UPDATE: Niko Blosovic confirmed on Facebook Friday that he might be happening the UN trip subsequent month.
“There were people talking to people for a while,and it finally got worked out,” he wrote.
KGW will convey you further info because it turns into out there.
PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland teenager who gained a nationwide writing contest and the trip of a lifetime is now preventing for his civil rights.
Niko Boskovic’s household stated after contest officers from the Order of Odd Fellows United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth, Inc. discovered their son had autism, they yanked his award.
“They came back after a month and a half with, ‘Sorry, he’s no longer able to take part and chaperones are not allowed to take part either,’” stated Niko’s mom, Loreta Boskovic.
When Niko, 15, was three years previous, docs recognized him with autism, which makes speaking very troublesome for him. Loreta stated a number of years in the past a easy letter board modified every little thing. Niko now communicates by pointing to letters on the board to spell what he needs to say.
“Now I can’t shut up,” spelled Niko.
“He’s a good writer,” added Loreta.
So good, Niko gained an essay contest sponsored by the Odd Fellows, a nationwide fraternal group. For his essay on Ukraine, Portland’s Peninsula Odd Fellows Lodge selected Niko to hitch 300 youngsters from all over the world to go to New York for The United Nations Pilgrimage For Youth. The native lodge raised the $1,600 dollars wanted to pay for the trip.
“He was our choice,” stated Peninsula Odd Fellows Lodge secretary David Scheer.
Niko was thrilled.
“Not often do we see someone of my challenges, that takes so much time to communicate, take part in something like this,” spelled Niko.
But then, the Peninsula lodge received an e mail from the order’s nationwide nonprofit saying Niko wouldn’t be accepted for the trip after all.
“We can’t get any explanation in writing from them but when I spoke with the gentleman who’s the board chair for the UN Youth Program, he said ‘we are not equipped to accept people with disabilities,’” stated Loreta.
KGW reached out to the National Odd Fellows board and is ready for a response.
Scheer stated the native lodge filed a grievance, demanding to know why Niko had been rejected.
“We got no reply back except for a check refunding the money that we had paid for him,” stated Scheer. “We’re not going to allow them to discriminate like this.”
Scheer stated the native lodge is giving Niko the prize cash to make use of on a trip of his selection. It’s additionally boycotting the UN Pilgrimage Program till the group agrees to not discriminate towards winners due to their disabilities.
Disability Rights Oregon can also be getting concerned.
“We do intend to move forward with this,” stated Gordon Magella, an lawyer with Disability Rights Oregon. He stated thus far, the Odd Fellows nationwide group hasn’t returned their calls, both.
“This organization is really, flatly discriminating against Niko, just because he has autism and he uses his a letter board,” stated Magella. “It’s that blatant.”
Niko communicated that he had excessive hopes for the trip.
“Not only was I willing to learn,” spelled Niko. “But I wanted to be an ambassador, of sorts.”
Now staying residence might make Niko an envoy to the world.
“Really, these people are making this into a civil rights case,” spelled Niko.
Asked if he thought he would win such a case, Niko pointed his finger on the board and spelled “Y-E-S.”
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