2018 Autistics Present Conference Schedule

9:15-9:45 a.m. Check-In N Building Lobby
10 a.m. Welcome N 201
10:15-11a.m. Opening Keynote Speaker: Lydia X.Z. Brown – N201 – see below
11:15-12:15 Breakout Workshops – see below
12:30-2 p.m. Lunch Pick-up N Building Lobby
  2-3 p.m. Breakout Workshops – see below
  3:15-4 p.m. Closing Keynote Speaker: Kassiane Asasumasu – N201 – see below

Quiet Room E126

Location: Building N – Check-In, Pick-up Lunch – N Building Lobby

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 10, 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.

Autistics Present Symposium: Intersectionality – Claiming All Our Identities

Opening Keynote Speaker 10:15-11 am: Lydia x.z. Brown N201 (overflow/quiet N208)

Where Neurodiversity Meets Trans Justice: Struggle, Resistance, and Joy

The neurodiversity movement has made it more possible for many autistic people to fully embrace ourselves as who we are, by celebrating many of the ways our brains work, and coming into our own in other parts of our lives. Research and community anecdotes show that there are more autistic people in the transgender community than the broader population, and that there are more trans people in the autistic community than in the broader population. More than mere coincidence, neurodivergent and trans communities share deeply interconnected histories and struggles, but more importantly, we are working to find joy and create communities of care that honor all of us.

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

Remedying Pervasive Attitudinal Barriers 

Melody Latimer, Foundations for divergent Minds D102

Approaching the subject through a historical lens, this session will shed light on how parent and professional communities created the necessity of Autistic community.  Attendees will then look at the way their own bias affects the lives of autistic people and how to use cultural norms within the Autistic community to better support autistic people in home, school and community settings.

Attendees should come away from this session understanding the historical context for the language and perceptions they have of Autistic people and understanding how they still base their standards on neurotypicality. Attendees should be able to confront their own standards during interactions with autistic people, both children and adults D102

Autistic Identity and the Cultural and Political Implications of Disclosure

Sara Maria Acevedo, Ph.D.; Anna Williams, M.A.   D103

This session discusses the topic of disclosure in multiple contexts, as understood through the lived experiences of two autistic womxn. Although a focus on the laws and regulations pertaining to the institutional act of disclosure remains necessary, discussions around this issue often neglect other important aspects, including the cultural and political implications of disclosing one’s identity. To further contribute to the development of a more dynamic and nuanced understanding of the issues that affect autistic people in everyday life, the speakers will engage the audience in analysis of the tensions between the pros and cons of disclosure and non-disclosure in various environments, including school, work, relationships, and medical settings. Participants will learn about the practice of disclosure as activism, self-love, collective meaning-making, and cross-disability and cross-movement activism.  D103

We Can Be Heroes: An Exploration AND Celebration of #OwnVoices – Autistic Representation in Fiction

Amythest Schaber, Ask an Autistic; neurowonderful N201

Attendees will learn about the small but growing community of autistic authors writing fiction featuring autistic characters. and what sets these #ownvoices portrayals apart from autistic characters written by non-autistic people. Attendees will further be inspired to seek out autistic-authored stories featuring autistic characters, and that if they themselves are autistic authors, to include autistic characters in their work. In addition, attendees will be introduced to some of the currently available autistic-authored fiction, and that anyone so inclined will be affirmed writing their own #ownvoices stories. N201

Actual Inclusion: The Case for Autistified Spaces in Arts, Academia, and Beyond

Bev Harp, Erin Fitzgerald N206

Community events rarely consider neurodivergent perspectives during the planning stages. If accommodations do occur, it is often as an afterthought to ensure “accessibility” to a pre-existing format. But why is neurotypical format the default? In this session we will demonstrate ways to create truly inclusive spaces by rejecting traditional formats, and centering event planning around nontraditional concepts. We will explore two examples of inclusive structure: the unconference format (challenging traditional conference structures), and Parallel Play (re-imagining the parameters of social/collaborative spaces). We will also discuss our experience with (neuro) queering a traditional conference to meet the definition of true inclusion.

Family, Children, and Autistic Parenting: Bringing Our Culture to the Next Generation

Hala O’Keefe, Institute for community Inclusion N208

In this workshop we will cover topics such as family life in all-autistic vs. mixed-neurotype families, and how to welcome one’s children into Autistic Culture. We touch on potential challenges for the family, both from within (including parents who find their own autistic child’s struggles to be triggers for recollected childhood trauma, or who find that their experience with pregnancy, birth and childcare is complicated by sensory issues) and from without (when stereotypes about autism can lead to stigma and scrutiny directed at the autistic parent, especially if the family also has another marginalized identity). The tremendous variety of the autistic parent perspective will be explored, including the unique issues for parents who are diagnosed in later years after their children’s diagnoses, and we will consider the value of our culture in the lives of children and young people.  N208

12:30-1:45 pm: Pick up LUNCH in N Building Lobby – Must have name badge – Eat anywhere!

