Sunday, July 18, 2010

ASAN-OSU attends Nisonger Autism Institute

On Wednesday, June 23, Benzion Chinn, Patrick Meehan, Melanie Yergeau, Whitney Brooks, and Hillary Spears attended the first annual Nisonger Autism Institute at Ohio State, a day-long conference that focused on transition issues across the lifespan.

Melanie, Benzion, and Patrick

Attendees primarily included service providers and researchers, and to a lesser extent included parents. Out of over 100 people, Benzion, Patrick, and Melanie were the only autistic self-advocates in attendance. Both Benzion and Patrick presented on behalf of Aspirations Ohio regarding transition into adulthood.

Whitney, Hillary, and Melanie

During the institute, ASAN members distributed ASAN literature and autistic pride buttons to many in the audience; additionally, the editor of Disability Studies Quarterly distributed information about the journal's recent issue on neurodiversity, which features the work of several ASAN members and supporters.

ASAN-Central Ohio is currently drafting feedback for the institute's organizers. Other recaps of the day's events can be found at Benzion's blog and Melanie's twitter archive.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

ASAN-Central Ohio celebrates Autistic Pride Day

On Saturday, June 19, ASAN-Central Ohio marched in the Columbus Pride parade. Marchers included Noranne Cochran, Justin Rooney, and Whitney Brooks.

 Justin, Noranne, and Whitney hold signs

Before the parade, members distributed autistic pride buttons to the crowds and received a good deal of positive response from autistic people and family members in attendance. During the parade, ASAN members held signs that read Autistic Pride, Autistic and Proud, Autistics 4 LGTBQ, and Diversity of All Colors. According to Stonewall Columbus, over 195,000 people were in attendance at the event.

Noranne talks with the crowd

Noranne and Justin hold up signs

Stephanie Ballam, Jeffrey Strasser, and Melanie Yergeau also participated in the event planning, as well as in the creation of the signs and buttons.

 Designing posters and buttons for APD

Autistic Pride buttons

To view more photos, please visit our Flickr site.