Attendance: 23 people attended altogether, at least 9 of whom were on the spectrum. There was a combination of OSU and other students (in high school and other colleges), OSU faculty and staff, parents, relatives, and other community members.
Some things we discussed:
- We really want to take advantage of the web. We decided that we will meet once a month online and once a month in person so that we can be as accommodating/accessible as possible. (Hillary Spears, our secretary, has volunteered to come to Barnes & Noble with her laptop during the online meetings so that people who prefer communicating f2f can participate more easily.) We talked about using Skype, Windows Messenger, or IRC.
- Gmail chat seems like a very real possibility. You can sign up for Gmail for free, and you don’t have to download anything. (Which means that it will work for Macs and PCs, etc.)
- Melanie and Ben will work out which option seems best and will send an email to everyone with more details ASAP. Any other suggestions?
- Our next face-to-face meeting will be at 5:45pm on Thursday, May 21 at Barnes & Noble on High St. We will hold our online meeting before then, but we've yet to determine the date/time.
- In addition to using the this blog, Noranne suggested creating an LJ community so that multiple people can post more easily and more frequently. We have created an LJ community: http://community.livejournal.com/asancentralohio
- We should advertise this community, especially in online venues. We have posted a link to LJ on the blog. We should also advertise on relevant listservs, and possibly other LJ communities (such as asperger, autism, ask_an_aspie, aut_grads, etc.) Any other suggestions?
- Dylan Bias is attending the Ohio Youth Leadership Forum.
- We think we want to do something for/on Autistic Pride Day, though we're not yet sure what. This will be our first and main talking point during our online meeting.
- We talked about how we might combat misinformation that is spread by groups such as Autism Speaks, especially on campus. One suggestion was holding a panel discussion of some sort. We also talked about political involvement and letter writing.
- We want to make sure that the group is not wholly Ohio State-centric but incorporates the central Ohio community broadly. This was brought up by Stephanie and Justin and was affirmed by others.
Other notes from the meeting (RE: staying connected):
- Pat Cloppert, who is on staff at OSU, briefly talked about federal support and the combating autism act (and the problematics of the language/ideology in the very name of the act)... she offered to connect us with people;
- Robert Meier, who directs behavioral health services for OSU health services, has been advocating for coverage reform at OSU in regards to autism, and he wants to talk with people on the spectrum to get a better sense of what supports/services are needed and desired, yet are lacking;
- Deb Ballam, faculty and director of The Women's Place @ OSU, said that if we wanted to have a woman speaker on neurodiversity, The Women's Place might be able to contribute some funding;
- Tom Fish, faculty at OSU's Nisonger Center, suggested connecting us (as mentors) with teenagers on the spectrum who attend a support group @ Nisonger;
- Cindy Selfe (our faculty adviser) also mentioned that disability studies @ OSU might possibly be able to help with funding for a speaker.
- Guest speaker ideas: a couple people really wanted Ralph Savarese, who happens to be guest-editing the upcoming special issue of DSQ. Also suggested were Jerry Newport and John Elder Robison.