2016 Autistics Present Conference Schedule

9:15-9:45 a.m. Check-In N Building
10 a.m. Welcome N 201
10:15-11a.m. Opening Keynote Speaker: Ari Ne’eman – below
11:15-12:15 Breakout Workshops – see below
12:30-2 p.m. Lunch
  2-3 p.m. Breakout Workshops – see below
  3:15-4 p.m. Closing Keynote Speaker: Morénike Giwa Onaiwu – below

Location: Building N, Check-In, Lunch, and Keynotes: N201

Bellevue College Main Campus, 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, Bellevue WA 98007. You can find directions here, and a campus map here.

Parking: Parking is free in Student and Daily Lots. The closest lots to the N Building are lots 12 and 14. You can find a parking map here. There is plenty of accessible parking in all of the lots around the N Building – see parking map.

Opening Keynote: Ari Ne’eman

The Long Road Back: Autism, Eugenics and the History of Disability in America
To understand the history of autism and Autistic people requires an understanding of the history of disability in the United States. Ari Ne’eman will take attendees on a history of disability, from the early 20th century eugenics movement to the ways in which war has shaped America’s disability policy to the modern disability rights movement, leading into the current neurodiversity movement and autistic self-advocacy efforts. Along the way, he will outline key disability policy priorities and how the US disability policy infrastructure has grown and evolved – and will continue to do so over the coming years. N201

Workshops 11:15 am -12:15 pm. You can choose one of the five choices below:


Autism at Work: Microsoft Autism Inclusive Hiring Panel Discussion – 11:15-12:15

Microsoft Employees – Moderator: Dean Betz, Panel: Joey Chemis, Katherine Hart, Max Goldstein

Hear from several autistic Microsoft employees who know first-hand what it’s like to work at a large tech company! You’ll also learn about Microsoft’s Autism Hiring Program and other inclusive hiring initiatives at Microsoft. N201

Collaborative Advocacy in the Autism Community: An Inclusive Framework for Social Change 11:15-12:15

Parenting Autistic Children with Love & Acceptance (PACLA): Kassiane Sibley, Jennifer Muzquiz, J Lei Wiley-Mydske  

In order to successfully transition from one learning environment to the next, autistic individuals must feel safe to do so. Those who attend this workshop will be better able to understand ways to create a safer and more just world for Autistic people. Presenters will list effective strategies that honor diverse processing and communication styles and foster a relationship of trust, discuss and share examples of collaborative advocacy projects created through the use of social media platforms and which amplify the voices of Autistic adults, explain the positive impact of the online relationships in building community and in supporting Autistic people in self-determining roles that impact public policy and opinion. N204

Following Your Heart: How to Navigate the Rough Stuff & Build a Better Quality of Life Tailor-Made Just for You 11:15-12:15

Amy Alward*

There are many ways to navigate life; transitions and change are always hard for everyone, but especially so for those on the spectrum. Participants will learn how to make transitions easier to navigate – with great self-care.  Regardless of what others or the rules say, getting in touch with your emotional center will always put you on the right path to a better quality life. This workshop will support autistic people (or those who love and work with them) in building a strong, individual base from which to weather life’s storms. D103

Forged in Fire: Trauma as a Foundation of Autistic Identity and Culture 11:15-12:15

Shain Neumeier*

Autistic people learn that we are different from our peers and even our family members through what are often harsh and traumatic experiences, ranging from pervasive bullying to coercive “normalizing” therapies to outright abuse by some parents and caregivers.  This has shaped not only the autistic community’s political advocacy, but also everything from in-jokes to the ways in which we support each other. This workshop will discuss some of the common problems autistic people face that many often don’t realize are common, and how our community responds to them both within and outside of our own circle. D101

History of US Eugenics Movement 11:15-12:15

Ivanova Smith

Following up on the opening keynote, this presentation will focus on the ways that the U.S. Eugenics movement targeted people with developmental, intellectual and psychiatric disabilities as well as people of color and the poor. Ivanova Smith will discuss the history of the eugenics movement and how negative attitudes about disability impact the autistic community and the autistic and disability rights movements. N208

Workshops 2 – 3 pm. You can choose one of the five choices below:

