Autreat is a retreat-style conference run by Autism Network International ( http://www.ani.ac ), for autistic people and our families, friends, supporters, and interested professionals. We are accepting presentation proposals for Autreat 2011, to be held Monday-Friday, August 8-12, 2011, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (approximately 75 miles from the nearest major airport at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).

PROPOSAL DEADLINE: May 1, 2011

FOR HELP PREPARING A PROPOSAL:

If you want to submit a proposal but you have trouble reading these instructions and putting your proposal in the requested format, contact proposals2011 (at) autreat.com for help. Please send only plain text messages, with no attachments.

WHAT KINDS OF WORKSHOPS ARE WANTED AT AUTREAT?

Autreat is very different from typical autism conferences:

WHEN PREPARING A PROPOSAL FOR CONSIDERATION, BE AWARE THAT THE *PRIMARY* AUDIENCE AT AUTREAT IS AUTISTIC PEOPLE.

Parents and professionals do attend, and most who attend find the presentations to be of interest, but Autreat is basically autistic space.

Be sure your information is being presented in a manner that is both helpful to and respectful of autistic people.

We expect that you will be speaking *to* us, not speaking to non-autistic people *about* us.

We are interested in presentations, by either autistic or non-autistic people, about POSITIVE WAYS OF LIVING WITH AUTISM, about functioning as autistic people in a neurotypical world, and about the disability movement and its significance for autistic people.

We are interested in educational and informative presentations, not in sales pitches for a presenter’s products or services. If you are representing a commercial enterprise and would like a forum to sell products or services at Autreat, please contact exhibitors (at) autreat.com for information about attending Autreat as a vendor.

We are *not* interested in presentations about how to cure, prevent, or overcome autism.

We do *not* appreciate having non-autistic people come into our space to talk to each other about how difficult we are to deal with, or how heroic they are for putting up with us.

If your presentation is geared toward the interests of parents or professionals, it should focus on positive ways of appreciating and supporting autistic people, not on reinforcing negative attitudes about autism and autistic people.

AUTREAT AIMS TO BE WELCOMING AND RELEVANT TO THE BROADEST POSSIBLE CROSS-SECTION OF THE AUTISTIC POPULATION.

Autreat is attended by autistic people who speak and by autistic people who do not speak;

by autistic people who communicate fluently and by autistic people who have limited communication;

by autistic people who live independently and by autistic people who need intensive support with daily living;

by autistic people who have jobs and by autistic people who live on disability benefits;

by autistic people who are able to present as “socially acceptable” and by autistic people who require support to help them manage their behavior;

by autistic people who have been labeled “high-functioning” and by autistic people who have been labeled “low-functioning”–including some autistic people who have had *both* labels, at different times or under different circumstances.

While it is not expected that any one presentation will be of interest to each and every autistic person, we do look for presentations that will appeal to the widest possible audience.

We are *not* interested in presentations that reinforce what we consider to be artificial distinctions between members of our community who are labeled “low-” vs. “high-functioning.”

A NOTE ABOUT “PERSONAL EXPERIENCE” PRESENTATIONS:

Be aware that everyone at Autreat either knows what it’s like to be autistic, or knows what it’s like to care about someone who is autistic.

All of us have our own personal stories. Presentations about the presenters’ personal stories are not going to generate much interest, unless you’re able to use your story in a way that will help other people to share and understand their own experiences in a new way.

Your proposal should describe what participants can expect to get out of your presentation, not just what personal experiences you’re going to talk about.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PRESENTATION TOPICS OF INTEREST

Please review the ANI web site ( http://www.ani.ac ) and the past Autreat brochures ( http://www.autreat.com/past-workshops.htm ) to make sure you understand ANI’s philosophy and what Autreat is about.

If you have never attended Autreat before, you may wish to consider attending first, before submitting a proposal to give a presentation. In our experience, presentations usually get more positive feedback when presenters have some familiarity with Autreat and its participants before they give presentations there. Active participation in ANI’s online community, and attendance at other self-advocacy events run by and for autistic people, are other good ways to get a feel for how Autreat is different from typical autism conferences. If you wish to submit a proposal and you’ve never been to Autreat before, please give us as much information as possible about your past experience with other autistic-run activities and events.

WHAT IS EXPECTED OF PRESENTERS?

If you submit a proposal, we expect you to be available to attend Autreat if we accept your proposal, and to give your presentation on the day and time scheduled. We make every effort to accommodate presenters’ preferences in setting the Autreat schedule, but it is not always possible to give every presenter his or her preferred time slot.

