Resources for Spectrum Adults + Robyn Steward!

Join us September 21 to find out about AASCEND‘s 20th(!) anniversary celebration and information about our upcoming picnic! News from Paul Nussbaum’s Pacific Crest Trail Expedition! We will also feature a panel looking at Resources for Spectrum Adults. The panel will include Nicole Bohn, Director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Disability, Damien Chacona, Program Director for Public Awareness and Education at the People with Disabilities Foundation, and Porsche Bunton of the San Francisco Department of Human Resources, Access to City Employment (ACE) Program. The meeting will also feature a visit from British autism advocate and author Robyn Steward.


Robyn Steward is an autistic British broadcaster, author, researcher and autism advocate. Robyn has written 2 books: ” The Independent Woman’s Handbook for Super Safe Living on the Autistic Spectrum” and ” The Autism Friendly Guide to Periods”, both published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Robyn will talk about her 3rd book which will be on the topic of self-employment for Autistic people.

When:  Sat Sept 21, 10am – noon
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St.    SF, CA 94103  
map   

Parking is sometimes 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 member Ian Moura has begun a research project to examine autism employment programs from the perspective of the actual program users — autistic adults. Your input is vital and can help many people, whether or not you have participated in any employment programs. Please take the survey here, where you can also find information about relevant privacy protections.


Paul Nussbaum is back on the Pacific Crest Trail after a brief stop to jump northward to where he left off in 2018. His latest progress will be posted in the next few days, with regular updates thereafter, at expedition-autism.com.

Closing the Hire

Paul Nussbaum continues to trek northward on the Pacific Crest Trail. Follow his inspiring progress at expedition-autism.com! …or click the icon on this page.


Advice from a Recruiting Director

On September 7 the AASCEND  Job Club hosts Natalie Dunnege, Recruiting Director at the San Francisco-based recruiting firm Binc.

In her work at Binc, Natalie partners with key stakeholders, hiring leaders, and recruiting teams to attract and hire new talent. During her time at the company, Natalie co-founded Binc’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee, established the framework for Binc’s Employee Resource Groups, created a volunteer partnership to teach interview skills, and contributed to employee trainings covering a range of topics such as neurodiversity, DEI vocabulary, inclusive hiring, interviewer training, and conflict resolution.

Come hear what Natalie’s extensive experience has to tell us about “closing the deal” and landing your job! Bring your questions, and needless to say, attendees on the spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program. 

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Sept 7, 10am – noon
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map

Parking is sometimes 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.

Resources from Aug 17 meet

AASCEND member Ian Moura has begun a research project to examine autism employment programs from the perspective of the actual program users — autistic adults. Your input is vital and can help many people, whether or not you have participated in any employment programs. Please take the survey here, where you can also find information about relevant privacy protections.


Microsoft is looking for paid testers of a new video conferencing technology for autistic users. Click here for details.


A team of researchers at UCSF is conducting a Resilience in Action study about supporting young adults with autism as they exit the school system and transition to adulthood. The team has developed a course curriculum addressing interpersonal skills, dealing with adversity, and generating life goals. The course will meet once a week at the Arc of San Francisco. Those eligible will be paid to participate. Click here for details. (If the image comes up small, click to enlarge it.)


ALSO, The San Francisco Law Library is hosting a free monthly Consumer Rights Legal Clinic, where you can get questions answered about bankruptcy, student loan debt, debt collection lawsuits, harassment by debt collectors, and much more. An RSVP is required. Click here for details.

Autistic Special Interests, Passions and Obsessions

                       Be sure to read all the news at the bottom of the page…

Join us August 17 as AASCEND screens excerpts from the award winning documentary, Off the Rails, the remarkable true story of Darius McCollum, a man on the autism spectrum whose overwhelming love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times for impersonating New York City bus drivers and subway conductors and driving their routes. How could society better respond to Darius and find a way to channel his passion?


Do you have a special interest that has had an impact on your life? Join our discussion.

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

Parking is sometimes 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 member Ian Moura has begun a research project to examine autism employment programs from the perspective of the actual program users — autistic adults. Your input is vital and can help many people, whether or not you have participated in any employment programs. Please take the survey here, where you can also find information about relevant privacy protections.


Paul Nussbaum is back on the Pacific Crest Trail after a brief stop to jump northward to where he left off in 2018. His latest progress will be posted in the next few days, with regular updates thereafter, at expedition-autism.com.

Summer Break

Check out Paul Nussbaum’s progress on the Pacific Crest Trail here or by clicking Expedition-Autism. Don’t miss the RATS!



AASCEND will be on vacation for the rest of July and there will be NO Job Club August 3. See you at the next General Meeting August 17!

