Program of Events


Below you can find the program of events.

If you have questions please contact us for more information.


Day Time Location Title Speaker Description
Wednesday 4-6pm Lake Lobby


6-7pm Lake Lobby

Opening reception (heavy hors d’ouevres and cash bar)

Pick up your free drink ticket at check-in

7-8:30pm Film House

Opening speaker “Living in Color”

Alix Generous

Across the nation's college campuses, diversity committees and departments are developing strategies to increase innovation and diversity on campus. But what does this mean for the future of young intellectual minds and experienced educators in a changing educational landscape? In this address, Alix paints a picture of what diversity truly looks like when fully implemented and shows how far we have yet to go

Thursday 8-8:30am Atrium

Coffee, Tea, Etc

8:30-9:30am Gallery

Program 1a: CASE: Connections for Academic Success & Employment

DeAnn Lechtenberger, Ph.D. / Wes Dotson, Ph.D.

DeAnn Lechtenberger, Ph.D.; Program Director for CASE Program at the Texas Tech University's Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research Wes Dotson, Ph.D., BCBA Executive Director for the Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas

8:30-9:30am Great Room

Program 1b: Asperger's in Popular Culture

John Sheehan, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

A look at Asperger's Syndrome through the lens of characters in popular culture (Dwight Schrute & Sheldon Cooper, in particular) to highlight why these characters are popular, to help illustrate symptoms of Asperger’s, and to show the growing effects of autism (and particularly Asperger’s) on the campus community both inside and outside of the classroom.

9:45-10:45am Gallery

Program 2a: Fostering Career Readiness: Introducing "Landmark "Works"

Jan Coplan, Director of Career Connections, Landmark College

Connecting Classroom and Career: How do you improve communication skills, build confidence and professionalism in students with little workforce experience? Implement a comprehensive campus work program. “Landmark Works” is a college wide initiative with an overarching goal of helping students see, in practical ways, the connection between academics and the world of work. The key component is a one credit course that provides both classroom and workplace hours to improve career readiness skills in neurodiverse students. Come hear how the program has led to greater academic alignment and an enthusiasm for expanding the impact of the program.

9:45-10:45am Great Room

Program 2b:
The Social Advantage

Alix Generous

The Social Advantage is an interactive workshop that teaches all the essential skills that make for great communicators and most importantly,how to utilize them in everyday situations. Alix will share how she helps students practice the basics of self-advocacy, deal with social anxiety, and learn about different kinds of “difficult” situations and people and how to deal with them. She'll discuss strategies for students to help peers and professionals become more understanding, accepting, and engaging of those with social difficulties.

11:00am-12:00pm Gallery

Program 3a: Independence following College

Janet D. Mulvey, PhD Director of the OASIS program at Pace University, NYC

Statistics state that 80% of college students with autism are unemployed following graduation. College and Universities with support programs must expand their academic support to include social/employment ready workshops, collaborate with career centers and educated corporations on the benefits of hiring young graduates on the autism spectrum.

11:00am-12:00pm Great Room

Program 3b: Academic Anxiety in the Brain

Rachel Pizzie, Department of Education, Dartmouth College

Many students experience anxiety in response to particular subjects, such as math, science, or writing, or sometimes even to school or testing in general. This talk will explore these academic anxieties, including how the brain responds when someone is anxious versus when someone is calm, and ways in which we might combat the negative effects of anxiety on school performance.

12:00-1:30pm Lake Lobby

Lunch and keynote speaker: “Individual Differences in Neural Systems for Learning”

Dr. David Kraemer

Every person's brain is different from all others. How are they different and why does this matter for learning? This talk will focus on what neuroscience can tell us about differences in brain structure and brain activity and how these neural differences relate to learning and cognitive differences.

1:45-2:45pm Gallery

Program 4a: Project Tap- Harper Community College Transition Autism Program

Stacey Watson, MA, LCPC and Michele DeCanio, MS, LCPC- Harper College Counselors and Project TAP Coordinators

The Project Tap program utilizes an intensive case management system, peer mentoring program, a parental involvement component and the use of other resources offered by Harper College. This program is a multi-layered approach to academics and degree/certificate completion, interpersonal relationships, and job/career preparedness to structure the college experience for college able students on the Autism Spectrum.

