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Autistic Self-Advocates Panel: What We Want Parents and Educators to Understand

  • 19 May 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Online


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An xMinds Event

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 @ 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM

Cost:  Free

This program will be a look-back by four adult, autistic, self-advocates. They will discuss key ways in which teachers and families in their own lives may have misunderstood their needs in the areas of education, social life, and transition to employment. Their perspectives will offer valuable insights for parents and educators.

This event will be recorded. 

Simultaneous interpretation in Spanish will be available. 

Moderator: Scott Robertson, Ph.D, Founding Vice President of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). Since completing his PhD in information sciences and technology, Scott has co-conducted research studies on the lived experiences of autistic people. He has also served in roles in two branches of government to improve inclusion, self-determination, and opportunity for autistic people and other people with disabilities. In just the last year, Scott has received two new honors. He was inducted into the national Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame and he received the Service to the Citizen Award from Dorris Consulting International. 


Ben McGann -- Autistic self-advocate, 25. Ben McGann's advocacy spans many forms of media. As an author, he has contributed to Life in Letters: A Book About Autism (Lia Assimakopoulos, 2019) and Leaders Around Me (Edlyn Pena, Ph.D., 2019). He has been a subject in two documentaries: The Reason I Jump (Met Film Production, 2020) and Boys in the Boat (GWU Film School, 2017). Ben McGann is a member of the board of directors of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN). In 2016 he was a member of “The Arlington Five” who advocated for communication choice in the Arlington County public schools. Ben also participates in many public presentations and Q&As concerning autism.

Tiffany Modeste -- Author of the blog: Nigh.functioning.Autism


Zosia Zaks, M.Ed., C.R.C. (Certified Rehabilitation Counselor) -- has been the Manager of Programs and Education at Towson University’s Hussman Center for Adults with Autism since 2013, running programs that mix together autistic adults and undergraduates in diversity education experiences designed to reduce bias, disrupt stereotypes, and get both autistic and non-autistic young people working together to build a more inclusive society. Mr. Zaks also enjoys serving on the Maryland Commission on Disabilities. Mr. Zaks, has worked with autistic teenagers and adults for almost 20 years, and he brings to his professional work two unique vantage points as both a self-advocate and a parent of neurodivergent teenagers. 

Allie Sayre -- (she/her) is a trans, autistic, and disabled advocate. She is also many other things: a gardener, an organizer, a sunset enthusiast, a crafter, and a lover of all things play, just to name a few. She (attempts) to carry an enthusiasm for life through everything she does, no matter what project. During any given week, she can be found organizing events for Saturn Returned (a queer party for women over 30), or Queer Digital Happy Hour (an accessiblity-focused event series she started), working in her garden, or promoting intersectional disability liberation. Allie is @madlysapphic on Instagram and Twitter.

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