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Business EVENTS

Jan. 30 - Savannah Autism Conference Features Activist Temple Grandin as Keynote and Announces First Local Reverse Job Fair

Category: Business Events

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

January 30, 2019 -  Autism activist Temple Grandin, widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most accomplished and best-known autistic adults, will be the keynote speaker when the Matthew Reardon Center for Autism hosts its 2019 Autism Conference Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Savannah Convention Center. The conference comes as estimates indicate that one in 59 children born in the United States will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

The Reardon Center’s fourth annual conference is organized for a diverse audience: professionals and academics who work with autistic people (with continuing education credits in many cases), families affected by autism, autistic people, potential employers and members of the general public who are interested in this growing social and medical challenge.

Grandin will discuss “Autism and My Path Through Life” the final afternoon of the conference as wrap up of the two-day conference, which also features presentations by 22 autism experts and includes a first-in-Savannah Reverse Job Fair to help people with autism find jobs.

General admission tickets for both days are $135, one-day tickets for Thursday or Friday are available for $100 or admission to Grandin’s lecture only is priced at $60. SCCPSS employees are eligible for a specially-discounted, one day ticket, as well. To register and buy tickets, visit www.2019autismconference.com.

Grandin, a best-selling author of multiple books and an internationally recognized expert in animal welfare and behavior, did not speak until she was four-years-old and was diagnosed with autism at a time when it was less well understood than it is today. Her family ignored advice to institutionalize her and she went on to earn a doctorate in animal science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, and her research in the development of humane systems of handling animals in the meat-production industry is highly regarded and implemented internationally. Grandin is also the subject of a biographical movie and numerous television documentaries.

The 2019 Autism Conference will also feature numerous nationally-respected speakers, addressing topics such as educational strategies for teachers and parents, augmentative and assistive communication, guardianship and other legal issues, bullying and personal accounts from autistic people. A complete list of speakers can be found at https://2019autismconference.com/guest-speakers/autism-conference-speakers/

In addition to diverse workshops and Grandin’s keynote address, the conference will host a Reverse Job Fair, a setting which removes many of the barriers people with autism face when seeking employment.

How will this work? Registered job seekers with autism will prepare in workshops prior to the conference. At the conference fair, each job seeker will set up a table complete with posters and resumes. Potential employers then go from table to table, giving each job-seeker an opportunity to showcase their particular strengths. Interested employers should contact Jim Atkinson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The 2019 Autism Conference is sponsored by Memorial University Medical Center, the Savannah Morning News and WTOC.

For more information, to register for the job fair or to purchase tickets, visit www.2019authismconference.com

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