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Spectrum of Opportunity

'Communication Alternatives in Autism' Author Celebration

Spectrum of Opportunity

The 4th annual Spectrum of Opportunity event will celebrate the book Communication Alternatives in Autism: Perspectives on Typing and Spelling Approaches for the Nonspeaking and its authors. This celebration will involve a combination of author-led workshops and interactive activities for autistic self-advocates, family members, educators and professionals. (Links for registration and a detailed agenda appear below.)

The three objectives of this event are to 1) provide a space for meaningful interactions between community members and influential autistic self-advocates who will share messages about disability rights, inclusion, and communication access; 2) educate faculty, teacher candidates, and community educators on ways to support the inclusion and success of people with autism who use alternative means to communicate; and 3) encourage young individuals and adults of all abilities to become authors and speakers.

In this two-part celebration, the morning session will offer engaging sessions for all guests. The afternoon portion is focused on community-building for autistic individuals and their support teams.

The Spectrum of Opportunity event is proudly hosted by the Autism and Communication Center.​

Registration for this event has closed.


Schedule and Ticket Prices

Morning Session

Saturday, Oct. 5
9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

  • $45 general
  • $35 autistic individuals
  • Free for CLU students, faculty and staff with registration

Afternoon Session

Saturday, Oct. 5
12 to 3:30 p.m.

  • $40 for all tickets (includes lunch, autistic peer mentoring session, and drum circle)

A block of hotel rooms has been reserved for out of town guests at Hampton Inn and Suites for $129.


Conference Agenda

Morning Session for Educators, Professionals, Autistics, and Families
9:30 to 10:15 a.m.
Opening Plenary
  • Welcome by Dr. Edlyn Peña
  • Introduction of Autistic Authors: Tracy Thresher, Larry Bissonnette, Ido Kedar, Samuel Capozzi, Dillan Barmache, Henry Frost, Philip Reyes, & Rhema Russell
  • Highlights and research findings from “Communication Alternatives in Autism” book
10:15 to 10:30 a.m.
10:30 to 11:15 a.m.
Interactive Break-out Sessions
Session 1: Creating Captivating Conference & Classroom Presentations by Autistic Participants
  • Dillan Barmache, Larry Bissonnette, Samuel Capozzi, & Tracy Thresher
  • Facilitated by: Dr. Damien Peña
Session 3: How to Publish your own Book
  • Ido Kedar, Sharon Kedar, & Tracy Kedar
  • Facilitated by: Shelly Carnes, Co-founder & Head of School at The Hirsch Academy in Atlanta, GA
Session 2: Recommendations to Educators about Supporting Students who use AAC
  • Henry Frost, Philip Reyes, & Rhema Russell
  • Facilitated by: Shelly Carnes, Co-founder & Head of School at The Hirsch Academy in Atlanta, GA
11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Meet and Greet the Authors

Interact with authors, get autographs, take photos, write letters to the authors, crafts, & more.

Afternoon Session (for autistics, families, and friends)
12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Autistic Mentoring in Small Groups

Autistic participants will meet in small groups with chapter authors for structured mentoring conversations and interactions

2:00 to 2:15 p.m.
Final Words by Authors and Future Authors (audience participation)
2:15 to 2:30 p.m.
2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Drum Circle by Alan Bruni

Social Night Out

The Social Night Out is an evening reception for autistic participants, family and friends. It begins at 6 p.m. on Oct. 4, the Friday evening prior to the conference. All communication levels are welcome. Activities will be facilitated by Julie Sando of Autistically Inclined. The Social Night Out is free to individuals registered for Spectrum of Opportunity. RSVP for Social Night Out by Oct. 1.

Registration for the conference has closed.

Sponsored By
Autism and Communication Center