Author: Diane Stewart, Enable Outreach Specialist

Over the course of our three-year history, we at Enable Alabama have seen first-hand the incredible joy and dedication of our local disability community. We share many of these stories on our Facebook page – you can find us @EnableSavingsPlanAlabama. For today’s blog, in honor of Autism Awareness Month and to highlight joy in the midst of these unprecedented times, we are sharing some of the fantastic work that has been done in Alabama to improve awareness and accessibility for all.

  • This year, the Mercedes Marathon pulled ahead of the pack, officially becoming the first sensory inclusive marathon in Alabama, and the second nationwide! By providing sensory bags and a quiet space for those who need it, the race helped ensure that all fans felt comfortable and welcome. Read more about the program from WBRC FOX6: Mercedes Marathon is the first marathon in Alabama to become sensory inclusive.
  • While the Mercedes Marathon was prepping for their big day, so was Jack Knight, a Birmingham runner with autism! Jack has been working with his trainer for more than a year and a half, and after discovering his love of running, has worked hard to prepare for his first marathon. Check out his training routine and hear more from his awesome coach with MSN: Man with autism trains to complete first full marathon.
  • Northport resident Quinetta Dunn got the gift of a lifetime when Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa built her family a sensory-inclusive home, full of features to help her son Ayden thrive. Take a tour of the home and hear more from Quinetta and her community in this great video from ABC 33/40: Habitat for Humanity builds Autism-friendly home for Northport family.
  • Clear for takeoff! Montgomery Regional Airport is making a commitment to improve the travel experience of individuals with autism. Through a program called ‘Spectrum Sky’, the airport is training its employees to best serve travelers with autism and organizing ‘rehearsals’ to help families familiarize themselves with airport protocols. Learn more about the program in this reporting from WSFA 12: Montgomery Regional Airport to host Autism training for staff and public.
  • Most of us get a little nervous meeting our heroes – but not Abigail, a nine-year-old with autism who was overjoyed to meet Alabama football superstar Tua Tagovailoa! Tua went all out for his number one fan, giving her a big hug and letting her hang out with him while he signed autographs. See the picture of their hug, and hear from Abigail’s family about what it meant, in this article from WAFF 48: Picture shows Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa hugging young fan in Huntsville.

Enable Alabama works every day to create a more accessible world through savings and financial stability. We are so proud of every person and organization who is working in their own way to make a difference.

Join us on Facebook @EnableSavingsPlanAlabama to share your favorite recent stories, and to keep up to date on all things Enable Alabama. And most of all, happy Autism Awareness Month!