AANE’s 2023 Virtual Daniel W. Rosenn Connections Conference Details
This conference is named in honor of Dr. Daniel W. Rosenn — a dedicated professional and founding AANE board member — and provides an opportunity for the entire autism community to come together and learn.
Join us for a vibrant, virtual gathering of Autistic individuals, their families, professionals, and allies to celebrate the richness of Autistic culture. This year’s conference will deep dive into the world of autism from a cultural perspective while fostering understanding, acceptance, and appreciation for the unique experiences of Autistic individuals.
Friday, October 27, 2023
11:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Eastern Time Zone (ET)
Livestreamed (recording will be available post-event)
Member price = $45
Non-Member price = $60
Friday, October 27, 2023 Agenda
Click the + below to learn more
11:00 AM – 11:05 AM ET – Opening Address
Brenda Dater, Executive Director
Becca Lory Hector, Director of Training
11:05 AM – 12:00 PM ET – Keynote: An Ethnographic Examination of Autistic Culture and Identity
Speaker: Dawn Prince Hughes, PhD
As the neurodiversity movement has gained momentum, communities of Autistic individuals have evolved towards a unique Autistic culture. In this keynote, Dawn Prince Hughes intends to compare and contrast different elements of Autistic and neuro-truncated culture as she explores the ethnographic evolution of Autistic culture and the importance of the Autistic identity.
12:00 PM – 12:15 PM ET – Break
Thank you to our sponsors!
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM ET – Presentation: From Community to Culture – Valuing the Autistic Identity
Speaker: Ryan Walsh, AANE Neurodiversity Training Specialist
As the conversations between and about Autistic people have evolved, so too has Autistic culture. This session examines the unique culture of Autistic individuals that has developed as the neurodiversity movement has gained momentum. It also reviews the history of autism and the role of social media in the evolution of Autistic culture and reveals how the communication between allistics (non-autistics) and Autistics differs from communication between Autistics. It also examines the shared cultural and experiential understanding of Autistics regarding topics such as “masking”, “accommodations”, and sensory integration.
1:15 PM – 2:00 PM ET – Lunch Break – Autistic Culture Podcast
Welcome to the Autistic Culture Podcast with your hosts Matt Lowry, LPP and Dr. Angela Lauria. Brought to you by Difference Press, this podcast dives deep into the contributions Autistic Culture makes in the world. If you are Autistic or love someone who is, join us in celebrating all things AUTISTICA! To learn more about Angela, Matt, and the Autistic Culture Podcast visit AutisticCulturePodcast.com.
Learn more about Matt Lowry, LPP (Mattlowrylpp.com)
Learn more about Angela’s work at Difference Press (DifferencePress.com)
Follow The Autistic Culture Podcast on Substack (AutisticCulture.Substack.com)
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET- Presentation: Autistic Creativity and the Art of Uncertainty
Speaker: Dr. Nick Walker
Join Dr. Nick Walker for a discussion of Autistic creative potentials, her work on the Weird Luck webcomic, the vital role uncertainty can play in creativity, and how Autistic culture can benefit from creative reinterpretations of what it means to be Autistic.
3:00 PM – 3:15 PM ET – Break
Thank you to our sponsors!
3:15 PM – 4:15 PM ET – Panel Discussion: Autistic Culture in the Workplace
Moderator: Becca Lory Hector, Director of Training AANE
Panelists: Carrie Hall, SAP, Autistic Women’s Alliance and Maisie Soetantyo, Autism Career Pathways and Shea Belsky, Mentra and Nicole Seaward, Grit & Flo and Kris Britt, Business Transformation & IT Consultant
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). In honor of NDEAM, this panel of Autistic professionals will discuss their lived experiences with Autistic culture in the workplace. The conversation will focus on the elements of Autistic culture that impact their work life and how those elements influence the overall Autistic experience at work.
4:15 PM – 4:30 PM ET – Closing Address
Becca Lory Hector, Director of Training, AANE
Learn About Our Speakers
Click the + below to learn more (in order of appearance)
Dawn Prince Hughes, PhD
Dawn Prince-Hughes is an anthropologist, primatologist, and ethologist. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in interdisciplinary anthropology from the Universität Herisau in Switzerland. She is also a successful author of books such as Gorillas Among Us: A Primate Ethnographer’s Book of Days and Songs of the Gorilla Nation in which she describes how she learned to manage her Autism from observing and interacting with gorillas at the Woodland Park Zoo (where she was employed when she was young).
Additionally, she is the editor of Aquamarine Blue 5: Personal Stories of College Students with Autism. Currently, Dr. Prince-Hughes facilitates the autism ethnography project, which she designed, for the Cultural Autism Studies arm of Yale’s social autism programs (CASY), run by Dr. Roger Jou.
