Worcester, April 11th, 2017. “Hire and Higher: Leveraging the ‘Autism Advantage’ to Meet the Region’s Workforce Demands” conference will focus on strategies for helping employers recognize that many individuals with autism possess unique and valuable skills that can allow them to be productive and successful in highly specialized positions. John Elder Robison, author of Look Me in the Eye, Be Different and more, will be the Keynote speaker. John is a Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and author of some of the most widely read stories of growing up on the autism spectrum and living with Asperger’s syndrome. He supports and promotes research leading to therapies or treatments that will improve the lives of people who live with autism in all its forms. He’s widely know as an advocate for people with autism and neurological differences.
Fees apply, registration is required to https://hmea.org/events/third-annual-central-massachusetts-autism-summit/hmeas-3rd-annual-central-ma-autism-summit-presentations/ or
Other Conference Workshops and Topics include:
Workforce in Central Massachusetts: Tim Murray, CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce will make the opening address with the status of current workforce shortages and needs in the Central Massachusetts area.
National Trends in Employment for People with Autism: Leslie Long, VP of Adult Services at Autism Speaks will present national trends that are creating new and innovative ways to expand employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Autism Works at SAP: Tanya Regli, Executive Director of The Arc of Philadelphia provides an overview of the three years The Arc has been working with SAP to gain employment for people with autism.
Central Massachusetts Workforce Needs Assessment Results
Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) Speakers Bureau: Jamie Freed, Director of Adult Training at AANE will moderate a panel of four neurodivergent adults on the autism spectrum, diagnosed from early childhood to late adulthood, who will discuss their employment experiences. Types of jobs, environments, supervisors and fields that worked and did not work will be discussed.
1. A Conversation with John Elder Robison for People on the Spectrum – This workshop is for people on the spectrum only.
2. Employment Across the Spectrum – Presented by: Brittany Collins, FSE Managing Director and Lisa Borges, FSE Executive Director
3. Autism Higher Education Foundation Paralegal Assistant Training (PLAT) Program –
Presented by: Vanda Khadem, Autism Higher Education Foundation Founder and President
4. Employment for People with ASD – This presentation and conversation will include the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s (MRC) employer engagement, relationship building and job placement initiatives with major corporations, including CVS and Home Depot. As well as a description of outreach efforts to high school students. An MRC consultant, a man with autism, will discuss his role in technology at the agency.
Presented by: William Allen, MRC Director of Statewide Job Placement Services
5. Mass General Hospital Internship Program – Presented by: Leslie O’Brien, Aspire Internship Program Manager
6. Current Practices in Employment Services –Under the direction of a professional farmer, TILL Farms utilizes growing produce and small animal care as ways to teach vocational skills which can be generalized to life and social skills. Presented by: John Stevens, TILL Director of Special Projects and Stephanie Guitard, HMEA VP of Employment Services