Today and Friday, Nashville hosts its' 10th annual Tennessee Disability Megaconference. I'll be speaking twice on Friday:
10:30, Salon B: "The DisAbility Journey: Loss, Grief & the Path to Acceptance." I'm taking my personalized version of the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee's bi-monthly autism parent orientation on the road to the greater disability community. One of my spring ephinany's, based on what I've observed and for a decade-and-half: If a parent does not thoroughly move into and beyond the grief experience of their child's disAbility, it impairs their ability to thoroughly advocate on behalf of their child. Also, I firmly believe the grief experience is universal and extends beyond autism and other disAbility to all life experiences. (I'm not just writing and speaking about autism and/or disAbility here, folks!)
3:00, Salon H: "Sharing Your Stories: Advocacy Through Personal Storytelling" I'm collaborating at the conference with Lacey Lyons, Belmont University adjunct English professor and Courtney Taylor Evans, of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, coaching parents and adults with disAbilites on how to write their story via Tennessee's Kindred Stories project. (I've one on their website somewhere. I think it's this one: "[...]I'm giving this summer the finger!"
I'm also taking part in a media conference there that day, which is open to the public. Watch the news media for more details.
The next Autism Orientation is Thursday, July 19, 6:30 to 8:30 in the evening, at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Room 241. The Orientation and childcare are free, but registration is encouraged and for childcare it is mandatory and must be made by noon on Tuesday before the orientation. Orientations are the third Thursday every other month. The next ones are September and November. The public is welcome.