Commonwealth Autism will present its annual two-day Autism Conference designed for both caregivers and professionals. Featured keynote speakers at this year’s conference include local and national experts in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Kerry Magro, an award-winning national disability advocate, will close out the conference on March 9th with his unique perspective on living with autism, bullying, and overcoming obstacles to find success.
Wednesday, March 8-Thursday, March 9, 2017; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. both days.
The Richmond Westin, 6631 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230
Kerry Magro and Commonwealth Autism staff will be available for preview stories and interviews during the week of March 6, 2017.
With a prevalence of one in 68, the potential exists for 90,000 Virginians to be impacted by an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Each year, Commonwealth Autism brings local and national leaders in best practice service provision and research to provide a conference for caregivers and professionals who work with individuals across the Autism Spectrum.
One of this year’s featured Keynote Speakers is Kerry Magro. He is an award-winning national speaker and best-selling author. He is also the founder of a nonprofit that has given over 30 scholarships to students with autism so that they can attend college. Magro was completely non-verbal until the age of two and a half and was diagnosed with autism at four years old. These days, Magro travels around the country as a motivational speaker and disability advocate. His speeches have included two TEDx Talks. In 2014, he received accreditation from the National Speakers Association as one of the only professionally certified speakers with autism in the country. Over the past six years, Magro has spoken at over 680 events about his journey on the autism spectrum. Kerry currently works in New York as the Social Media Coordinator for Autism Speaks.
Conference is planned with a variety of audiences in mind: As the Director of Commonwealth Autism’s Learning Institute, Christine Holland plans a conference each year that is sure to appeal to a large audience. “We host 250 caregivers and professionals at our conference annually. This year, we have keynote and breakout sessions covering topics such as staff supervision, sexuality, social skills, and current research in diagnostics and assessment. We also offer scholarships to caregivers each year so that families can attend regardless of cost.”
Overall vision is to increase access: Commonwealth Autism’s Executive Vice President and COO Jessica Philips shares, “Our vision is to see people with autism and other developmental disabilities included in the community at all levels. Our Annual Conference is one piece of our strategic plan towards this ultimate goal. We are helping professionals currently working in our schools and community service boards use the best tools to reach clients in need.”
About Commonwealth Autism: Commonwealth Autism was established in 1995 by a visionary group of parents who recognized significant gaps in Virginia for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Commonwealth Autism’s mission is to build the capacity of the autism and developmental disability service provider network through leadership, innovation, example, and collaboration. Commonwealth Autism utilizes partnerships and collaborative efforts to maintain their standing as a leader in autism awareness, education, and services.