Stanford Summit Recap & Insights

About 75 Summit 2020 speakers

At the November 20 AASCEND meeting online, we will share our experiences and thoughts about the Nov 7-9 2021 Stanford Neurodiversity Summit. To refresh your memory, or to see the conference for the first time, you can watch the Summit recordings on YouTube, linked below. If you wish to, pick a session and prepare to say something about it!

Here is a link to the highly recommended —> talk by Anand Prahlad, from Day 2 of the Summit.

Day 1 Recording , Day 2 Recording , Day 3 Recording

To find the sessions you’d like to see, here are the programs for the different days:

Day 1 Program , Day 2 Program , Day 3 Program

Here is a link to Temple Grandin’s talk, also excellent.

The videos aren’t indexed yet, so you’ll have to scoot around in them to find the session you’re looking for. You can read more about the presentations here, and see the conference exhibitor booths here.


The meeting URL and password will be sent to people on our email list as the date approaches. No registration is necessary. If you are not on our email list, click here to sign up. 

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program. Be present to offer yours about this important Neurodiversity Summit.

Who: Adults on the spectrum, family, professionals and friends all welcome!

When: Saturday, Nov 20, 2021 10 – 11 am (approx)

Where: Online via Zoom, URL and password will be emailed.

Zavikon: A New Workforce Intermidiary for the Autism Community + Summit Sunday!

It’s coming right up! Register HERE for the Nov 7-9 Stanford Neurodiversity Summit (FREE online)! Info at the link. Keynote speakers include Dr. Temple Grandin, Sir Simon Baron-Cohen, and more. Be there or be square!

We will discuss the conference at the AASCEND General Meeting on November 20, so go to the conference, pick a few presentations, take notes, and be ready to join the discussion then!


At the November 6 AASCEND Job Club, we will hear from Zavikon, a new company that provides recruitment, workplace readiness, and job accommodation identification and advocacy for individuals with disabilities or those who are neurodivergent. They also provide education and guidance to employers to support a successful employment relationship.

The speaker will be Rebecca Beam, founder and CEO of Zavikon. Prior to launching Zavikon she was a founding advisory team member launching MindSpark, Inc. whose mission was to train and employ adults on the autism spectrum in technology careers.

The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent to people on our email list as the date approaches. No registration is necessary. If you are not on our email list, click here to sign up. 

Picture of Rebecca Beam

After MindSpark’s acquisition by Auticon, Rebecca became President of the US operations leading the US expansion and driving growth. As a veteran of the tech sector, Rebecca’s career has included senior leadership roles sourcing and developing human capital with high-demand skill sets for the area’s leading tech firms, including Fortune 100 and 500 brands. Rebecca believes there is a job out there for everyone to apply their talents and skills in a meaningful way and she is dedicated to being a bridge to an inclusive working world. In 2019, Rebecca won the prestigious Milestones Visionary Employer Award.

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program.

Who: Adults on the spectrum, family, professionals and friends all welcome!

When: Saturday, Nov 6, 2021 10 – 11 am (approx)

Where: Online via Zoom, URL and password will be emailed.

Again! Again! Another walk together! — at Crissy Field THIS SUNDAY Oct 17 11am

Register HERE for the Nov 7-9 Stanford Neurodiversity Summit (FREE online)! Info at the link. Keynote speakers include Dr. Temple Grandin, Sir Simon Baron-Cohen, and more. Be there or be square!


Last month AASCEND‘s hike at Land’s End met such a strong need to get together in person after the pandemic shut-in that we’re doing it again! We’ll meet at 11am this Sunday, October 17, at the St. Francis Yacht Club parking (X on the map), for a hike in beautiful bayside Crissy Field, and perhaps beyond. NOTE: The hike is SUNDAY, not the usual Saturday, and 11am, not the usual 10am. This will give those of you who missed the last hike a second chance, and the rest of us an opportunity to talk to the people we missed during the last hike. We plan to sit down together to eat along the way, so bring a lunch. Snacks should be available at the Crissy Field Warming Hut. The weather looks to be partly sunny with highs in the upper 60’s and only light winds. Dress accordingly. Come revel together by the beautiful waters many autistic people enjoy!

Map to
 St. Francis Yacht Club Parking

Who: Adults on the spectrum, family, professionals and friends all welcome!

When: SUNDAY, Oct 17, 2021 at 11:00 AM

Where: Crissy  Field, San Francisco, Meet at St. Francis Yacht Club parking (X on map above)

On Disclosure and Accommodations + New ARC Employment Team

REMINDER: Register HERE for the Nov 7-9 Stanford Neurodiversity Summit (Free online)! Info at the link.


At this month’s AASCEND Job Club, Michael Bernick will lead a discussion on disclosure and the related topic of reasonable accommodations. AASCEND members will discuss their experience with both, and how they have handled them. We’d welcome hearing of your experiences.

