Signed in as:
Signed in as:
Autism is a polysemous concept understood differently by various stakeholders (e.g., self-advocates, clinicians, educators, etc.). Opportunities for cross-stakeholder conversations are needed. This project brings together diverse stakeholders (educators, clinicians, medical professionals, and autistic individuals) to foster conversations via engaged sessions involving readings related to autism (e.g., definitions, theories, language, and advocacy). This project will include public-facing discussions that encourage inclusivity and dialogue and ultimately aims to enhance social justice by fostering accurate and compassionate understanding about autism across stakeholder groups.
This project partners with the Columbia University SOF/Heyman Center for Humanities, as our CEO is a 2023-2024 Public Humanities fellow under them.
The Society's View of Autism Project plans to engage the community in conversations about autism, a polysemous concept that is understood differently by various stakeholders (e.g., self-advocates, clinicians, educators, etc.). The effort seeks to increase autism knowledge and acceptance by facilitating communication between the general public and autism stakeholders (including autistic individuals).
The project will begin with a literary series where participants will read and discuss works and multimedia about autism from a variety of perspectives. Diverse stakeholders (60 participants) will be invited to engage in sessions with other stakeholders around different topics about autism (4 groups/15 stakeholders per group). Groups will be facilitated by the project lead or other collaborators. All attendees will be invited to share reflections via a website following each session. An opt-in research study is planned alongside these sessions that will entail separate interviews about participant experiences and learning over the course of the project.
The project ends with two culminating events, one for all participants and the other open to the public. The culminating event for attendees across all session groups will include conversations around the major themes and takeaways from the session conversations. The public-facing event will highlight identified main themes and include speakers to share additional thoughts. This session will be led by the project director, who is an autistic researcher studying autism. Both will allow for continued conversation across stakeholder groups about how society views autism through various lenses.