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February MAC Workshop to focus on DIR model of work with children who have Autism

on Fri, 01/13/2012 - 3:30pm

Thanks to a generous grant from The FAR Fund, the Museum Access Consortium will be holding a workshop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on February 7th from 3:00-5:00PM as part of a series of four workshops that focus on how cultural institutions can adapt existing resources to provide a welcoming experience for visitors who have autism and their families.  We invite museum professionals and members and representatives from the disability community to join us.  Participation in prior workshops is not required.  Please see instructions below to RSVP, as space is limited.

Workshop: Strategies for Providing Welcoming Experiences in Museums for People with Autism

Date/Time: Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 from 3:00-5:00PM

Workshop Description: Gil Tippy, PsyD, Clinical Director and Founder of the Rebecca School in Manhattan, and Aaron Feinstein, Director of Actionplay, will present on the Developmental, Individual-difference, Relationship-based (DIR) model of work with children with Autism.  Particular emphasis will be given to how this model will help museum professionals facilitate the interaction between their institutions and the children on the Autism Spectrum, regardless of the model being used in the treatment of students.  Dr. Tippy will explain how the DIR model is consisten with the goals of cultural institutions in their interactions with the community, and Aaron Feinstein will run an experiential exercise that will help solidify the concepts laid out by Dr. Tippy.

Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Art Study Room at the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. Please use street level entrance on Fifth Avenue at 81st Street.

Advance reservations required: Space is limited. Call 212-650-2010 or email to reserve yourself a spot.

About the Presenters:

Two separate photographs: man on left side wears long-sleeved shirt in an informal setting.  Man in right photo wears suit and is standing in front of a red curtain in a formal setting.

Gil Tippy, PsyD (pictured on the right above), is one of the founders of the Rebecca School and is its Clinical Director.  He has evaluated hundreds of children from the Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-based perspective, having been mentored by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, the late creator of the DIR model.  He is the author of "Respecting Autism" along with Dr. Greenspan (Vantage Press, 2011).  He is actively involved with creating museum programs for children on the Autism Spectrum, and in this capacity is the Clinical Director of "Actionplay".  Dr. Tippy also has a large clinical practice in Oyster Bay, New York.  He has two children and lives on Long Island with his wife and daughter.

Aaron Feinstein (pictured on the left above) is an educator, mentor, artist, and believer in advocating for children with special needs.  He is the CEO/Founder of Actionplay which strives to build educational arts and cultural programming that is inclusive of children with autism, learning disabilities, and special needs.  He is also the Director of The Miracle Project, a musical theater and film program for children with autism, special needs, and their typically developing siblings and peers.  As a child, Aaron struggled with learning disabilities and found that theater and music programs offered an accepting environment to connect him socially and academically with his peers.  In 2004 while living in Los Angeles, Aaron met Elaine Hall, who encouraged Aaron to bring his passion and talents in theater andmusic to the special needs community.  Aaron was co-director with Elaine of the pilot Miracle Project after-school program, which became the subject of the two-time Emmy award-winning documentary, "Autism: The Musical".  During this time, Aaron also worked as a Developmental Interventionist under the guidance of Sharon Lowery and Danakae Bonahoom at SmartStart Developmental Learning Center.  Danakae inspired Aaron to work from his heart and to “follow the child’s need®,” which had a profound impact on Aaron's ability to see the desire to communicate in the interactions of all children.  Aaron is a multi-talented artist, and the arts became his way to help children with special needs to develop their own unique voice.  In 2006, Aaron moved to Brooklyn and started theater and film programs at special needs schools, including The Rebecca School in Manhattan and Celebrate the Children in New Jersey.  In 2009-2010, Aaron brought the Miracle Project to the Rebecca School in Manhattan.  Aaron is an accomplished director and musician and has directed, performed, and lectured nationally and internationally, as well as receiving an MFA in theatre directing from UCLA.


All MAC workshops in this 2011-2012 series will be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a facility that is wheelchair accessible and where Assistive Listening Devices and neck loops are available.  If you require any other access accommodations, please call 212-650-2010 or email at least one week before the workshop.


Upon request:

About MAC

The Museum Access Consortium (MAC) strives to enable people with disabilities to access cultural facilities of all types. To learn more about MAC, join MAC on Facebook and see City Access New York for more information and a (free) membership form.