Additionally, this month we’ll hear from the new employment services team at the ARC, Ulises Zatarain and James Kealohi. They will speak on job openings in the post-pandemic economy, and their services available to our members.

The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent to people on our email list as the date approaches. If you are not on our email list, click here to sign up. No registration is necessary.

Ulises Zatarain was Executive Director for 42 Silicon Valley, a free international coding/software engineering school.  In that role Ulises oversaw the overall operations of the school, with a focus on recruiting and retaining minority students. Ulises also served as Director of Program Operations for Saint Vincent De Paul Society of San Francisco, Development Director for Puente de la Costa Sur in San Mateo County, VP of Community Programs for The Resurrection Project in Chicago, and as an Adjunct Faculty professor teaching Literature, History, and Humanities courses at St. Augustine College in Chicago. Ulises is passionate about social equity, and views education as the great equalizer to create a more just and equitable society. 

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program.

Who: Adults on the spectrum, family, professionals and friends all welcome!

When: Saturday, Oct 2, 2021 10 – 11 am (approx)

Where: Online via Zoom, URL and password will be emailed.

AASCEND Hike Sept 18

NOTE: If you participated in the Sept 11 Job Club meeting with Sheraden Nicholau, please take this surveyHere is Sheraden’s employment resource deck.

ALSO: Register for the Nov 7-9 Stanford Neurodiversity Summit (Free online) HERE! Info at the link.


UPDATE after the hike: It was a grey day, with rain in the North Bay, but it stopped at the Golden Gate and the hike at San Francisco’s Land’s End was a fine success. It was great to get together live and in person, non-virtually, for a change! We played the improv game Where the Wind Blows to warm up before setting off with our pandemic face attire in place. Along the way we all got to catch up and to get to know each other a little better. Thanks to all who showed up, and especially to the newcomers, for making it such an enjoyable event. Let’s get outside together again soon!

Collage of the hike at Land's End.

Enough of this Virtual life on Zoom! It’s time to get outside together again—at the AASCEND hike this Saturday (September 18, 10am) at Land’s End in San Francisco. We’ll strap on our walking shoes and meet as we have done before at the Lookout Cafe Visitors’ Center. The destination is San Francisco’s beautiful and easy-walkin’ Lands End trail we have followed before. It will be wonderful to see each other in person again! Come let’s revel together in the calming natural world so many autistic people enjoy.

There is food at the Lookout Cafe and Visitor Center where we’ll meet, but you might want to bring a snack. Come enjoy together one of the most lovely spots on this beautiful round world!

Who: Adults on the spectrum, family, professionals and friends all welcome!

When: Saturday, Sept 18, 2021 at 10:00 AM

Where: Lookout Café, Land’s End, San Francisco map

State of California No-Cost Employment Resources for Adults on the Autism Spectrum + Stanford Summit Nov 7-9

See (FREE!) Stanford Neurodiversity Summit details at the page bottom below.

On September 11 the AASCEND Job Club presents Sheraden Nicholau, Regional Manager of the State Council on Development Disabilities (SCDD). The SCDD is established by state and federal law as an independent state agency and ensures that Californians with developmental disabilities are guaranteed the same full and equal opportunities as all Americans.  

Ms. Nicholau will discuss the no-cost resources available for employment placement and supports available to adults on the autism spectrum and other developmental differences. She will draw on her experiences in close collaboration with the Regional Centers, Department of Rehabilitation, and local non-profits for job placement.

The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent to people on our email list as the date approaches. If you are not on our email list, click here to sign up. No registration is necessary.

Sheraden Nicholau portrait

Ms Nicholau reports that working on projects and advocating for employment opportunities and equity for people with disabilities is an area of passion for her!

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism 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 11, 10am – 11am (approx.)
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.


The Stanford Neurodiversity Summit organizers write:

Dear Members of the Neurodiversity Community:
 
With much excitement, we would like to invite you to our second virtual Stanford Neurodiversity Summit from November 7 to 9, 2021. This virtual summit is a unique conference bringing together neurodiverse / neurodivergent individuals, employers, service agencies, educators and students, parents, and professionals from all areas of the field. Confirmed keynote speakers include Dr. Temple Grandin from Colorado, US Congresswoman Jessica Benham of Pennsylvania, Dr. Rhonda Moore from the National Institute of Mental Health, Sir Simon Baron-Cohen from University of Cambridge, Professor Yong Zhao of University of Kansas, and Professor Anand Prahlad of University of Missouri. We estimate that we will have about 70 to 90 speakers this year. In last year’s summit, we had over 3200 attendees who represent most stakeholder groups.
 
We are planning the conference with Universal Design in mind, to maximize accessibility and inclusion; we want neurodiverse individuals to participate. Please click here to see the preliminary program for the summit. You are also invited to explore Accessibility Guidelines to learn about how our group increases accessibility of the conference.
 
