November 08, 2016

The 2016 Au-Some Conference

I laughed, I cried, I spoke, I stimmed...I attended what I hope will be an annual conference organized by Autism Canada and Every1Games, the Au-Some Conference.

Months in the making, it was amazing working with other autistic adults to plan and make it happen. We had conference calls that left me with a great sense of community, and email exchanges where we were able to respectfully share our opinions on everything from the cost, format, location, vendors, speakers, food, and t-shirt design. Throughout it all, we had the support of Autism Canada, who brought us all together. Planning and discussions were broken up into easy chunks, so the process did not seem overwhelming. Sub-committees were created to have people focused on certain parts of planning as well. This took a great load off my shoulders since I still work full-time. However, our input as being the authorities on the autistic experience were always taken into account and respected.

A big thank you to everyone who took part in the t-shirt fundraiser (which I'm wearing in the video) or contributed to Autism Canada during the campaign. It paid for my airfare and hotel to attend the conference, so I really appreciate that.

I am also grateful for the many new connections I made at this year's conference, as well as seeing many people from last year's conference. When I say I laughed and cried, I really mean it. There's a wonderful sense of community and belonging being able to be with people who really understand you - your tribe. Even without knowing every person there, I know I can be myself and I enjoy seeing other autistics comfortable and in their element.

So without further ado, here is the video of my talk at the conference. Not the best presentation, in my mind, as I had a cold and hadn't practiced my speech at all (oops!). But my words were well thought out and that's what matters. So look past the way it was delivered and listen to what I have to say. I hope it inspires and encourages you!

Kelly Johnson (2016) Autism at Work from Autism Canada on Vimeo.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from readers. Thanks for your comments!