Spectrum of Opportunity Spring 2016

Autism, Inclusion, and Communication Conference

Photo of Tracy Thresher and Larry BissonnetteA community event to support people who type and use letter boards to communicate

Saturday, March 19th, 2016
9:00am to 3:00pm

Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center
California Lutheran University
130 Overton Court, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Keynote by the stars of "Wretches & Jabberers," Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, with Academy Award Winning Director and Producer, Gerardine Wurzburg

Other featured speakers who type:
Ido Kedar, author of Ido in Autismland
Samuel Capozzi, college student
Dillan Barmache, high school student 

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

8:30am - Check in and light continental breakfast (included in registration cost)

9:00am - Navigating the Maze of Autism Services and Research

Sharon Kedar, Ph.D., a Geophysicist and father of Ido Kedar

Dr. Kedar PhD outlines the challenges that parents, scientists, and professionals face in supporting autistic people, and addresses some of the misconceptions of what science does and does not say about autism.

9:30am - Teens Who Type

Ido Kedar, author of Ido in Autismland 

9:45am - Roads to Communication

Darlene Hanson, M.A., CCC, and Katie Anawalt, M.S., CCC-SLP at Resource for Education, Advocacy, Communication, and Housing (REACH)

By using video clips of people who type or use letter boards, speech language pathologists, Darlene and Katie, demonstrate strategies and ideas for building skills for supported and independent typing.

10:30am - Teens Who Type

Samuel Capozzi, college student at California State University, Channel Islands

10:45am - Break

11:00am - Spectrum of Opportunity Keynote Speech

Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, stars of Wretches & Jabberers documentary

Accompanied by their communication partners, Tracy and Larry, discuss their experiences, advocacy, and journey in learning to communicate by typing.

12:00pm - Lunch (included in registration cost; gluten free options available)

1:00pm - Panel of Educators Who Include Students Who Type

Adrienne Johnston (Inclusion Facilitator); Kimberly Kitchen (Elementary resource teacher); Eric Dettenmaier (Math teacher); Amber Tesh (English teacher); Deborah Spengler, M.S., MFT ​(BII)

1:45pm - Teens Who Type

Dillan Barmache, high school student at Canoga Park High School

1:55pm - Break

2:05pm - Parent Panel on Lessons Learned

Duval Capozzi, Tami Barmache, Barbara Johnson

2:45pm - Closing Reflections on Inclusion

Gerardine Wurzburg, Director and Producer of Wretches & Jabberers

Academy Award winning director and producer delivers closing remarks on supporting the inclusion of individuals who use letter boards, keyboards, and tablets to communicate.

Film Screening: "Wretches & Jabberers"

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

Movie Poster - Wretches & JabberersIn Wretches & Jabberers, two men with autism embark on a global quest to change prevailing attitudes about disability and intelligence. With limited speech, Tracy Thresher, 42, and Larry Bissonnette, 52, both faced lives of social isolation in mental institutions or adult disability centers. When they learned as adults to communicate by typing, their lives changed dramatically. Their world tour message is that the same possibility exists for others like themselves. At each stop, they dissect public attitudes about autism and issue a hopeful challenge to reconsider competency and the future.  Along the way, they reunite with old friends from the USA, expand the isolated world of a talented young painter and make new allies in their cause.

Watch the trailer:

Spectrum of Opportunity is made possible by generous support from:

California Lutheran University - Graduate School of Education - Center for Innovative Learning - Logo

Autism Society Ventura County Logo

California Lutheran University - Community Leaders Association - Logo

Cal Lutheran Artists and Speakers Committee
Autism Society of Ventura County
Cal Lutheran Center for Equality and Justice
Montecito Bank & Trust

Cal Lutheran Center for Innovative Learning
Cal Lutheran Community Leaders Association
Cal Lutheran Athletics Department