Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Run the Dream Celebrates World Autism Awareness Day



Internet-enabled video interviews with parents, family members, caregivers, and persons with an Autism Spectrum Disorder will be recorded and made available for the public on the Run the Dream website.

April 2, 2008 is the first annual United Nations (UN) World Autism Awareness Day, fulfilling the UN resolution which encourages all member states to take measures to raise awareness about autism throughout society. In support of this resolution, Run the Dream is launching Their Stories, web-based video interviews with the persons most affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), who can best describe what it means.

Run the Dream invites parents, family members, caregivers, and persons with ASD to share their stories, via a video interview which can be recorded on the Run the Dream web site,, starting immediately, and viewed on the same web site starting on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day. Stories will be recorded and shared with the public on the Run the Dream website until the run is completed at the end of November this year. Run the Dream will continue to share these stories by then compiling the videos from each province and presenting them to the respective Premier, and likewise will present all videos from across Canada to the Prime Minister. The Their Stories initiative is the very first of its kind in Canada using an automated web-based structured interview process, and based on our research, is a global first as well. This innovation is possible through the generous sponsorship of Minavox ( and the use of their ground-breaking Canadian-developed technology, Savisys.

In the few days since Jonathan Howard started his run, stories from across Canada have flooded Run the Dream's e-mail inboxes, "Jonathan Howard, created the concept of Run the Dream and started a cross-Canada run in support of ASD on March 25. Even though we're only in the beginning days of this journey we've already received touching stories and offers of support from a large number of Canadians who want to tell their story, and who want to help in making Run the Dream a success. In our view these stories are worthy of sharing with every Canadian. We're delighted that Minavox is making their software and service available to Run the Dream for this purpose," says Bill Robertson, Chairman of Run the Dream's organizing committee.

Working with Autism Society Canada (ASC) the Dream wants to ensure all voices are heard. Those people who do not have access to a computer or a webcam can share their stories using any PC with a webcam, including those of ASC's community partners, through the Their Storiesweb portal. "ASC represents a very large collective voice of the autism community in Canada; we applaud this opportunity to tell Their Stories", says Kathleen A. Provost, CFRE- Executive Director, Autism Society Canada.

This innovation is possible through the generous sponsorship of Minavox ( ) and the use of their ground-breaking Canadian-developed technology Savisys. "Minavox is proud to be associated with Run the Dream and Autism Society Canada, and to be able to provide its services to let Their Stories be heard." said Todd Nowensky, Managing Director and Vice-President of Business Development for Minavox Inc. Added Geoff Kushnir, Managing Director and Vice-President of Technology: "In our view this is one of the best illustrations of what is being described as the new era of the internet, Web 2.0."

Jonathan Howard, 24, McMaster University alumnus, and accomplished athlete developed the Run the Dream campaign to help raise awareness of the challenges faced by individuals with ASD and their families. Run the Dream is an eight month solo run across Canada, starting in St. John's, NL on March 25 and finishing in Victoria, BC on or about November 21. The run will cover approximately 9000km, crossing 10 provinces and more than 650 communities across the country. The campaign is targeted to raise $2.5 million to benefit children affected by ASD and their families. Jonathan appreciates the groundswell of support that has already formed behind his effort and would particularly like to acknowledge the contributions of the sponsors (listed below) of Run the Dream.

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For more information on Run the Dream or to schedule an interview

with Jonathan Howard please contact

Alex Bittner at:, 888-507-5885 ext. 4.

For more information on Autism Society Canada please contact:

Lynn Andrews, Director of Communications:

For more information on Minavox please contact:

Ada Nowensky, VP of Marketing

Run the Dream would like to thank their sponsors:

Telus – Official telecommunications sponsor for Run the Dream


Landmark Sport Group

Mariposa Cruises


Evolution Rehabilitation and Personal Training Ltd

Whitewater Web Solutions


Spa Sensations

Lauren Canzius
General Manager, Media Relations & Communications
Run The Dream

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