The Job Coach

Are you a job coach, employer, or family member of someone with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD)? See the important Stanford research project below.

Here is a recording of the following Job Coach program.


Cartoon of female job coach sitting at a desk, looking professional

At the last AASCEND Job Club meeting,discussion centered on how to find and work with a Job Coach. On February 3 we will continue the discussion and be joined by two veteran job coaches: Lauren Fuentes and Lasalette Capote. Ms. Fuentes is a Program Coordinator and Job Coach for VistaBility, an agency serving adults with developmental differences in the East Bay. Ms. Capote is a Transition Specialist/Job Coach for the Castro Valley Adult and Career Education program. They will be interviewed by Job Club facilitator and AASCEND member Michael Bernick.The Job Coach is a valuable service for employment success, and is one that most clients of DOR and DDS are eligible for, as needed.

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.

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 Feb 3, 10am – 11am (approx.)
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.


STANFORD DIVERSE PROJECT

Developing Inclusive and Vocational Education and Resources for Success in Employment (DIVERSE)

Do you live in California and identify as at least one of the following?

  • Job coach
  • Present or prospective employer of adults with intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)
  • Family member of an adult with IDD

We are recruiting participants to join in a research study that includes free, self-paced, and asynchronous training on improving skills for working with adults with IDD in employment support settings!

If you are interested in participating, please complete the questionnaire.

See the flyer or visit our website for more information.

Please contact us at stanfordneurodiversityproject@stanford.edu if you have any questions.

Healing Loneliness in Autism

Here is a recording of the presentation. See also socialthinking.com

Lonely young man standing and staring out window at cityscape

Next up for AASCEND, Michelle Garcia Winner, Founder of the Social Thinking®  Methodology, will talk on a subject that is sadly relevant to many autistic people, loneliness. Together we will explore the impact of loneliness on both one’s physical and mental health. We will also look at strategies and tips for building social competencies such as unpacking friendship, how we communicate in person, language for conversation, and the “spirals of anxiety.”

……….Michelle Garcia Winner

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.

Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP; CEO & Founder of the Social Thinking®  Methodology, is a prolific author, creative clinician, and internationally renowned speaker. She was honored to receive a Congressional Special Recognition Award in 2008, and a Lectureship Award (2019) from the Society of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatricians.

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 Jan 20, 10am – 11am
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.

Job Goals in 2024

Here is a video of the following presentation.


Clipart of Survey marked RESULTS

At the January 6 AASCEND Job Club, veteran job coaches Dan Middleton and Keith Halperin will present the results of their recent Employment Survey of AASCEND members. This Survey looked at current job situations and goals for 2024. Keith and Dan  will be interviewed by Job Club facilitator Michael Bernick, who will lead an interactive Q & A session with meeting attendees.

Dan Middleton & Keith Halperin

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.

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 Jan 6, 10am – 11am (approx.)
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.

Holiday Party at the Arc!!!

Here is a link to the recording of the December 9 Employment in Gaming session.
Here and here are links to the Powerpoint slides for the session.


Next up for AASCEND is the December 16 Holiday Potluck Party!  Live and at the Arc for the first time in years!!! Come join our community for food, conversation, music and good cheer. There will be Entertainment, Music, Games, did we mention food, and a low-sensory space available. It’s a potluck, so bring food to share if you can — but if you can’t, show up anyway!


It’ll be a blast to celebrate in person again!

When: Sat Dec 16,   1 – 4 pm (upstairs)
 
Party Setup:     12:00 – 1:00 
Party:                  1:00 – 4:00,   Food: 1:30 on
Cleanup:             4:00 – 4:30

Where: The Arc of SF   1500 Howard St. @ 11th St.    SF, CA 94103   map


Employment is the Gaming Industry

Scroll down for details about the AASCEND Holiday Party at the Arc on Dec 16!

Here is a video of the following presentation.