Autism at College: Autistic Bellevue College Students Panel Discussion 2-3 pm

Bellevue College students, facilitator Sara Sanders Gardner*

Hear from autistic Bellevue College students who are using a variety of programs, supports, and services as they pursue their education. Panel members include students using the core services of the Autism Spectrum Navigators (ASN) program, students pursuing a degree in Occupational Life Skills (OLS), students using accommodations through Bellevue College’s Disability Resource Center (DRC), and students assembling their supports from other services and groups on campus. You’ll find that there are many ways to succeed at college, and have a better understanding of what might work for you or someone you know. N201

Creating Supportive & Inclusive Spaces for Autistic Women 2-3 pm

Autism Women’s Network: Lei Wiley-Mydske, Jennifer Muzquiz, Morénike Giwa Onaiwu

This workshop will discuss how Autism Women’s Network utilizes various social media platforms to form a supportive community by and for Autistic women with a focus on self-advocacy, social justice, activism, disability rights and pride which honors the many intersectional experiences of all Autistic women. Participants will learn ways to create safe and supportive spaces that promote self-determination for Autistic women and will learn the value of autistic mentorship, leadership, empowerment, self-advocacy, and centering actually autistic voices to create effective social change. N204

Leveraging Interests, Hobbies, and Strengths into Careers 2-3 pm

Eve Eschenbacher*

Move beyond the dismal employment statistics towards positive change in this workshop that takes a look at interests and strengths through the lifespan as a way to find meaningful and lasting employment. This eye-opening workshop will stir your imagination! (You’ll also learn how Eve leveraged her own interest in Japanese culture into an amazing career in video games – without becoming a programmer!) N208

Smash the Pathology Paradigm! Disability Justice in Liberation Work 2-3 pm

Lydia Brown*

Our bodies are sick, disabled, mad, wobbly, flappy; we are everywhere, working, loving, playing, laboring for liberation, yearning for community. We must critically examine how ableism intersects with every system of oppression and centers the bodies and minds of those who are more or less considered “normal,” “healthy,” “desirable,” and “ideal,” while others are treated as “deviant,” “sick,” “defective,” and “undesirable.” Disability justice calls for us to move beyond commodification and superficial inclusion – and toward social justice movements where disabled people are integral, valued parts of our communities and radical access and space for every body’s complexities are the norm. D101

The Right to Be Autistic: Re-framing Autism as Neurodiversity  2-3 pm

Harrison Scott and Emma VanderKlift

Harrison and Emma will draw on their unique and respective experiences both in the school system and as activists. Harrison will present his letter to educators, “Dear Teacher: A Letter from Harrison”.  As a young person with a diagnosis, Harrison suggests how educators (and others) can best support him. As an older person, undiagnosed as a child, Emma will offer her perspective on what supports might have been helpful. Workshop participants will experience the various ways that individuals can develop a sense of Autistic identity and pride. D103

Closing Keynote: Morénike Giwa Onaiwu 3:15-4 pm

More than Seeds: Digging Deep to Find Our Resilience, Our Beauty, and Our Value

“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” Widely known as the battle cry of indigenous Mexican activists, queer Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos’ defiant words are frequently quoted in social justice circles. But is it true for the Autistic community?

Utilizing one of Morénike’s intense interests as context, the closing keynote speech will pinpoint numerous ways that this prolific quote fails to embody to the Autistic community effectively as well as highlight various attributes Autistics possess that contribute to our individual AND collective resilience, beauty, and worth. N201

I want to register now!

Date: Saturday, October 22

Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (check-in starts at 9:15 a.m.)

Fee: General Admission $40 by October 17 (extended!); Students (all students, any school) $15, registration fee is waived for presenters. Registration includes lunch. Go here to Register Now!

Location: Building N, Check-In, Lunch, and Keynotes: N201

Bellevue College Main Campus, 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, Bellevue WA 98007. You can find directions here, and a campus map here.

Parking: Parking is free in Student and Daily Lots. The closest lots to the N Building are lots 12 and 14. You can find a parking map here. There is plenty of accessible parking in all of the lots around the N Building – see parking map.

Download the schedule here.

Download the schedule according to the TRACKS here.


Last Updated October 30, 2016