We realise that nothing can truly simulate what it is like for people with autism and other deadly deseases.

Our aim is to simply encourage a greater understanding from people outside the autism community. Social network users have become reliant and even addicted to platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And if they shutdown for 1 day, they will feel a sense of disconnection and a sense of frustration. By creating a little empathy, we hope to encourage a wider understanding and acceptance of people with autism.

We also aim to raise much-needed funds for autism services in more than 40 countries. To join, simply make a donation to receive the CHAPP (charity app). The CHAPP spreads the word and gives you a shutdown badge to wear online.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ACCOUNTS? WILL THEY BE DEACTIVATED?

Not at all. It simply shows people that you have chosen to shut down by way of status updates, tweets and profile pictures. When you get the CHAPP, you are making a donation and helping to raise funds and awareness for autism. If you decide to cheat a little on the day and log on to your account, that’s entirely up to you.IF FOR SOME REASON I DO LOG ON, WILL IT SHOW ON MY FACEBOOK OR TWITTER PAGES?No, unless you tweet or leave a comment on Facebook, no one will know if you have logged on (only you!).AFTER I HAVE DONATED, HOW CAN I ACCESS MY CHAPP AT A LATER DATE?Just go to http://www.communicationshutdown.org/?view=downloads and enter your name and your email address to access the CHAPP again.CAN I STILL DONATE AND BE INVOLVED IF I DON’T HAVE FACEBOOK OR TWITTER?Yes, all donations will be greatly appreciated. You will still receive a screensaver, an email signature and blog buttons to show your support in other ways. There will also be shutdown graphics and messages for you to manually use on other social networks such as MySpace, Orkut, or Hyves. Or you could always open a Facebook or Twitter account!WHAT TIME WILL COMMUNICATION SHUTDOWN BE HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD?It will start at 12am, your local time, on 1 November 2010 and will finish at 11.59pm.WHAT EXACTLY IS THE CHAPP?It’s a charity app that has quite a few tricks:

  1. It connects with your Facebook and/or Twitter account. This shows your support and spreads the word to your friends and followers. It also signals your shutdown on November 1 by placing a ‘shutdown badge’ over your profile picture. (This happens automatically on Twitter and can be manually changed on Facebook.)
  2. It also adds your Facebook picture to our global mosaic of supporters where you can see yourself next to celebrity supporters.
  3. As well, it gives you other ways to show support through email signatures, blog buttons or screensavers.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET THE CHAPP?

The CHAPP is given to everyone who makes a minimum donation. Depending on your location, this is USD$5, AUD$5, £5 or €5.CAN I DONATE MORE THAN THE MINIMUM?Of course! We would love you to.DO I NEED A PAYPAL ACCOUNT?No, you can donate with a credit card through PayPal, without having a PayPal account.WHERE WILL MY DONATION GO?Communication Shutdown is a global fundraiser for autism where everybody around the world can make a donation to an autism organisation in their own country. Click here to learn more about our global autism partners. We are continuing to add more and more partners so if your country is not yet represented, it soon will be.

HOW MUCH OF MY DONATION WILL GO TOWARDS FUNDRAISING COSTS?

This fundraiser is powered by the people. By spreading the word through social networks, we are able to keep costs to a minimum. This ensures the maximum amount possible will go to autism organisations around the world.

As this is the inaugural Communication Shutdown, we are unable to provide a percentage of fundraising costs at this stage. However, we are committed to full transparency regarding costs and these will be published at the conclusion of the campaign.

WHO IS BEHIND COMMUNICATION SHUTDOWN?

Communication Shutdown was initiated by the AEIOU Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that provides early intervention therapy for children with autism in Australia. When AEIOU was presented with a fundraising idea using social networks, they realised it was much bigger than just Australia. After all, social networks aren’t bound by geography. So AEIOU decided to create the first global fundraiser for autism and established F.A.N. Worldwide (also a not-for-profit organisation) for the purpose of managing Communication Shutdown.

AEIOU also consulted with individuals in the wider autism community as part of development process.

HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT AUTISM OR FIND OUT ABOUT AUTISM SERVICES? Click here to see our global autism partners. You will find a link to a relevant autism organisation in your region.