Say Yes To Autism Acceptance: AsIAm and World Autism Month 2021

We are delighted to announce our events and webinars for the month of April as part of our World Autism Month campaign. These events will feature members of the Autistic Community and relevant professionals to cover the many aspects of Autism Acceptance and understanding.

Too often autistic people face invisible barriers because of how the world works and the judgement and attitudes of others. They are so used to being told ‘No’.  We want people to say ‘Yes’ for a change: Yes to employment, Yes to education and Yes to community inclusion. Help become part of this move for change by sharing #AutismMonthSayYes on social channels.

April 1st (12pm): The New Diversity and Inclusion Frontier – Engaging Autistic Talent

It’s estimated that at least one in sixty-five people in Ireland are autistic yet eighty-five percent of autistic people are unemployed or under employed. On April 1st IrishJobs.ie and AsIAm, Ireland’s will come together to champion autistic talent in the workplace.

A joint report “Autism in the workplace” will be launched a this event hosted by RTE’s Miriam O’ Callaghan with Orla Moran, General Manager of IrishJobs.ie and Adam Harris, CEO of AsIAm. We’ll hear the lived experience of two autistic people Melissa Mooney of Vodafone, Niamh Biddulph of An Post and talk to Naomi Hegarty of Tata Consultancy Services who are leading the way in the recruitment of autistic talent.

The event will explore the experiences of autistic people in the workplace and examine how access to employment can be improved for autistic people. 

April 2nd (12pm): What Autism Acceptance Means to Me

This event will be an opportunity for the community to come together to mark the day, to hear from the lived experience of autistic people and parents, and to unveil our campaign which aims to promote understanding and acceptance of autism in the community.

The event will include a keynote speech from Minister Anne Rabbitte TD and contributions from Nic Ryan-Purcell (Filmmaker and creator of This Is Nicholas- Living with Autism), Danni Burke (HSE Worker and Vice-Chair of the Galway Autism Partnership), Laragh Smith (AsIAm Youth Ambassador) and MJ Lowndes. There will also be music from Emma Langford and the opportunity to learn how you can help spread autism acceptance this April! 

6th April (18:30): What is Autism?

This event is aimed at supporting extended family, friends, neighbours and community members to understand what it means to be autistic in Ireland today.

It will be delivered by Davida Hartman (Educational Psychologist) and Tara Killen (Coaching Psychology research-practitioner and founder of Thriving Autistic). Tara and Davida frequently collaborate on multiple projects, including autistic-friendly trainings for psychologists and psychotherapists, and informational webinars for the adult autistic community.

They are joined by lived-experience contributions from Brian Irwin (Self-Advocate and AsIAm Board Member) and Miriam Kenny (Parent and member of Involve Autism D6/6w)

6th April (2pm): Yoga Workshop

As part of our events to mark World Autism Month, Jennifer McGrane is generously hosting a free yoga workshop which aims to support the community in “Finding our Centre”. Both parents to autistic children and autistic adults are welcome to attend
(We unfortunately weren’t able to provide a video for this as the attendants preferred not to be recorded)

8th April (2pm) Extinct Animals Presentation

Our friends in the National Museum of Ireland have kindly agreed to provide a family fun event that is sure to be a hit with all lovers of history! Keeper of the Natural History Museum, Nigel Monaghan, will share a video presentation on extinct animals and then be on hand to take your questions!

12th April (18:30) Parent Wellbeing Webinar

Michael Ryan of PeaceofMind.ie will be running a parent wellbeing webinar to support parents within our community, particularly in the challenging context of COVID-19. This webinar will provide practical exercises to promote mindfulness and positive mental health

13th April (18:30) How Can I Be Autism-Friendly?

This event is aimed at supporting extended family, friends, neighbours and community members to understand practical, everyday steps they can take to be supportive and inclusive of autistic people in their lives.

The event will be delivered by Carly Jones MBE, a renowned autistic advocate from the UK, with contributions from an autism self-advocate (TBC) and Seonadh McCarthy (Influencer, SNA and sibling)

 

15th April (18:30) Middletown: Sensory Make and Take Workship

We have teamed up with our friends in the Middletown Centre for Autism to create a fun workshop that will help you create sensory tools and aids from everyday objects at home.

This event will allow you to create alternatives to standard stim toys such as fidget spinners that are tailored to you or your child’s specific sensory needs. 

Register here

19th April (14:00) Self Advocacy Workshop 

As part of our “Say Yes to Autism Acceptance” Campaign, Tara Killen (Thriving Autistic) will host a self-advocacy workshop for autistic adults.

This will include activities such as disclosing diagnosis, securing supports and negotiating employment.

Register here

21st April (18:30) How Can We Create Inclusive Communities?

This event is aimed at supporting local businesses, public services, voluntary organisations and communities to understand the steps they can take to become autism-friendly.

The event will be delivered by Fiona Ferris (AsIAm Deputy CEO) with contributions from Elaine McGoldrick (Self-Advocate, Educator and Member of Clonakilty Autism-Friendly Town Committee) and Edel Abberton (Founder of Galway Autism Partnership)

Register here

How Do I Attend?

All of these events are free to attend, but it is essential to register. We ask that where possible people make a small donation at asiam.ie/donate as queries to AsIAm service increased by 280% on the this time last year prior prior to the pandemic, and share #AutismMonthSayYes on social channels.

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