Ryan Walsh, AANE Neurodiversity Training Specialist, is a recent graduate from Westfield State University with a Bachelor’s in Sociology. He is also a musician and online content creator who has studied a variety of instruments over the last fourteen years and is highly involved with music, podcast production, and livestreams on Twitch. Ryan has been speaking with AANE since 2014 and always enjoys and appreciates the opportunity to speak on his lived experience as an Autistic individual. Ryan speaks on topics related to self-advocacy, mental health, education, employment, building meaningful connections, and language use relating to autism.
Matt Lowry, LPP
Star Wars superfan. Dedicated dad. Passionate investigator. Caring, thoughtful, curious, insightful, generous, psychological evaluator. Matt consistently gives back to the Autistic and Neurodivergent communities, offering his wisdom, perspective, and insights in a way that is highly relatable and also very digestible. Those of us who benefit from his insight and his way with words can’t help but share, and the word spreads like wildfire when it gets out. It’s not an accident that Matt has gone viral on TikTok – TWICE – without even having a TikTok account!
Dr. Angela Lauria
Founder of Difference Press, a home for consultants and other experts committed to writing books that make a difference, Angela has a Ph.D. in Communications from the European Graduate School and an M.A. and B.A. in Journalism from The George Washington University.
In the last few years, she has published over 1500 bestsellers in a row, 90% from first-time authors. But most importantly her authors have collectively influenced millions of readers around the world. Angela is Queer and Autistic and especially loves working with people who have historically been marginalized.
Becca Lory Hector
Becca Lory Hector, Director of Training AANE (She/Her) is an openly Autistic Professional on a mission to close the disability gap in leadership by working with companies to attract and retain disabled talent. Becca was diagnosed Autistic as an adult and has since become a dedicated autism and neurodiversity advocate, researcher, consultant, speaker, and author. Her work includes neurodiversity and disability consulting, Autistic quality of life research, and the creation of a personal development course called Self Defined Living: A Path to a Quality Autistic Life. She has published multiple articles and books about life as an Autistic adult with the goal of spreading acceptance, building understanding, and encouraging self-advocacy. She is an animal lover with a special affinity for cats and spends most of her “free” time with her many animals, her husband Antonio, and her Emotional Support Animal (ESA), Sir Walter Underfoot.
Carrie Hall is now a Senior Product Inclusion Specialist at SAP and is the Founder/CEO of Autistic Women’s Alliance, an Autistic-run 501(c3) non-profit organization. Before coming to SAP, she had 10+ experience within the Information Technology and Healthcare industries. She uses the power of words to help developers understand how UI text helps them develop better products at SAP. Her newest project is an inclusive design project that helps identify gaps within the product design product and bring in more people. She believes strongly that innovation stops when you’re not able to step back and listen to different perspectives. She has a wide range of interests from technical writing, to project management, design thinking, and UX research to build and transform culture so that the world becomes a better place.
Maisie Soetantyo, MEd
Maisie Soetantyo is an openly Autistic inclusivity trainer and curriculum designer from the San Francisco Bay Area. After receiving her diagnosis at the age of 50, she started Autism Career Pathways, a nonprofit working to remove barriers to employment for Neurodivergent job seekers. Maisie dreams about a future where Neurodivergent children thrive to be their best Authentic selves because everyone sees differences as growth opportunities. Through her nonprofit’s events and training, Maisie helps workplaces become more Neurodivergent friendly. Autism Career Pathways is also building a networking platform for Autistic professionals, entrepreneurs, and businesses to collaborate for a sustainable inclusive culture.
Shea Belsky is an Autistic self-advocate and changemaker. He is the Chief Technology Officer of Mentra, a hiring platform for neurodivergent job seekers. He graduated from Cornell University with his BS and MPS in Information Science and has worked for companies like Wayfair and HubSpot on their accessibility and neuroinclusion efforts. Shea brings several unique perspectives to supporting Neurodivergent colleagues. He has been the manager of neurodivergent & neurotypical employees, has reported to neurodivergent & neurotypical managers, and has advocated for the needs and well-being of neurodivergent & neurotypical peers. Shea is excited to share these experiences with others in order to create a more neuroinclusive workplace for everyone.
Nicole Seaward is an I/O Psychologist who combines her educational background with personal experiences as an Autistic person to aid business leaders in culture change, participate in panel discussions, mentor Autistic people, and support disabled job seekers. Nicole is an expert on change management, accommodations, and the successful inclusion of Neurodivergent people in the workplace. She focuses on improving well-being and leadership by communicating how it impacts job satisfaction, engagement, and productivity. Nicole is skilled in performing job analyses, organizational process mapping, and creating multi-learner documents and training that increase engagement and productivity. Nicole is an Autistic advocate and holds a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and a Bachelor of Art in Psychology.
Kris Britt recently discovered that she is on the spectrum and is on a quest to understand what that means for her. She has spent more than 20 years in the high-tech industry and she is currently a Digital Business Consultant heading up business transformation projects for large corporations. She is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and also paddle-boarding!
AANE Thanks Our 2023 Platinum Conference Sponsors!
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