Eagles Autism Foundation 2020 Impact Report

Cyclists cross the finish line at the 50-yard line of Lincoln Financial Field.

In an effort to create inclusive and accessible workouts, Ashley and Alex Singleton created their own fitness-themed YouTube channel.

ALEX SINGLETON’S ADVOCACY Eagles linebacker Alex Singleton has twice been a guest on the Eagles Autism Foundation’s social media series Sensory Saturdays with Max, first leading viewers through a workout with his sister Ashley in July and later returning in February for an interview that Max dubbed a Sensational Saturday. Calling himself one of Max’s biggest fans, Alex said he noticed how much Max’s comfort level, confidence, and public speaking ability had grown in just those few months.

the words Rethink, Respect, Reconsider. It is from Project R, whom Ashley works with, in recognition of the organization’s mission to discourage the use of the R-word and empower people with disabilities (those that are visible and those that may be less obvious to see) as valued individuals with unique capabilities and skills. Through living his dream of playing professional football, the linebacker has used his platform to provide a voice for his sister and those with different abilities. Alex believes that once you’re around someone like Ashley, you will forever feel different and be changed in the best way possible. “Awareness is knowledge and once you are aware, you want to spring into action”, says Alex. Last March at the start of quarantine, Special Olympics Calgary asked several people, including Alex and Ashley, to lead virtual workouts. They later did the same for Special Olympics Philadelphia, which

ultimately inspired their own fitness-themed series. During this offseason, the siblings created a YouTube channel with about 20 workout sessions. For Alex, the experience allowed him to take something that he knows and does regularly and make it accessible to everyone, no matter their ability level. Although a California native, Alex was well aware of Philadelphia’s reputation as a sports town and he believes that it has lived up to the hype. During his time here, he’s recognized that the fans’ passion extends beyond the team’s on-field performance to community initiatives such as the Eagles Autism Challenge. His first experience with the event came in 2019, when he manned the bounce house, interacting with celebrating participants as they crossed the finish line at Lincoln Financial Field. This year, he is looking forward to taking his participation to another level by completing one of the cycling routes.

The kind of ease, connection, and engagement seen in Alex’s conversations with Max have been ingrained in him his entire life. With an older sister with Down Syndrome, Alex grew up seeing not only the challenges that Ashley and her friends faced, but also their diverse talents and how much they have to offer. As a Special Olympian for more than 20 years in swimming and bowling, his sister serves as his role model and motivation. Alex wears a black band on his arm with

2020 Eagles Autism Foundation eaglesautismfoundation.org



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