permanently touched by them.