At the Dec 9 AASCEND Job Club, we will be joined by Pamela Cosman and Leanne Chukoskie, Professors at UC San Diego and Northeastern, who have been doing cutting edge research and testing on jobs for adults with autism in the gaming industry. They also have been testing the use of games and Virtual Reality to assist adults with autism to gain work skills and social skills. They will be interviewed by our Job Club facilitator, Michael Bernick.

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.

Pamela Cosman
Leanne Chukoskie

Pamela Cosman is a Professor at UC San Diego in Computer Engineering and Leanne Chukoskie, is a Professor at Northeastern University. They have been working in recent years on employment for adults with autism in the gaming industry, and the use of games and VR to teach work skills.

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 Dec 9, 10am – 11am (approx.)
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.

Holiday Party at the Arc!!!

Next up for AASCEND is the December 16 Holiday Potluck Party!  Live and at the Arc for the first time in years!!! Come join our community for food, conversation, music and good cheer. There will be Entertainment, Music, Games, did we mention food, and a low-sensory space available. It’s a potluck, so bring food to share if you can — but if you can’t, show up anyway!


It’ll be a blast to celebrate in person again!

When: Sat Dec 16,   1 – 4 pm (upstairs)
Party Setup:     12:00 – 1:00 
Party:                  1:00 – 4:00,   Food: 1:30 on
Cleanup:             4:00 – 4:30

Where: The Arc of SF   1500 Howard St. @ 11th St.    SF, CA 94103   map


Autistic-Written and Directed Feature Filmmaking

On Nov 18 AASCEND hosts Peter Kangas and Josiah Polhemus, who are collaborating in making a full-length feature film from the perspective of a person on the spectrum, written by that person and directed by that person. The film has the potential to be a groundbreaking look inside the mind of a person on the autism spectrum, which has never been done before. They will share part of their pitch deck and discuss the process of getting an authentically inclusive film made. Come give your input on this fascinating project!

This meeting will be in-person only, at the SF Arc (address below). No registration is necessary.

__________________The filmmaking team

Peter Kangas is a filmmaker residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has extensive experience in both live action and set-based environments. Peter believes in meticulous attention to detail, good manners, and respect. He has won awards for his filmmaking. He now works through Spectrumotion Pictures, whose mission is to bring the disability community within the entertainment and film industry, tapping into this deep reservoir of talent and experience and no “help the neurodiverse world recognize how they can get past stereotypes and take action to fully realize their professional and artistic potential.”

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 Nov 18, 10am – noon (approx.)
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map


There are ongoing afternoons of games and socializing (currently a weekly event) on Fridays from 3 to 5pm—at Victory Point Cafe in Berkeley. Young adults (ages 18-30) are especially welcome. Bring $20 to cover games and a small snack. Contact Clara via text at 510 882 4944 to join in.

        Picture of young adults playing board games in a cafe.

Address: Victory Point Cafe, 1797-A Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709
Date: Fridays 3-5pm
Website: https://www.victorypointcafe.com
Drink and Food Menu
Games Available at Victory Point Cafe

DOR Path to Success in IT, healthcare, biotech &co

Here is a link to the DOR Powepoint slides.


At the Nov 4 AASCEND Job Club, Danielle Hackworth, Project Manager of the new $18.3 million Pathway to Success Project, will be the speaker. This is a great opportunity for adults who are current Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) clients or who can qualify for DOR services. It provides training and placement for “quality jobs” in biotech, Information Technology, Health Care and Advanced Manufacturing.

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.

Danielle Hackworth

Danielle Hackworth has been with the Department of Rehabilitation for 11 years and is the Project Manager for the Pathways to Success Project, a Disability Innovation Grant, offered through DOR. Prior to this position, she worked four years as a Statewide Business Engagement Consultant with the Workforce Development Section. She has enjoyed working with business partners throughout the state of California to expand and diversify their workforce by partnering with the Department of Rehabilitation. Prior to joining the Workforce Development Section, she served five years as a local Business Specialist for Shasta, Tehama and Siskiyou Counties, working closely with individuals with disabilities and local businesses to ensure successful employment for her consumers.

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 Nov 4, 10am – 11am (approx.)
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.


