Autism Conference

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Autistics Present Symposium: Intersectionality – Claiming All Our Identities

Whether you are a student, job seeker, family member, educator, or other professional, you will benefit from attending this one-of-a-kind conference!

Discover up-to-date information from #actuallyautistic individuals – students, parents, educators, authors, and professionals! Every presenter at this dynamic conference is autistic, and will bring their in-depth knowledge – gleaned not only from personal experience, but from research, education, and years of professional experience working with others.

Bellevue College’s Autism Spectrum Navigators, a program of the Center for Career Connections and R.I.S.E. Learning Institute is thrilled to partner with the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network to bring you this exciting conference.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED, See our Registration Page for more information.

Check our Facebook event page for updates!

When: Saturday, October 20, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (check-in starts at 9:15 a.m.)

Who Should Attend: Anyone interested in learning more about autism and living and working as an autistic person! Professionals – educators, executives, medical professionals, mental health counselors, and more – will gain invaluable insight into the most recent research and developments in the field from a social justice perspective. Parents and guardians will acquire timely and pragmatic information for raising their autistic children to be strong, self-confident, successful individuals. Autistic people will find community, acceptance, and understanding of their value in a world that often misunderstands them.

Where: Bellevue College Main Campus, Bellevue, Washington. 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, Bellevue, WA 98007. Building N. Follow signs for parking. (Note: Registration is limited to 180 participants)

What: Opening and Closing Keynote Speakers, Break Out Workshops, and Lunch are included. See the lineup here: Schedule of Events

Fee: Students (all students, any school, requires student i.d. upon check-in) $65; General Admission $99 by October 13; registration fee is waived for presenters. Registration includes lunch. Email with questions or concerns.

Location: Building N, Registration and Keynotes: N201 (ground floor)

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 Speaker: Lydia X. Z. Brown

Lydia X. Z. Brown is a disability justice advocate, organizer, and writer whose work has largely focused on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people, especially institutionalization, incarceration, and policing. In collaboration with E. Ashkenazy and Morénike Giwa-Onaiwu, Lydia is the lead editor and visionary behind All the Weight of Our Dreams, the first-ever anthology of writings and artwork by autistic people of color, published by the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network in 2017. Morénike and Lydia also co-direct the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment, which was created and launched this summer, and provides direct support, mutual aid, and community reparations to individual autistic people of color.

Lydia is also a founding board member of the Alliance for Citizen-Directed Services, board member of the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network, and co-founder of the Washington Metro Disabled Students Collective. They designed and taught a course on critical disability theory, public policy, and intersectional social movements for two years as a Visiting Lecturer at Tufts University’s Experimental College. They also served as Chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council for two years as the youngest appointee nationally to chair any state developmental disabilities council.

Lydia has received numerous awards for their work, including from the White House, Washington Peace Center, National Council on Independent Living, Society for Disability Studies, and American Association of People with Disabilities. In 2015, Pacific Standard named Lydia a Top 30 Thinker under 30 in the Social Sciences, and Mic named Lydia to its inaugural list of 50 impactful leaders, cultural influencers, and breakthrough innovators. In 2018, NBC Asian America featured Lydia as one of 26 emerging voices and breakout stars of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Their work has been featured in numerous scholarly and community publications. At last year’s symposium, Lydia presented a well-received Closing Keynote called “Where do we go from here? Disability Justice and Intersectional Neurodiversity” and we are excited for them to speak as our Opening Keynote this year!

Closing Keynote Speaker: Kassiane Asasumasu

Kassiane Asasumasu is a long time Hapa multiply neurodivergent autistic activist. You may know her work from Radical Neurodivergence Speaking, Parenting Autistic Children with Love and Acceptance, or any one of several anthologies. Kassiane is also the reluctant mastermind of the group blog We Are Like Your Child.

When not causing a social media crisis, Kassiane practices aikido, studies biology, makes sure kids are included in neighborhood recreation programs, and cuddles her three cats (but not all at once). She seeks to drag the rest of the world to autism acceptance & disability justice, even if the rest of the world kicks & screams the whole way.

At last year’s symposium, Kassiane presented a well-received workshop called “More Than Crumbs: Autistics Deserve More” and we are excited for her to speak as our Closing Keynote this year!

Conference Tracks:
Track I: Autistic and Other Identities Through the Lifespan

Workshops in this track will explore the significance of Autistic Culture and the development of Autistic and Other Identities. Attendees will discover more about the intersections of disability, race, and sexual identity as they relate to autism, and the importance of supporting Autistic and Other Identities from an early age. All attendees will benefit from this track.

Track II: Autistic and Other Identities at Work & School

When should you start preparing for college and career? What are the most important areas to focus on for success? The answers may surprise you in this track presented by autistic educators, professionals, students, recent graduates, and parents. All attendees will benefit from this track.

 Accessibility: If you require accommodation to participate in the conference, you will be able to note your needs on the registration form. If you would like to discuss your access needs, please email Sara Gardner at or phone at 425.564.2172. Some accommodations may take several weeks to arrange, so please make your request as early as possible. We may need up to four weeks notice for some accommodations.  

To make the experience enjoyable and safe for everyone, we ask that you please:

  • Refrain from wearing scented lotions, perfumes, etc.
  • Refrain from using flash photography, or wearing flashing items, such as flashing sneakers.



(For questions from potential presenters see Call for Proposals Page.)

Do I have to be a Bellevue College student to qualify for the Student rate? Nope, you don’t! We want all students to be able to afford the conference, so whether you are in high school, middle school, or coming from another college, as long as you have a valid student i.d., you qualify! We can’t wait to see you!

How do I get there? Bellevue College is about 30 minutes away from SeaTac Airport, and is located at the I-90 and 405 highways. It is accessible by bus. The N Building, where the conference will take place, is on Coal Creek Road. You can find directions here, and a campus map here. Follow signs for parking – no charge for parking. There is plenty of accessible parking near the N Building. Please check our Facebook Event Page for carpool options.

Conference Hotel: See below for options, also check Facebook Event Page for ways to find local shared housing.

Where should I stay? There are a variety of nearby hotels to choose from. And, if you would prefer to room with someone local, please check our Facebook Event Page for sharing options.

Some local hotel options:

Hyatt House, Bellevue – approximately $169 per night, walking distance

Extended Stay America, Factoria – approximately $90 per night, approximately 2 miles away

Silver Cloud Hotel, Eastgate – approximately $159 per night, approximately 1 mile away

Red Lion Hotel, Bellevue – approximately $90-$130 per night, approximately 5 miles away

What’s for Lunch? We will work with our caterers to provide options! You will have an opportunity to let us know about any restrictions or preferences on the registration form.

Can my child attend? We will not be able to provide childcare, unfortunately. If you think your child would benefit from the workshop topics, you are welcome to register them as a conference attendee. Because of limited seating space, we ask that all children attending do so as registered conference attendees. (Babes in arms under age two do not need to register.)

Will the Symposium be Live Streamed this year? No, because of the low interest in Live Streaming, and the high cost and person-power associated with it, we have decided not to Live Stream this year.

How do I pay? Once registration opens, you will be able to pay online using a credit or debit card! If that doesn’t work for you, let us know and we will give you another option.

I would like to discuss a concern, who do I talk to? You can send us an email at and we will route it to the best person to answer your concern. Or, if you need to speak to someone right away, you can phone Sara Gardner at 425.564.2172. Or email!

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ASN Logo Red red-pink compass rose with Autism Spectrum Navigators written around in a circle in white lettering

Last Updated September 13, 2018