Deadline to Register for the Targeting Autism Forum is April 7th!

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There are still some openings to attend the Targeting Autism Forum, May 11-12th at the Illinois State Library, but we are quickly reaching our attendance limit.  The complete agenda is available here:

2017 Targeting Autism Forum agenda final

If  you are interested in attending, please send an email to Suzanne Schriar with a brief statement about what you hope to gain from the forum.

If  you are unable to attend, all forum sessions will be recorded and archived for viewing after the event.

Grant Awarded to Albert Wisner Public Library to Serve Teens with Autism

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The “Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More” Grant Committee is proud to announce the Albert Wisner Public Library in Warwick, New York as this year’s grant recipient. As the winner of this grant, the library will receive $5000 for their project “Improve Your Social Life: Social Skills for Tweens and Teens with Autism.”

The “Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More” Grant is sponsored by Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected (www.librariesandautism.org). This grant honors the memory of  Meg Kolaya and her groundbreaking work as co-founder of Libraries and Autism, as well as her contributions in promoting inclusion, connecting libraries and the autism community, and bringing awareness to the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The Albert Wisner Public Library will provide a series of workshops designed to support the development of social skills for teens and tweens with ASD. In this series, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the library, form a book group, enhance their social media etiquette, express themselves through art projects, play board games, take part in a group dance, and more.  The program has three primary goals: introduce and encourage social skills that teens and tweens can apply in the library and beyond; provide those on the spectrum and their families a safe and familiar place in the community; demonstrate respect for neurodiversity and inclusion.

Barbara Klipper, creator of the grant said, “I am delighted that this year’s grant winner is Albert Wisner Public Library. Their parent-initiated proposal was well-written, is easily replicable and serves an often overlooked subgroup of the ASD population.  In 2016, we funded projects for preschoolers and for college students. This year, we are funding an initiative for tweens and teens. It is my hope that these grant-winning projects will inspire a wide range of libraries to serve people of all ages with ASD.”

Daniel F. Flores, Ph.D. is from the Judith J. Carrier Library at Tarrant County College in Texas, one of the recipients of last year’s “Autism Welcome Here” Grant.  The college developed a new project to support a successful transition to college students with ASD.  When asked about the impact this grant had on his college community, Flores said, “I am thankful for the Autism Welcome Here Grant. Our Autism Spectrum College Information Talks Project at Tarrant County College offers expert-led forums designed around the research question—how can we facilitate a successful transition to college for students with ASD? My own awareness of students with ASD has grown immensely, and this experience has opened my eyes to the amazing capabilities and gifts of college students with ASD.”

The “Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services, and More” Grant Committee extends their congratulations to Albert Wisner Public Library and to all of the libraries that submitted proposals.

Applications for the 2018 grant(s) will be accepted starting September 1, 2017. More information about the grant can be found at www.librariesandautism.org/grant.

Members of the 2017 “Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services, and More” Grant Committee include Daniel Flores (2017); Renee Grassi (2016, 2017); Barbara Klipper (2016, 2017); Adria Nassim (2016, 2017); Suzanne Schriar (2016, 2017); Debra Vines (2016, 2017); and Dan Weiss (2016, 2017).

 

 

 

 

Author and Storyteller on the Spectrum to Present at the 2017 Forum

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Colin Eldred-Cohen is a creative writer and storyteller, who is on the autism spectrum. Colin is an active member of the Autistic Creatives Collective (ACC), a community of talented creative writers, artists and musicians on the autism spectrum. Colin and his father Donald Cohen will be two of the presenters at the 2017 Targeting Autism forum, held at the Illinois State Library, May 11-12. Among the topics presented, father and son will share ideas about how libraries can help to foster creative expression in the autism community.

Register for the 2017 Targeting Autism Forum!!

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The Illinois State Library is currently accepting registrations for the 2017 Targeting Autism Forum, to be held at the Illinois State Library, Springfield, IL, on May 11-12. Lodging will be provided, May 10-11, at the Springfield Wyndham Hotel (formerly Hilton).  Upon registration, a room will be reserved in your name.  Meals and snacks during the conference will also be provided.  Reimbursement for transportation, however, will only be provided to forum presenters.

As in past years, the State Library can accommodate 80 participants. We would like to encourage participation from those who have not previously attended one or both of the earlier forums.  If you have attended in the past, we encourage you to register early as registration for previous attendees will be on a first-come-first-serve basis.  As always, all forum sessions will be recorded for viewing on the Targeting Autism YouTube Channel.

