May 16-17, 2019 Forum

Hurry – Register Now for the 2019 Targeting Autism Forum!!!

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There are some remaining seats for the 5th Annual Targeting Autism Forum, May 16 & 17, at Dominican University, River Forest IL.  Join us for an opportunity to network and learn about neurodiversity, civil rights and libraries from many nationally known experts and self-advocates.

Registration has been extended through April 19.  Email Suzanne Schriar for more information or to register.

Below are just a few of our speakers:

Dilshad Ali, Autism Advocate & White House “Champion of Change” Will Speak at the Targeting Autism Forum, May 16-17

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Dilshad D. Ali, an autism mom, has worked in the realm of autism advocacy for years, currently serving on the Advisory Board for Muslims Understanding and Helping Special Education Needs and in the past as the Chair of the Advisory Board for EnabledMuslim, affiliated with American Muslim Health Professionals.   She also serves on the Virginia Autism Advisory Council and advocated for the passage of an autism health insurance bill free of age caps, which came to fruition this past legislative year.  In 2015, in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the ADA, Dilshad was honored as a White House Champion of Change for her writing on autism, faith and family in Muslim communities on her blog The Muslimah Next Door.

Dilshad will share some of the challenges that Muslims who have autism and their families face in their own communities,  as well as, how we can better engage the autism Muslim community with libraries.

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.

Erin Miller, Self-Advocate and Co-Founder of SAVE IRIS (Include, Respect I Self-Direct) to Speak at the Targeting Autism Forum, May 16-17, 2019

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Erin Miller is an advocacy specialist at People First and is one of the co-founders of SAVE IRIS.  She has been public speaking since she was eight years old.  Among her accomplishments, Erin has completed the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related disorders (LEND) program, as well as completing a fellowship at the Wisconsin Women’s Network .  In addition, Erin is one of the co-founders of SAVE IRIS and frequently lectures at UW-Milwaukee’s special education department, where she trains future caring professionals going for their autism certificate.

Erin will share her insights on how having choices and living the good life is attainable for all, regardless of our challenges.

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.

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.

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.