To ensure that you can enjoy the scheduled activities in the summit, we encourage you to register today. Registration is FREE and open until the tickets are sold out. All sessions will be recorded and made available to the public approximately a month after the conference. We look forward to seeing you at the summit in November!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY!

Masking and Camouflaging in Autism

(Be sure to check news items at the page bottom below.)

When autistic people try hard to hide their autism that is called masking. Over time, masking can make some autistic people very unhappy. On August 21 AASCEND presents Lisa Morgan, in conversation with AASCEND co-chair Gregory Yates—in an informal discussion of masking and camouflaging in autism. The program will address questions like the following—and we are very interested in your thoughts and experiences about them: Is it difficult for you to talk to neurotypical people? Does hiding difficulty make it better or worse for you? What are your strategies for masking—and your strategies for unmasking? Masking and camouflaging are sometimes thought to prevent proper diagnosis of autism, particularly in girls and women. What is your experience?

The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent to people on our email list as the date approaches. If you are not on our email list, click here to sign up. No registration is necessary.

Lisa Morgan is founder and co-chair of the Autism and Suicide committee of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS).  An autistic adult with lived experience in suicide loss and attempt, Lisa advocates for autism friendly resources in suicide prevention.  Lisa has a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching, which she uses to develop new resources, present workshops, and speak at conferences.

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism 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 August 21, 10am – 11am (approx.)
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.


Autistic testimonies are being collected for a planned book on autistic youth and young adult inclusion in all aspects of society, with emphasis on the intersection of disability and race. Book topics will include the educational, racial, social and emotional inclusion of autistic youths—including encounters with police. Click here if you are interested in sharing your experience. The privacy policy is given at the link as well. Respondents do NOT have to be a person of color. Address any questions to info@detester.org

Prominent Autism Job Coach to Address Job Club

On August 7 AASCEND Jan Johnston-Tyler, one of the best-known neurodiversity job coaches in the state of California, will speak at the Job Club. She will update us on the status of neurodiversity hiring in the San Francisco Bay Area, and what career areas look to be the hottest right now.

The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent as the date approaches. No registration is necessary.

Come with your questions! As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism 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 August 7, 10am – 11am (approx.)
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.

The Kelsey: Disability Housing Innovator

(Be sure to check news items at the page bottom below.)

On July 17 AASCEND is pleased to feature The Kelsey, a disability housing organization that is making large strides in creating housing for disabled people. The Kelsey pioneers disability-forward housing solutions that open doors to homes and opportunities for everyone. In less than two years they have secured the co-development of more than 240 inclusive affordable homes in one of the nation’s most challenging housing markets. Representing the Kelsey will be Allie Cannington, Manager of Advocacy and Organizing, and Isaac Haney-Owens, Communications Analyst. Join them to hear all about The Kelsey and its promise for the autism community.

The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent as the date approaches. No registration is necessary.

Colorful graphic of people building a building.

Allie Cannington smiling in wheelchair

Allie Cannington is a white, Jewish, Queer, Disabled activist and organizer. Since gaining access to movements for disability rights and justice over ten years ago, Allie has organized people with disabilities on local, state, and national levels, always centering on people with disabilities who live at the margins, including LGBTQIA, Black, Indigenous, people of color, low/no income, and youth with disabilities. As Manager of Advocacy and Organizing, Allie leads The Kelsey’s field-building efforts to increase Disabled participation and leadership across housing policy and practice.

Isaac Haney-Owens portrait photo

Isaac Haney-Owens is the Communications Analyst at The Kelsey. Isaac went to school at San Francisco City College and Fresno State University. While there he studied photography at both schools. Prior, he had a social media internship at an art program for adults with disabilities. Isaac likes to do art and photography.

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism 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 July 17, 10am – 11am (approx.)
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.


AASCEND has long been actively involved in helping the San Francisco Police and others become better aware of how to interact helpfully with autistic people. Here is an encouraging report on their progress in this and related areas.


LinkedIn is making an informational video about how people identify themselves and how this affects their employment. They give examples of culture, race, background, and pronoun identities, but an autism identity certainly qualifies. They write, “Who you are matters and how you choose to identify yourself can play a big part in a more equitable workplace.” They are looking for LinkedIn members willing to appear in the video. If you are interested find more information here.

Google Aims to Fill 5 Jobs at July 28 Stanford Job Fair

The Stanford Neurodiversity Project, directed by AASCEND board member Dr. Lawrence Fung, is hosting another job fair / reverse job fair, this time with Google on July 28, 2021. See this flyer (and here for further details if link in flyer is inactive). The Project has posted 17 jobs on their website already, and the list may grow. The goal is to hire 5 individuals through the July 28 event. Participants of this event have to be registrants of the Stanford Neurodiverse Candidate Registry / Neurodiversity at Work study. Registering is an easy process. Register now to seize this opportunity!

Who: Job-seekers on the autism spectrum
When: Wed Jul 28, 9am – 1pm Pacific Time
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed to registrants..