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Annual Autism Conference in Nashua August 8–10

By Matthew Gianino, Institute on Disability / UCED
July 20, 2011

The Institute on Disability (IOD) at UNH will host the 13th annual Autism Summer Institute August 8-10, 2011, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua. This year’s three-day conference, “Everybody Reads, Everybody Writes, Everybody Has Something to Say,” is open to anyone interested in learning more about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) from experts on the subject, including people living with ASD.

Autism Summer Institute
Dates: Aug. 8-10, 2011
Time: 8:45a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Crowne Plaza, Nashua
Registration fees: professionals, $399; parents/self-advocates/full-time students, $349; single day(s), $150 each
For more information and to register: http://www.iod.unh.edu/asi.

Since 1999 the IOD has presented the Autism Summer Institute, a conference for families, educators, community service providers, and self-advocates. The 2011 theme recognizes that many students and adults with autism have not been provided with high-quality literacy instruction or with a means to communicate if their spoken voice is not effective. This theme will be addressed through four age-based strands, including a first-ever strand specifically for adolescents and young adults with autism.

Conference participants will hear from several student and young adult self-advocates as keynote presenters, including Drew Goldsmith, Nick Holzthum, and Taylor Brown, student advocates from the “I am Norm” campaign; Scott Michael Robertson from the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network; and DJ Savarese, student and self-advocate. Other featured presenters include Christi Kasa, Ph.D., University of Colorado; Paula Kluth, Ph.D., consultant, author, and advocate; Donna Williams, author, artist, and self-advocate; and Therese Willkomm, Ph.D., ATP, UNH.

The conference will also feature a hands-on technology exploration and communication consultation lab where attendees can test out accessible computers (hardware and software), augmentative communication devices, and other assistive technology solutions. This exhibit is made possible by a partnership with ATECH Services in collaboration with Assistive Technology in New Hampshire, Therese Willkomm, Linda Rammler, Ph.D., and Dan Herlihy.

The Autism Summer Institute is designed for and will benefit individuals with ASD, educators, parents, paraprofessionals, school administrators, guidance counselors, related services providers, psychologists, university students, educational teams including families, and others interested in creating more inclusive opportunities for students with ASD.

The Institute on Disability was established in 1987 to provide a coherent university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. Its mission is to strengthen communities to ensure full access, equal opportunities, and participation for all persons.

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