There will be a further afternoon of games and socializing (currently a weekly event) on Friday October 27 from 3 to 5pm—at Victory Point Cafe in Berkeley. Young adults (ages 18-30) are especially welcome. Bring $20 to cover games and a small snack. Contact Clara via text at 510 882 4944 to join in.

More social events are planned for San Francisco and the East Bay, but parents are needed to help coordinate  them. These social events are greatly valued. Email cassindy@gmail.com or text 510 910 3838.

        Picture of young adults playing board games in a cafe.

Address: Victory Point Cafe, 1797-A Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709
Date: Friday, October 27, 2023 – Time: 3-5pm
Website: https://www.victorypointcafe.com
Drink and Food Menu
Games Available at Victory Point Cafe

We’re Not Broken

Here’s Paul Nussbaum at our recent mini-picnic celebrating his arrival at Bridge of the Gods, where he successfully completed the California and Oregon sections of the Pacific Crest Trail:


On October 21 AASCEND is pleased to welcome autistic author Eric Garcia, in conversation about his acclaimed book on autism, We’re Not Broken (which happens also to feature some AASCEND members and friends). Eric is a writer and reporter based in Washington DC. He has written for the Washington Post Magazine, the Week, the New Republic, the Daily Beast, Spectrum, and more. He has also been an assistant editor at the Washington Post’s Outlook section, associate editor at the Hill, staff writer for Market Watch, National Journal and Roll Call. Eric will talk about themes from his refreshingly thorough and respectful book, and touch on how as an autistic person he parlayed a youthful interest in politics into a career.

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.

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

Who: Autistic people, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Oct 21, 10am – 11am
Where: Online via Zoom, URL and password will be emailed

Thank-You-Paul! Walk and Mini-Picnic

Register now for the 2023 Stanford Neurodiversity Summit, coming up October 1-3 online. The program is very strong, with much content by, for and about autistic adults. Click here to see the program and here to register. (Details below.) The conference is very inexpensive by the most standards.


At 11am on  Saturday September 30 join AASCEND at a mini-picnic-and-walk starting at the Crissy Field Warming Hut Store below the Golden Gate Bridge—to celebrate the incredible labors of Paul Nussbaum, who has been showcasing autistic ability and determination on the Pacific Crest Trail. Earlier this season Paul was turned back by fires in Canada and Washington, but undaunted he returned south to complete the one stretch of the PCT he had not hiked in California. He is now on the way back north, heading into the first storm of the season, hoping to reach the Bridge of the Gods on the Columbia River, thus completing his trek also through all of Oregon. If all goes to plan, Paul should just be able to make it back in time to join us at the celebration! Let’s all show up to honor his remarkable effort and commitment.

We’ll meet at the Crissy Field Warming Hut Store, indicated on the map below. There are 150 paid parking places by the Hut ($3/hr, paid by credit card) and free parking a 5-minute walk up the road at Fort Point. Many buses serve the Eastern end of Crissy Field, a 25-minute walk away. Bring your own lunch. There are packaged snacks and coffee at the Warming Hut Store. Dress according to the weather!

AASCEND Co-chair Greg Yates joined Paul for his California-completing hike between Ebbetts and Sonora Passes, and Paul delegated reporting of the trip to Greg so that he could prepare for his northward journey.

Here is Greg’s report: On the Oregon Trail there was an expression, “Have you seen the elephant?”, meaning, “Have you experienced the heartbreaking difficulty of your pioneering journey yet?” Well, I have joined Paul on the Pacific Crest Trail and I have seen the elephant! What Paul is doing is incredibly difficult. I was wasted to the point of near-exhaustion by the second day on the trail, and we had to take an extra day to allow for rest. Hauling a 40-pound pack thousands of feet up mountains turns out to be rather difficult, and to do it week after week as Paul has done is unimaginable to me. At the same time we were surrounded everywhere in wilderness beauty and interest. See the full report with cool pictures here. Here is his current Progress Map, which should be complete to the Columbia River by picnic-time.


…….