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

Creating Support From Early Intervention Through Adulthood

Melody Latimer, Foundations for divergent Minds D102

In this workshop, attendees will explore ways to build support that honors autistic neurology through the Foundations for Divergent Minds model. This model uses an accommodation-based approach while building self-advocacy skills, disability awareness and encouraging autonomy from the time a child is diagnosed through adulthood.

Attendees will come away understanding the five foundations of the Foundations for Divergent Minds model. Attendees will be able to understand how these barriers limit access for an autistic person. Attendees should be ready to look at the ways their home, school or professional environments are inaccessible to autistic children and how to change those settings to better meet their needs.

Strategies, Supports, and Accommodations in the Workplace  

Kella Unnerstall D103

Do you ever wonder if you can ask for accommodations or supports for an interview? Or what kinds of support to seek at work, and how to get it? Attendees of this workshop will gain knowledge of strategies, supports, and accommodations that can be used in the workplace and when pursuing employment. They will be able to apply these resources to their own lives and future or current employment situations. D103

Neurotypical Wife: Flipping the Script on Ableism

Lei Wiley-Mydske, Neurotypical Wife; Jennifer Muzquiz, Giraffe Party N201

During the first half of this workshop, Lei Wiley-Mydske (The Neurotypical Wife) will be interviewed by Jennifer Muzquiz (Giraffe Party) in the same way that family members, caregivers and professionals who work with autistic people are often portrayed in the media. The second half of the workshop will show examples of satirical writing and social media posts from The Neurotypical Wife, along with examples of the media, cultural norms and articles that inspired them. We will talk about the meaning of satire and how it can be used as a tool for social change. All workshop attendees will be positively reinforced for good behavior with party pizza.

Workshop attendees will come away with a new understanding of the many ways that our culture reinforces ableism and the marginalization of autistic and other neurodivergent people. Those attending the workshop will begin to understand the ways that mainstream “autism culture” devalues and stigmatizes autistic people in the name of “awareness” and they will be better able to recognize subtle and not-so-subtle ableism and to question the dominant narrative surrounding autism and disability and how that impacts our lives, well-being, civil rights, right to inclusion, and the right to access to our communities. They may also learn ways to educate others through humor while maintaining the integrity of the overall message.

Collective Community Care: Sharing Spoons and Creating Spaces  

Vivian Ly N206

What is collective community care? How does it differ from self-care?  How do we create local spaces grounded in principles of intersectional neurodiversity and justice?  This workshop offers practical advice on how to create spaces that respects, honors, and supports people across marginalized identities, using the idea of collective community care. Learn how collective community care benefits everyone, especially but not only our Autistic, Deaf, neurodivergent, and disabled peers.

Collective community care challenges the idea that help can only stem from close friends, family, or institutions; and facilitates the kind of help that can come from these traditional avenues. It also provides an alternative outlook than the individualistic focus of self-care rhetoric, which while helpful in some ways, can perpetuate the idea of not being a burden on others. Workshop attendees will also be challenged in thinking of helping autistic and disabled individuals in a collective perspective, rather than an allying one that focuses on one group helping another.   N206

Preventing Autistic Burnout in Higher Education: From Accommodations to Sensory Supports

Laura Weldon N208

Between being accepted into a higher education program and graduating are years of navigating overloading environments, executive functioning demands, and professional social interactions. How can we support ourselves in environments not meant for our nervous systems? How do we recognize early signs of autistic burnout and keep ourselves well? This workshop will cover academic accommodations, naturopathic supports, and other tools to empower autistic students to be successful.

Attendees will come away with a greater understanding of autistic burnout, know how to recognize early signs in themselves and/or others, and have an expanded list of tools to avoid burning out in intense environments like higher education.  Attendees will leave knowing what academic accommodations are often possible and what could be useful for them, what their rights are in WA/OR, and will feel empowered to ask for these accommodations.

We will discuss the pros and cons of disclosure in an academic environment, including discrimination on one side and the internal stress of masking on the other.  In sum, the goal of this workshop is for attendees to be able to succeed in higher education, learning about their passions and sharing their skills with the world without an unnecessary burden on their well-being.  N208

Closing Keynote Speaker 3:15-4 pm: Kassiane Asasumasu N201 (overflow/quiet N208)

Where Have We Been, Where Are We Going, And Why Are We In This Handbasket?  

The autistic community is relatively new. However, in the past 20 years it has undergone significant evolution, except in the areas where it has not. Like all communities, some things change, some stay the same, and some go through cycles. In this keynote address, Kassiane Asasumasu will talk about some of these changes and cycles, in addition to how we have stayed the same. In addition to talking about who is in the community, Kassiane will also talk about vocabulary shifts, social dynamics, and in-person versus online community trends. Both good and not so good things about our communities will be named and discussed, with ideas for how to strengthen what we do well and how to alter toxic or oppressive dynamics that are still present in our spaces. We all want a healthier, happier, helpful community for the next generation of autistics. This address seeks to send attendees into the world prepared to identify things that are going well and to confront and change things that are not in our own Autistic communities.

Date: Saturday, October 20

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

Fee: General Admission $99 by October 13; Students (all students, any school, must show student i.d.) $65, registration fee is waived for presenters. Registration includes lunch.

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.

Registration is now closed



Last Updated October 15, 2018