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

Posted on

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:

Free webinar, “Navigating the Transition Years for Individuals with ASD”

Posted on

sign up now

There’s still time to register for the free webinar, Navigating the Transition Years for Individuals with ASD, hosted by the Illinois State Library, the Illinois Center for Specialized Professional Support at ISU and the Autism Training and Technical Assistance (ATTA) project. Learn about ways that you can help students, families or loved ones prepare for college or a career and the free resources and supports available online through ATTA.  March 7, 2019, 11:30 a.m. (CST).  Register here:



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

Image Posted on


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.

Illinois State Library/Targeting Autism Hosts Free Webinar on Navigating the Transition Years for Individuals with ASD

Posted on Updated on

autism webinar 2019
Central Standard Time

The number of students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) continues to rise.  Many students with ASD are now graduating from high school and entering the workforce and higher education classrooms.  Come learn about resources available to support the transition and explore strategies to increase success.

Presented by Nikki Michalak, Research Coordinator, ICSP (Illinois Center for Specialized Professional Support, Illinois State University)Nikki Michalak

Having worked in special education for over 13 years, Nikki strives to facilitate success for special education administrators, staff, and students by providing access to information and tools specifically designed to support students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Her goal is to understand the needs and challenges of educators working with individuals with ASD and be a relevant resource while empowering staff and students to succeed.  Nikki continues to provide professional learning, technical assistance, coaching and consultation to educators, and families of individuals and youth with ASD.  She co-created online professional development as well as undergraduate and graduate courses on ASD.  Ms. Michalak publishes in the field of ASD and informs local service provision through service on multiple leadership boards.

To attend this important and informative webinar, simply complete the registration form .









Chantal Sicile-Kira Speaking at 2019 Targeting Autism Forum

Posted on Updated on


Chantal Sicile-Kira, internationally known, award-winning author, speaker, autism mom and leader in the field of autism adolescence and transition to adulthood, will be a keynote speaker at the 2019 Targeting Autism Forum.

Chantal has over 25 years of experience as a parent and professional on both sides of the Atlantic. Her books are: Autism Spectrum Disorder; A Full Life with Autism (co-authored with her son Jeremy); What is Autism?; Autism Life Skills; Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum.

In past years, Chantal was appointed by the California Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders to serve as Co-Chair, South Counties Autism Regional Taskforce, and on the Transitional Services & Supports Taskforce of The California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.  Chantal and her family have been highlighted in Newsweek, on PBS, NPR, MTV, and Fox, Huntington Post and Psychology Today.

Registration to attend the forum is open until April 25th.  If you would like to attend or if you have questions send an email here

Simply include your name, contact information and a brief statement of what you hope to gain from attending the forum.



John Elder Robison Scheduled to Speak at the 2019 Targeting Autism Forum

Posted on

john elder robison

Being Different Turning Childhood Disabilities into Adult Gifts

John Elder Robison will describe how the differences of autism and ADHD can disable us as children even as they confer powerful competitive advantages upon us as adults. Though poignant examples from his own life, Robison will show how traits that crippled him as a child actually facilitated some of his greatest accomplishments as an adult. He will share a new way to look at disability, difference, and giftedness, offering a different paradigm for educators, parents, and neurodiverse people. Anyone who is personally affected by autism, Asperger’s, or ADHD will find this talk illuminating and inspiring.

Registration for the Forum is open – now 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.

As in past  years, lodging and meals are provided.  (Since rooms are limited in number, however, if you live in close proximity and can easily travel to Dominican University, please consider commuting to the event.)

Disabilities Services & Programs: a short public library survey

Posted on Updated on


On behalf of the Targeting Autism Initiative, the Illinois State Library is querying public libraries to learn about programs and services that increase engagement among residents with physical and/or developmental disabilities. We would like to share your input with the wider library community in hopes that your experiences will be valuable and instructive to other librarians.

Please complete (or forward to the appropriate person) the short survey at the link provided here.

Thanks in advance for your input.