Bianca Appleford established the Light Up Autism Foundation, was named Frankston’s 2017 Citizen of the Year and was given the honour of taking part in the Queen’s Baton Relay last month. Frankly Frankston Magazine’s Kate Sears talks to Bianca about her projects and passion.
Tell us a little background behind the reason for establishing the foundation.
The idea was to ensure the brightest possible future and total inclusion of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in mainstream schools by providing professional support and care. It is important for teachers to have strategies to effectively engage all students with equity in the learning process.
What does the foundation do?
In collaboration with the child’s school, the foundation funds and facilitates individualised Applied Behavioural Analysis programs within the student’s school setting. These therapeutic programs continue the work of the early intervention that children may have received prior to school.
How was your past year as Citizen of the Year?
It was a real privilege. I had the opportunity to speak with many different groups in our community and I hope that I was able to champion acceptance and understanding of ASD during this time.
What was it like being a part of the Queen’s Baton Relay?
It was an absolute thrill to participate knowing my community had selected me to do this on their behalf. That morning I was running for my community and holding in mind all the families and children that had inspired my work past, present and future.