Paul Back From Epic 4 1/2-Month Trek!

Way back at the March 17 AASCEND meeting board member Paul Nussbaum previewed his next outdoor challenge—conquering the Pacific Crest Trail, which extends from Mexico to Canada. Those who came heard how Paul planned to accomplish this inspiring demonstration of autistic ability, and how to participate. Four and a half gruelling trail months later, thanks to his effort and your support, Paul is back from this epic adventure and ready to tell all about the experience. Come to the November 17 meeting to hear the saga, and bring your questions about surviving in the grit and wilds on the spectrum!

Paul on PCTALSO at the meeting AASCEND members Anlor Davin and Greg Yates will be freshly back from the World Autism Organization conference in Houston, where they will have presented on meditation in autism. They bring news from the world of adult autism worldwide, and of meetings with AASCEND friends at the conference.
WAO logoIn addition, and time permitting, we will also look ahead to the coming year and brainstorm about future programs. Come with your inspirations and your willingness to pitch in!

brainstorm

When: Sat Nov 17, 10am – noon
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map

A Prominent Tech Executive Focuses on Autism Employment

Join us at the AASCEND Job Club on Saturday, November 3, for a discussion with Ranga Jayaraman, a prominent tech executive, who is now working full-time on increasing employment opportunities for adults on the autism spectrum, in tech and a range of other fields.

Ranga Jayaraman

Ranga’s current passion is to empower neurodivergent individuals with the desire and ability to contribute, to find meaningful, rewarding, and sustained employment and to help organizations in their journey to embrace neurodiversity inclusion in their workplaces. In a past life, Ranga was an accomplished Senior Executive of digital transformation  (Stanford University, Nvidia, Hitachi), with expertise in providing innovative and cost effective solutions and services to enable and support business strategy and growth in the Higher Education and Information Technology industry. 

As always, attendees on the spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program.

Special thanks to the Autism Studies Department at SFSU for volunteers!

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Nov 3, 10am – 1pm
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map


For more information about employment on the autism spectrum, join us at:
Spectrum Employment Community by AASCEND on LinkedIn

Parking is usually available in the garage at 255 12th Street, with a reasonable flat rate for Saturdays. There is also metered street parking for $2.25/hr.

In the Spotlight Conference Shines

AASCEND‘s 10th (!) collaboration with the SF State University autism programs—the In the Spotlight conference on adult autism held October 20—was a great success! Speakers Charlene Tilton, star of the hit TV series Dallas and longtime president of Actors for Autism throughly charmed us with tales of helping young autistic actors find their way; and Tom Iland inspired with his fascinating experience of coming to life as an autistic person in the world of television..

Other highlights included the acceptance of a coveted AASCEND’s ENDS award by the cast and crew of the autism rom-com Keep the Change—via video from New York—and a beautiful and rocking musical performance by Rebirth Canal, fronted by spectrum lead Camille Mai singing in Portuguese, and Vietnamese. (Camille also designed our conference banner, above.)

Main room at the conferenceMain room at the conference

The many breakout groups and panels composed of people both on and off the spectrum thoroughly explored the conference topic of autism and the media, giving the day a great sense of focus. Here is the program for the day, and the presentations.

Conference CollageMany worked behind the scenes to make the conference a success.

Thank you to all!

 

Paul Reports from the Wilderness! + no Oct Job Club

Paul Nussbaum continues his epic trek on the Pacific Crest Trail, highlighting autistic abilities. He’s been at it for 3 1/2 months!  Go to  expedition-autism.com  or Click HERE to follow his latest journal entries and see cool pictures! And send him good vibes to help him on his challenging and big-time helpful way!

ALSO, in place of the usual Job Club this month of October, instead register for the October 20 AASCEND Conference  → (Click HERE) and show up there to join in the proceedings and festivities: There will be Hollywood Hijinks, Virtual Reality, Autistic Improv, Live Music, Food and Much More! There are still some free grant-sponsored tickets available. Act fast to reserve your spot, and tell a friend.

AASCEND Picnic in the Park

[ Sep 20 update: Paul on the PCT has made it to Sierra City! Details HERE ]

It’s time again for AASCEND‘s annual potluck picnic in the park Saturday September 15.  All are welcome for an afternoon of informal socializing and games with our community. This year’s picnic will be held at Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park. We will have food and drink, but bring something to share if you can. No RSVP is necessary. Set-up begins at 11:00 AM.

badminton at picnic

Sat Sep 15, Noon-3pm at Tables 6 to 9 in Lindley Meadow GG Park (see map)

See you there!

Successful Transitions in Jobs & Life

[ Aug 17 update: Paul on the PCT presses onward toward fire! Details HERE ]

Do you feel like you’ve hit a wall in your job, and are looking to transition? Have you lost a job and need to find a new one? Are you leaving a school environment and transitioning into the job world for the first time? At AASCEND‘s Sept 8 Job Club, Mary Hurlbut, a transition specialist and autism advocate in the Bay Area will lead a discussion on making effective transitions in the job world. She will draw from her work with individual transitions over the past decade.

Mary Hurlbut is a Bay Area based Transition Specialist and autism advocate with a Master’s in Education from Stanford University. With a deep belief in the value of neurodiversity, she works with students, adults and their families to help them prepare for and navigate small and large life transitions. Mary focuses on engaging and accommodating each individual’s unique cognitive qualities and capacities whether pursuing education, employment, residential independence, social integration or more. Mary will provide advice and resources and answer questions about transitioning toward a personally fulfilling and socially meaningful pathway.

cat jumping across river

As always, attendees on the spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program.

