Meet Mike and his wife Carmela.
In January 2017, their son Luke was diagnosed with autism. While meeting other families, it became apparent to them that living with autism can often separate individuals from society.
As a response to this reality, they decided to try an idea, by creating something called Family Game Day.
What they discovered was that this humanitarian initiative not only promoted inclusive spaces but also worked as an effective awareness tool for autism.
It also demonstrated that the world of play can, in fact, make it easier for people to connect, no matter what walk in life they have had to take...and at the very least, allow for individuals to co-exist.
Now, Path of Play extends its mandate, by assisting families through various subsidy programs, and institutes an array of gaming projects that expand on methods of play, both in the home and in early intervention centres.
This project is beginning to open more doors of understanding and ultimately, acceptance for many of these families.
So, let's play....together.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mike is an accomplished television, web and podcast content producer. As an employee of CBC-Radio Canada for 15 years, he has embraced the value of the life lessons people share through their own personal journeys.
Mike’s involvement and drive to bring Path of Play to life is the result personal experience. With his personal connection to the autism world, his hope is that the foundation of every Path of Play initiative can help bring the neuro-typical and autism realms closer together through various forms of play.
For families living with autism, it becomes an outlet that is completely free of judgement. For families not impacted by special needs, it becomes a tremendous tool for awareness, understanding, and acceptance.
It is the success of these special efforts by Mike, his family, and the supportive community around him, that can now make the Path of Play project a reality.
David has been a 3D animator for 13 years in the film and television industry.
He recently added board game designer to his CV with the successful Kickstarter funding of his first published board game Fossilis.
He lives in Oakville, ON with his wife and two sons with whom he loves to play board games as often as possible.
David discovered when he took the opportunity to volunteer with the organization at Origins 2019. Over the course of that weekend, he saw the amazing work the project was doing within the gaming community for families living with autism. From that experience, he decided he wanted to continue being a part of that.
While he doesn't have a direct connection to special needs, he does have a passion for sharing the tabletop gaming hobby with others and becoming a part of Path of Play allows him to do that in a meaningful way.
He wants to see families feel included in the hobby despite their unique circumstances, and hopes to use his talents to grow the charity to its fullest potential.
Murray is the President and Owner of C.D. Financial, Inc. in Buffalo, NY and is a lifelong friend of Path of Play founder,
Like Mike, Murray has a child (Charlotte - diagnosed with autism and fully appreciates the unique challenges and opportunities of caring for a child on the spectrum.
Being able to expose Charlotte to as many inclusive events as possible remains a mission for the Richardson family as they feel it promotes independence, and situational safety for their daughter who is non-verbal and requires a increased level of assistance.
Community awareness and acceptance are high on the “life checklist” and being involved with an organization like Path of Play really brings the message home.