Sunny and CJ are so psyched! (Wow say *that* five times fast)
They’ll be attending Autism Network International’s annual Autreat conference for the next two days. They’re wishing they could afford to go for the whole week, but they’ve already been to so many conferences this year (goodness, how many is it now?) they’re content with just going for two of the five days.
(This certainly has been “the year of the conference” for them, and they promise to give some good summaries/insights of all the autism and music therapy conferences they’ve attended and/or presented in, at the end of this year)
Sunny is already saying that next to AutCom 2012, this will be her favorite conference of all. Reason being – Autreat is completely FOR, and completely run BY autistic people.
Ever heard of Jim Sinclair? (If not, please go read right now, his historical speech at the 1993 International Conference on Autism in Toronto, which some view as the dawning of the Neurodiversity Movement.) Jim started Autreat as an ANI initiative in the mid-90’s, and we’re looking forward to meeting him this week. And we’re also really looking forward to spending time with our dear friend, Paula Durbin-Westby, along with many other autistic advocate friends.
Here is the philosophy and goals of Autreat, Here is the history of Autreat. Learning about ANI and the Autreat conference will be beneficial for many of our readers, both music therapy professionals and parents alike. And of *course* for any budding autistic self advocates out there! So please by all means, take some time to read the pages hyperlinks above.
And wanna hear something really, really cool?! The Autreat organizers printed all of Sunny’s conference materials in Braille!! Putting their money/autistic accommodations where their mouth is! This is the first conference they’ve been to where this accommodation was provided. Major props to Autreat!
Sinclair, Jim. “Don’t Mourn for Us.” Autonomy, the Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies 1.1 (2012).