I was considering the possibility of going to the NATTAP /OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence) conference in Columbus this September. I read the information on their website and looked over the schedule for the conference. There were references there to issues of concern to autistic adults: higher education, employment, relationships. There were several autistic presenters listed including Stephen Shore and Jean-Paul Bovee. It seemed like it might be a worthwhile trip, though it would require missing a day or two of classes and work, for which I wouldn’t be paid.
Expenses in addition to this would include gas, a hotel room and conference registration. I checked the page for registration rates and saw that the price for three days was listed as $250 dollars. Not too bad I guess, if you are a professional working in the field and need to earn the CEU credits anyway. But for a student with part time employment, that’s a lot of money.
All of the autism conferences I’ve attended in the past have offered lower rates for autistics and family members. I looked around and found the registration fee for parents of autistic individuals: $185. Nothing about autistic people themselves, though. Believing this to be an oversight, I wrote the contact person and inquired. But no, apparently what they said on the page was exactly what they meant. No discount for autistics, only parents. I suppose the information presented is not intended for us, not really. It’s for people who are working to help autistic individuals “achieve their full potential”.
How silly of me to think I might contribute something there. I wonder what they meant by “help”…
Disclaimer: This isn’t about the 65 dollars. But you knew that, right?