To register for the 2017 Targeting Autism Forum, simply send an email to Suzanne Schriar and include the following information:

 Subject line: I would like to attend the 2017 Targeting Autism Forum

Name:

Job Title:

Place of Employment and address:

Contact Information, including email and phone:

Include a brief paragraph stating what you hope to gain from this forum (see highlights below)

A sampling of the 2017 forum presenters includes the following:

Michael John Carley

michael_john_carley_2 will be our keynote speaker to open the forum on Thursday.  Author of Asperger’s from the Inside Out and Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum (with two other books in production), Carley was the founder and first Executive Director of GRASP and former Executive Director of ASTEP.  He now works as an international autism consultant and motivational speaker.  Mr. Carley also received a diagnosis of Asperger’s after his son was diagnosed.

Brian Kingbrian-king

 is author of four books.  He is an internationally recognized relationship consultant and motivational speaker. He was diagnosed with Aspergers, ADHD and Dyslexia after his 3 boys were diagnosed with ADHD and Aspergers.  King turned his consulting and coaching business into a virtual format to accommodate clients from across the globe.

Carrie Banks

banks-big is author of Serving Families of Children with Special Needs:  A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians (ALA Editions) and has been director of the Brooklyn Public Library’s Child’s Place for Children with Special Needs since 1997.  In 2015, Banks was elected to the Board of Directors of ASCLA as the Designated Director for Special Populations.  An expert in library inclusion, she will present an interactive approach to problem-solve common issues for librarians with regard to autism, diversity, accommodation and inclusion.

Linda Hodgdon

linda-hodgdonis often referred to as the “Queen of Visuals.” Over 30 years in the field as an autism consultant, trainer, author and teacher, Hodgdon’s strategies are practical for every setting.  Two of her practical guides: Visual Strategies for Improving Communication and Solving Behavior Problems in Autism are invaluable resources for educators, librarians, parents and anyone who works with children with autism or other developmental/communication disorders.

Donald Cohen

donald-cohenwho is founder and Executive Director of In the Public Interest, helped to establish the Autism Creatives Collective, a community of talented creative writers, artists and musicians on the spectrum who support each other in their creative endeavors. Cohen is also father to  Colin Eldred-Cohen,colin-eldred-cohen a young adult with autism who has just published his first children’s book.   Together they will deliver an engaging presentation about Colin’s path to creative writing, the special difficulties that creative people on the spectrum face and how libraries can support writers and other creatives on the spectrum.

The Tu Y Yo: Young Adults with Autism Mentoring, Educating and Advocating.  This group of young adults with autism will educate and inspire us all as they share the active roles they take with each other and in their community to address needs for all individuals with autism, especially young adults.

We will have two panel discussions:

  1. Panel on Autism and Employment in Libraries with Philip Zupon, Tina Dolcetti, Ata Bird and Dan O’Hara.
  2. Janet McAllister of the Rochester, Illinois Public Library and Maggie Henderson of the Glen Carbon, Illinois Public Library will discuss providing library internship opportunities for students/individuals on the spectrum.

This and more promises to make for an intensive and engaging forum experience. We hope to see you there!

2017 Targeting Autism Forum, May 11-12

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The Targeting Autism national forum will be held May 11 and 12, 2017 at the Illinois State Library, in Springfield, Illinois.  Seating is limited.  This year, we would like to prioritize registration for “first-timers,” those who have not previously attended one of the forums, while still allowing the continuing education of former attendees.  Registration forms will be available soon.  Mark your calendar today!

 

Targeting Autism in Communities of Color

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Debra Vines, Founder/Executive Director of The Answer Inc. and Targeting Autism board member discusses the challenges faced by her community in accessing autism support and services in an interview with ABC News Correspondent, John Donvan.

 

 

 

Real-life scenarios needed for 2017 Targeting Autism Forum!

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Carrie Banks, Director, Brooklyn Public Library and one of the authors of “Including Families of Children with Special Needs,” will be a presenter at the 2017 Targeting Autism forum in Springfield, IL, May 11-12.    Her topic will focus on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and what compliance with ADA means when serving those on the autism spectrum, whose disabilities are not physical and often hidden.

 Carrie enjoys doing practical presentations using role play and real-life scenarios to assist librarians and other public services employees to deal with patrons and challenging situations skillfully, through practice.  To maximize the benefit of her techniques, Carrie has requested input of actual issues that have come up with patrons who are on the autism spectrum.  Attendees at the upcoming forum will have an opportunity to role play these real life scenarios and practice strategies to accommodate and address the needs of these special needs citizens.

 Please send your real life stories or issues that have come up in your library of other place of work to Suzanne Schriar.  You can help make this an outstanding session with these accounts.

 Further details about registering to attend the forum are forthcoming.  We hope to see you there!!