May 17-18, 2018 Forum

Resources and Training Offered by Autism Training and Technical Assistance (ATTA) and Autism Speaks

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2018 forum Colleen Shinn and Nikki Michalak

Colleen Shinn, Autism Speaks                                                Nikki Machalak, ATTA   


The Autism Training and Technical Assistance project (ATTA) seeks to create resources and training that can be used by students with ASD, their family members, secondary and postsecondary educators and staff, employers, and members of the community, to better understand the transition process, the unique barriers faced by individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and to assist them in working towards or providing equitable access in the workplace/postsecondary setting.  Nikki Michalak, Research Coordinator, ATTA, shared information about the Project at the Targeting Autism forum.

Colleen Shinn, Manager, Community Outreach, Autism Speaks, Midwest and South Central Regions on activities and resources available from Autism Speaks, including their extensive Spectrum Careers Portal.  Colleen also shared how she is collaborating with Illinois libraries to increase awareness of the wide range of resources that are freely available to support individuals with autism.

The presentation at the 2018 Targeting Autism Forum can be viewed here.


How Libraries Can Work with Local Stakeholders to Serve the Autistic Community : Collaborative Models in Illinois

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Amanda Marti, Community Advocate, provided a real-life step-by-step example of developing a community needs assessment and sustainable collaborations.  As Amanda points out, “It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of a village.”  (Elaine Hall)

Click here to view Amanda’s entire presentation.

2018 forum Amanda Marti



Holly Jin (Skokie Public Library); Cathy Hoffman (Mokena Public Library); Deb Sherrick (Greenup Township Public Library); Kathy Claybaugh and Julie Ozier (Monat Gratitude Autism Squad of Cumberland County, IL, shared how they formed partnerships in their communities to enhance and expand library services to people with disabilities.

Click here to view their entire panel discussion.

2018 forum Holly Jin, Cathy Hoffman et al





Targeting Autism: Global Perspectives

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2018 forum Nancy Bolt

Nancy Bolt  has been active in the library profession for over 35 years. Ms. Bolt has expertise in strategic planning, project planning and evaluation, staff development and training and international library development. Her work with the International Federation of Libraries and Institutions (IFLA) and the United Nations (U.N.) focuses on services for people with disabilities. Ms. Bolt was 2016 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award. She was also named the 2016 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) International Relations Committee’s John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award, given to a librarian or person who has made significant contributions to international librarianship. She has also authored a large number of influential publications.

Nancy Bolt’s entire presentation is available here.



2018 forum Sujin HugginsSujin Huggins, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at Dominican University’s School of Information Studies and a Targeting Autism project partner, was born and raised in Trinidad.  Dr. Huggins gave a compelling presentation on the history and culture of Trinidad, and how their citizens are beginning to address the needs of individuals with autism.

Sujin’s entire presentation is available here.



2018 Samuel Senyo Dogoe

Samuel Senyo Dogoe, Executive Director of Contemporary Consultancy Organization in Ghana, shared his ongoing work in building and developing the first diagnostic and treatment clinic and school serving children with autism in the Volta Region.

Samuel’s entire presentation is available here.