2012 BILL GRAHAM AWARD
Hidden Wings is a non-profit dedicated to elevating the gifts of young adults with autism, so that they might have a full and productive life in society. Most high school graduates with autism are ill-prepared to face the challenges of the world. Hidden Wings has designed a post-secondary specifically for those on the autistic spectrum. The school opened September 15, 2010. The school has been created primarily by parents and gifted mentors. The emphasis is on rigorous exercise, a predictable and loving environment, and intellectual stimulation based upon the unique gifts of every student. Thus the goal is not the remediation of deficits but the cultivation of talents. In the 2011/2012 school year, drum therapy became a critical part of the Hidden Wings curriculum, and it has been found that the rhythm of drumming quiets the mind and reduces the anxiety, depression and loneliness of autism. Rhythm has become the speech of the speechless.
In memory of pioneering producer and founding Rex board member Bill Graham, himself a refugee, this award is for those working to assist children who are victims of political oppression and human rights violations.