The Innovation at Work conference — AASCEND’s 8th and celebrating our 15th anniversary — was a pretty darn huge success! (program & details) Keynote speaker Alex Plank, founder of the premier autism online community WrongPlanet, highlighted the increased media presence of people on the autism spectrum and detailed vital efforts to ensure accurate portrayals. Keynote Jose Velasco, vice president at software giant SAP, outlined revolutionary efforts to hire autistic people in Silicon Valley. Other companies similarly presented at the special Friday session for Silicon Valley employers. These changes herald a sea change in autism employment. AASCEND continues to play a significant role in supporting and accelerating this change so that it becomes embedded in the culture of employment and not just a fad.
Many wonderful and brilliant people presented on panels and in the bracing variety of breakout sessions. Many others worked behind the scenes to make the conference a success. Thank you all! The Women’s Panel in particular was an inspiring presence at the conference.
Here are some pictures of the day. If we accidentally violated your privacy with any of the pictures please let us know so that we can fix the error, with our apologies. And if there isn’t a picture of you it’s likely we just didn’t have one! (Click the first picture for a slideshow with captions.)