May 16-17, 2019 Forum

Tom Iland, Nationally Known Autism Self-Advocate and Author to Speak at the 2019 Forum

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Tom Iland is a successful adult who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 13.  He is currently employed as a Certified Public Accountant and engages in an active work and social life.  Tom is also known for being an inspiring speaker and author.  He is a Distinguished ToastMaster, an honor reserved for a select group of speakers worldwide with extensive training and years of experience.

As a young man with autism, Tom has extensive, first-hand experience in looking for and obtaining employment, creating and maintaining relationships, practicing and educating about safety with law enforcement, and giving advice about the benefits of making someone’s autism known, instead of being kept a secret.

Tom’s recent book, Come to Life:  Your Guide to Self-Discovery, offers practical suggestions based on experience to help parents, educators and other self-advocates find the motivation in themselves to embrace adulthood.

Registration for the Forum is open through April 15th or until we reach maximum capacity.  To register, send an email here.   Include your name, contact information, professional affiliation and a brief statement of what you hope to gain from attending the forum.

Lodging and meals (breakfast and lunch) are provided.  Because registration for the forum will probably exceed the number of hotel rooms available, please consider commuting if travel to Dominican University in River Forest, IL, is convenient.

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Renee Grassi, Library Leader & Advocate for People of All Abilities, will speak at the 2019 forum.

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Renee BarcelonaAward winning, author, blogger, speaker, trainer, Renee Grassi, is a recognized library leader and advocate for people of all abilities.  Renee considers herself a passionate ally for those with autism and other disabilities and presents nationally and internationally, to help library be more equitable and inclusive for all.  In 2012, she was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker for launching Deerfield Public Library’s first disability-friendly programs.  Renee went on to develop new inclusive programs and services for patrons of all ages at Glencoe Public Library and Glen Ellyn Public Library.  She has been a member of the ALSC Committee for Special Populations and their Caregivers and a founding member of SNAILS, a model Illinois networking group dedicated to developing more accessible libraries for children and teens with disabilities.

Renee is currently the Youth Services Manager at Dakota County Library in Minnestota.  She will share her expertise and her library’s efforts in breaking down barriers to access and empowering choice for the disability community through innovative library programs and services.

Registration for the Forum is open through April 15th.  Send an email here.   Include your name, contact information, professional affiliation and a brief statement of what you hope to gain from attending the forum.

Lodging and meals (breakfast and lunch) are provided.  Because registration for the forum will probably exceed the number of hotel rooms available, please consider commuting if travel to Dominican University in River Forest, IL, is convenient.

 

 

Steph Diorio, Librarian, Archivist & Autistic Self-Advocate to Speak at the 2019 Targeting Autism Forum

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Steph Diorio is the local history librarian/archivist at Hoboken Public Library and has been an autistic self-advocate for ten years since her diagnosis in July 2009.  In addition to her work and advocating through her various archival and library posts, she is also the founder of the Autistic Gaming Initiative, an organization of autistic gamers who do monthly livestreams for autistic-run charities and organizations and to promote further acceptance of autistic people in the gaming community and at large.  Her academic areas of research include the history of comedy (with emphasis on British comedy in the 1960s and anything in the 19th century) and the Long 19th Century (particularly the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War and World War I).  She spends her spare time writing and drawing comics and shares her life with an abnormally large cat name Murphy.

Steph will discuss her advocacy work, including using her position as a public library employee to self-advocate for autistic folks in the community.  She will address why it’s important to include autistic people in the discussions about autism and how best to serve your community.

Registration for the Forum is open through April 15th.  Send an email here.   Include your name, contact information, professional affiliation and a brief statement of what you hope to gain from attending the forum.

Lodging and meals (breakfast and lunch) are provided.  Because registration for the forum will probably exceed the number of hotel rooms available, please consider commuting if travel to Dominican University in River Forest, IL, is convenient.

Gyasi Burks-Abbott, Librarian & Autism Self-Advocate Shares Insights on Education, Inclusion & Self-Advocacy at 2019 Forum

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Gyasi Burks-Abbott is a librarian, writer, public speaker, and self-advocate. In addition to working as a library assistant for the Harvard College Library and a reference librarian at Newbury College, Gyasi has sat on the boards of the Twin Cities Autism Society (St. Paul, MN), the Asperger’s Association of New England (now the Asperger/Autism Network), and the Steering Committee of the Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts. Currently, Gyasi is on the Board of Directors of Autism Housing Pathways, and he is a committee member of the Bedford Cultural Council. He also serves as an advisor to the Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts. 

Currently, Gyasi is a fellow with the intensive, multidisciplinary training program, Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders (LEND), at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Gyasi will share the knowledge he gained as a LEND fellow and reflect on how it relates to autism and civil rights. 

Registration for the Forum is open through April 15th.  Send an email here.   Include your name, contact information, professional affiliation and a brief statement of what you hope to gain from attending the forum.

Lodging and meals (breakfast and lunch) are provided.  Because registration for the forum will probably exceed the number of hotel rooms available, please consider commuting if travel to Dominican University in River Forest, IL, is convenient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lei Wiley-Mydske Autistic Advocate & Founder of the Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Lending Library to Speak at 2019 Targeting Autism Forum

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Lei Wiley-Mydske is an autistic and otherwise neurodivergent adult and disability rights activist.  She is the director of the Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library in Stanwood, Washington and the Community Outreach Coordinator for Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network.  She is a writer and illustrator currently working on a children’s book about autism acceptance featuring the Neurodivergent Narwhals.  Lei has spoken at national conferences and in her local community on neurodiversity, collaborative advocacy, creating safe and accessible spaces for autistic people and using satire and humor as a tool to combat systemic ableism. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her amazing neurodiverse family.  

The topic of Lei’s talk  will be Supporting the Autistic Community Through Neurodiversity Libraries.  Lei will look at and challenge the ways we talk about autism in our society.  Who is dominating the conversations about autism and whose voices should be prioritized and centered?  She will explore the ideas of neurodiversity, autistic pride and autistic culture and how to create accessible, inclusive, grassroots community based resources that support and uphold those ideas.

Registration for the Forum is open through April 15th.  Send an email here.   Include your name, contact information, professional affiliation and a brief statement of what you hope to gain from attending the forum.

Lodging and meals (breakfast and lunch) are provided.  Because registration for the forum will probably exceed the number of hotel rooms available, please consider commuting if travel to Dominican University in River Forest, IL, is convenient.

 

2019 Targeting Autism Forum

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The 2019 Targeting Autism Forum will be held on May 16 & 17 in Parmer Hall at Dominican University, River Forest, IL. 

We hope that you enjoy the new venue and that holding the forum in the Chicagoland area will be more convenient for many of you.  Watch for additional details in the coming weeks.

We look forward to seeing you in May!