1:45-2:45pm Great Room

Program 4b: High-Quality Vocational Evaluation Tools for College Students with ASD

James Williams, Chief Operating Officer/Vocational Expert/College Program Consultant, Bloom Consulting

This discussion will focus on using the research-based tools and methodology needed to ensure an accurate and appropriate vocational evaluation and employment goal. Using high-quality psychometric, environmental, and employment instruments, a vocational expert will explain how to empower families, schools, and, students with the information they need to make an informed choice regarding their future post-secondary employment, education, and independent living goals.

3:00-4:00pm Gallery

Program 5a: Success in College for Students with ADS/ Customized supports combined with typical student services

Alison McCormick, Director, SAILS at Seattle Central College Weston Brewer, Program Manager, SAILS at Seattle Central College

Is College For Me? Transition from high school to college is an exciting time for students. So many opportunities, new responsibilities and independence. For the student with Autism, those typical feelings coupled with anticipation of social and academic barriers can lead to a loss of confidence, poor self esteem, even failure. Yet, when customized academic and social supports are delivered in partnership with 'typical' student services, students with Autism are very likely to be successful in college, and in life.

3:00-4:00pm Great Room

Program 5b: How Are We Going To Pay for This? Funding Special College Programs

Brett Bauch, MBA, ChSNC, CFP Telemachus Wealth Resources

This discussion will highlight ten potential options for funding supplemental college support programs. Platforms addressed will include: ABLE accounts, Scholarships, 529s, SSI, Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs, Special Needs Trusts, UTMAs, and other funding options that should receive consideration. The goal will be a working knowledge of the various platforms which will offer valuable context to the financial issues facing families entering this complex transition phase.

4:15-5:15pm Great Room

Program 6: Mini-Symposium: Linking Research to Practice: Identifying Challenges, Developing Plans, and Initiating Partnerships

Brad Cox, Founder and Executive Director, College Autism Network

Friday 8-8:30am Atrium

Coffee, Tea, Etc

8:30-9:30am Gallery

Program 7a: Personalized Learning Plans in College

Lauren Merritt, COO Rachael Smith-Ramos
Regional Director Chris Kennedy - Regional Director, College STEPS

For many students, the need for individualized academic and social support is essential for a successful transition to college and beyond. In response, College Steps has created the Individualized College Plan (ICP) to compliment or pick up where the student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) may have left off. The ICP ultimately serves as a road map with detailed goals and action plans that outline areas of need and track progress throughout the student’s college experience. Come and learn about how this holistic model of support propels students toward college success.

8:30-9:30am Great Room

Program 7b: Out of the Frying Pan: Challenges and Benefits of Professional Internships for Diverse Learners

Perry LaRoque, Founder and President, Mansfield Hall

This presentation will examine the obstacles of creating a successful internship program for diverse learners and the enduring benefits of participation. We will explore the challenges of discrimination, aligning with institutional policies and expectations, and overcoming objections in the workplace. We will also review the strategic implementation, requisite skill development, and embedded support needed for success. Finally, we will share the positive outcomes that overwhelmingly justify the transition from the frying pan to the fire.

9:45-11am Great room

Building the Network: Where Do We Go From Here?

Brad Cox, College Autism Network Lee Williams, College Autism Network Perry LaRoque, Mansfield Hall

We have asked you to consider the critical questions and the big ideas that are often the outcomes of formal sessions and informal conversations. This is an opportunity to pull some of those together to create the start of a coherent plan for us to move forward in our work. Please come prepared to share questions, suggestions for next steps, and what you want to contribute to this journey.

11:15-12:30pm Film House

Closing session: From the Homefront to Hollywood: A Conversation with Jason Katims

Jason Katims and Perry LaRoque

Jason Katims is an Emmy Award-winning producer of several well-known TV series. One of them, Parenthood, has a character loosely based on Katims' own son, a college student on the Autism Spectrum. In this conversation, Perry LaRoque, founder and President of Mansfield Hall, will talk with Katims about his work: his perspective on family life, autism and Hollywood, and where these dimensions of his life intersect.