Presenters are expected to send advance copies of any handouts or slides they plan to use, so that we can prepare alternate format copies for print-impaired attendees.

Presenters are expected to consent for their presentations to be recorded, and for the recordings to be sold by Autism Network International.

Presenters are invited to attend all of Autreat. If presenters opt not to attend the entire event, they are expected to arrive on-site by 8:30 a.m. for afternoon presentations, and to arrive the night before for morning presentations.

Please be prepared to meet these expectations if you decide to submit a proposal.

Presenters are also encouraged to submit an article on their topic for inclusion in the program book. Like handouts and visual aids, articles need to be submitted in a timely manner so we can prepare copies in alternate formats.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE PRESENTERS?

Individual Autreat presenters receive free registration for Autreat, including on-site meals and lodging in a shared (2-person) room. (A private room may be available at the presenter’s own expense.) This free registration is for the presenter *only*, not for a presenter’s family members or support staff.

In the case of panel presentations consisting of three or more presenters, we offer one complete four-day Autreat registration, plus a single-day registration (including three meals and one overnight, if desired) for each additional panelist. Therefore, a panel of X presenters is entitled to a total of 4+(X-1) free days/overnights. Panelists may divide these free days amongst their members as they wish. Panel presenters are of course welcome to register and stay for additional days if they wish.

ANI is a volunteer-run, member-supported grassroots organization with minimal funding. We cannot reimburse for off-site expenses, nor can we pay travel expenses or honoraria. If your proposal is accepted, we will send you a formal letter of invitation if this would help you in raising your own travel funds.

Presenters are entitled to receive one free copy of the recording of their presentations.

PROPOSALS SHOULD INCLUDE:

* Your name and title (if any) exactly as you want them listed in program materials should your proposal be accepted

* Contact information (address, phone, fax and/or email if you have them)

* Title of your proposed presentation

* Detailed description for consideration by the Planning Committee

* Brief (5 sentences or less) abstract exactly as you want it listed in program materials should your proposal be accepted

* Indicate ONE theme that BEST relates to your proposed presentation:

[ ] Advocacy skills
[ ] Life skills/adaptive strategies
[ ] Helpful support services
[ ] Communication
[ ] Social/interpersonal issues
[ ] Personal/self-awareness/self-development issues
[ ] Autistic community and culture
[ ] Education
[ ] Employment
[ ] Family issues
[ ] Residential issues
[ ] Disability rights and politics
[ ] Autism research and theory
[ ] Other (describe):

* Indicate which group(s) you believe would find your proposed presentation of interest. Check as many as apply. Briefly describe what your presentation would offer to each group:

[ ] Autistic adults
[ ] Autistic teenagers
[ ] Family members of autistic people
[ ] Educators
[ ] Clinicians
[ ] Service providers
[ ] Other (specify):

* Brief (5 sentences or less) presenter bio exactly as you want it listed in program materials should your proposal be accepted

* Any audiovisual equipment you would need for your presentation

If you have never presented at Autreat before, please also include an introduction for the Planning Committee summarizing your relevant experience, including any presentations or other education/advocacy activities elsewhere, and the nature of your interest in autism and/or in general disability issues.

PROPOSAL DEADLINE:

May 1, 2011

HOW TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL

Proposals can be submitted via email to proposals2011 (at) autreat.com , or submitted online at http://www.ani.ac/aut11cfp.php , or sent via postal mail to

Autism Network International
P.O. Box 35448
Syracuse NY 13235
USA

When your proposal is received via the online form, you will be sent a brief acknowledgment confirming that we have received your proposal. If you have not received this confirmation within 48 hours of submitting your proposal, then we may not have received your proposal! If you haven’t received confirmation within 48 hours, please contact proposals2011 (at) autreat.com and let us know. Please save a copy of your proposal, so you can resend it if necessary.

WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO PRESENT, BUT I HAVE AN IDEA FOR A PRESENTATION I’D LIKE TO SEE?

If you want to make suggestions for Autreat presentations, or make comments about previous presentations or presenters, please fill out the questionnaire available at http://www.ani.ac/autplan2.php .

WHAT IF I WANT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTREAT?

You can find a lot of general information, including a link to join the Autreat Information mailing list, at http://www.autreat.com . If you have specific questions and can’t find the answers on the web page, you may send email to info (at) autreat.com .

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posted by Ken G.

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