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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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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 .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Chantal Sicile-Kira Speaking at 2019 Targeting Autism Forum

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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

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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.)

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!

 

Disabilities Services & Programs: a short public library survey

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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.