Special thanks to the Autism Studies Department at SFSU for volunteers!

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Sept 8 10am – 1pm
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map


For more information about employment on the autism spectrum, join us at:
Spectrum Employment Community by AASCEND on LinkedIn

Parking is usually available in the garage at 255 12th Street, with a reasonable flat rate for Saturdays. There is also metered street parking for $2.25/hr.

AASCEND Picnic in the Park

[ Aug 17 update: Paul on the PCT presses onward toward fire! Details HERE ]

It’s time again for AASCEND‘s annual potluck picnic in the park Saturday September 15.  All are welcome for an afternoon of informal socializing and games with our community. This year’s picnic will be held at Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park. We will have food and drink, but bring something to share if you can. No RSVP is necessary. Set-up begins at 11:00 AM.

badminton at picnic

Sat Sep 15, Noon-3pm at Tables 6 to 9 in Lindley Meadow GG Park (see map)

See you there!

A Roof Over Our Heads

[ Aug 17 update: Paul on the PCT presses onward toward fire! Details HERE ]

Housing is a perennial problem for people on the autism spectrum. On August 18th AASCEND  hosts a presentation by Lindsay Johnson of The Kelsey, a  disability housing innovator now supported by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Lindsay JohnsonThe Kelsey is working to solve the disability housing crisis by building affordable and inclusive communities in the Bay Area.  Come learn about The Kelsey’s model and what they’ve learned to date. Give feedback on their approach and find out how to get involved.  Bring your questions and your housing experience! And as always, attendees on the spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program.

Happy Hermit Crab

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Aug 18, 10am – noon
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map

Parking is usually available in the garage at 255 12th Street, with a reasonable flat rate for Saturdays. There is also metered street parking for $2.25/hr.

AASCEND 10th Conference October 20!

NO Job Club August 4.  Paul Nussbaum’s Aug 4 check-in from PCT HERE.

AASCEND, with SFSU’s Autism Spectrum Studies Program, hosts its 10th conference on adult autism October 20 at SF StateJoin us for a day of exploring the adult autistic world, with artists and presenters on and off the spectrum!

Tickets & details HERE.

spotlightIn the Spotlight: Autism and the Media
October 20, 2018
9:00-4:30 (registration begins at 8:15)
Seven Hills Conference Center, 800 Font Blvd
San Francisco State University
SF, CA 94132

The influence of media has exploded, changing the world of autism. Autistic roles now feature prominently in movies, television and online, shaping and even distorting public perception of autism. At the same time, media literacy and media skills have become essential tools allowing autistic people to gain employment, find friends, and express themselves. The In the Spotlight conference exposes how media affect autistic life and employment, and gives practical guidance on effective social media use, creating digital content, autism-friendly acting techniques, latest research and much more!

Charlene Tilton In the Spotlight features Charlene Tilton, star of stage and screen and longtime President of Actors for Autism. Charlene is famous not only for her portrayal of Lucy Ewing on the influential television show Dallas, but also for her contributions to the autism community. Although Charlene’s life was often glamorous on screen, she had to learn to fend for herself at an early age. After her Dallas role brought her fame, Charlene was moved by personal tragedy to connect with Actors for Autism and soon became their president. At AFA Charlene witnessed the power of acting and improvisation in developing language, social skills, and self-confidence in both children and adults on the autism spectrum.

Thomas Iland ..and also Thomas Iland, diagnosed with autism when he was 13 years old. Tom worked hard to achieve his goals: learning to drive, living on his own, graduating from college, obtaining full-time employment and having a girlfriend. Now a Distinguished Toastmaster and member of the National Speakers Association, Tom is a best-selling author with wide experience in the media, having appeared on such TV shows as Beauty and the Geek, Bert the Conqueror, Ghost Whisperer, The Morning Blend, The Price Is Right, and Wheel of Fortune. Tom currently lives in Santa Clarita, California, with his dog, Bridget.

Plenary Sessions:

Hollywood Sign with Panel SilhouetteHollywood’s Autism Fantasies: Michael Bernick, former head of the California State Labor Department, moderates a panel of theater professionals and academics on and off the spectrum, exploring how Hollywood’s portrayal of autism affects autistic life and employment.

Plato's AcademyNew Research and the Future of Autism Scholarship, presented by autism professionals and graduate students, many on the autism spectrum. Hear what current research reveals about adult autism, plus developments enriching the lives of autistic adults. Learn about academic careers and training available to autistics and to all interested in the future of autism.

Breakout sessions: Improv for Interaction; Creating Digital Content on the Spectrum; Acting Techniques for Social Ease; Using Social Media for Success; Autistic Creative Intelligence in the Arts; Online Dating and Friendship on the Spectrum, and Media Addiction

Ticket price includes lunch and refreshments, and there will be live entertainment by artists on the autism spectrum. Conference registration begins at 8:15am, October 20. Please arrive early. Some program changes are possible. Follow AASCEND on the web and Facebook!

While this conference primarily addresses the needs of what have been termed Asperger’s or High Functioning Adults on the autism spectrum, AASCEND expresses solidarity with all who are living anywhere on the autism spectrum, their families and allies. Out of respect for attendees with sensory sensitivities please do not wear perfumes, colognes or overly scented products to the conference. Thanks!

AASCEND gratefully acknowledges the Joseph Padula Trust for its support of the In the Spotlight conference.                                                                     

Tickets and more details HERE.