Autistic Women’s Alliance

ALERT: Paul Nussbaum is back on the Pacific Crest Trail with his message of autistic ability! Check his progress here or by clicking Expedition-Autism.


On July 13 (NOT the usual 1st Saturday!) the AASCEND  Job Club hosts tech professional Carrie Hall and others talking about the newly-formed Autistic Women’s Alliance, an autistic-run group whose mission is to support, mentor, and facilitate networking for professional autistic women. The Alliance is a non-male space that welcomes women and non-binary folks, including trans women. (All genders are welcome at this AASCEND Job Club meeting!) AWA Includes individuals that work in different industries, students looking for mentors, and mentors interested in inspiring others. No employment or a formal diagnosis is required to participate in the AWA.

The Alliance is interested in connecting with other autistic organizations in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, and may extend its activities to include children, and working with other non-profits. Come to learn about this important development in autism employment…and come with your questions and ideas. As always, attendees on the spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program.


The AASCEND Job Club is a networking opportunity for all participants. Join us for networking, information sharing and support for all job seekers, their families and professionals.

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat July 13, 10am – noon
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map

Unfortunately, parking is no longer available in the garage at 255 12th Street, but there is metered street parking for $2.25/hr.

Tell Russia about Autism in America

Autism knows no national boundaries, and the understanding of autism is growing in Russia as it is worldwide. AASCEND has received an informal invitation from an autism friend in Russia to make a brief video telling “what people should know about autism”. (Caption translations will be added.) This is a great opportunity to put AASCEND’s (i.e. your) years of first-hand experience about autism to excellent use halfway around the world!

Moscow Skyline by D.J. Rogers (click for info)

This is also a great opportunity for us to take stock together about how our understanding of autism has changed and grown through the years. Join us at the June 15 meeting as together we explore what we feel is most important to say now about autism—to correct misperceptions, to tell it “like it is”, and to give hope. In a divided world autism can help bring people together!

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

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat June 15, 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.

Neurodivergent on the Job in SF

UPDATE: To see the results of the survey on Reduced Bandwidth Communication in Autism, conducted at AASCEND May 18, click here.


On June 1 the AASCEND  Job Club hosts Chris Williams, of Square, Inc., the fast-growing mobile payment and financial services firm based in San Francisco, and one of the best-known tech firms in the city. Chris Williams is a founder and lead of the Neurodiversity Employee Resource Group at Square.  Chris himself is on the autism spectrum. He will discuss employment at Square and other tech firms, as well as the mission of his Employee Resource Group—to create awareness, inclusion, and empowerment for neurodivergent workers.

Chris Williams

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on “under the hood” at a mobile payment and financial services company, or what it’s like being a neurodivergent employee in such a place, be sure to attend this fascinating presentation, and bring your insights and questions.

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

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat June 1, 10am – 1
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.

Autistic-Led Projects Seek Your Input

AASCEND‘s  May 18 general meeting promises to be interesting and unusual. It will feature three projects headed by autistic members — projects seeking input from all you autistic adults! First up is AASCEND regular Ian Moura,  who is starting a research project to better understand the challenges faced by autistic adults seeking skilled employment.

Ian is particularly interested in understanding and evaluating autism hiring programs. Ian is currently developing a survey to measure autistic participants’ views of these programs, and is interested in gathering input from the community (that’s you!) about what services and supports are most needed to support autistic adults in finding and maintaining employment.

Next up is AASCEND Co-Chair Greg Yates who is putting together a project on non-standard ways of communicating in autism. Like Ian, Greg is looking for your input. The thought is that lessening the rate and variety of sensory input might help autistic people communicate better and perhaps become more aware of their thoughts and feelings. Does talking by candlelight help you? How about while you are wearing dark glasses? How about by texting? We might actually try out one or two approaches. Please bring your ideas and experiences about non-standard ways of helping autistic people communicate.  


Finally, and if there’s time, Greg is beginning contact with the autism world in Russia. They’ve asked for a short video featuring our members saying short sentences about the “top ten things” people, including parents of autistic young adults, should know about autism. This is another brainstorming session, and we may have a go at recording a couple of your responses.


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

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat May 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.

Hiring Pro Jack Fagan to Speak

Spanning a career of more than 30 years as a program manager and HR professional, AASCEND  past-president Jack Fagan has screened thousands of resumes, interviewed more than 500 job applicants, and hired over a 100 job seekers. At AASCEND’s May 4th Job Club, he’ll share his insights on getting into the minds of hiring manager with suggested do’s and don’ts for cover letters, resumes and more, plus secret advantages for a strong interview performance.  

Here’s your chance to cash in on some serious hiring experience! Come with your questions about how to impress a hiring manager. 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 May 4, 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.