INTEGRAL is an autism conference like no other. It puts adults on the autism spectrum front and center, not as a subject for others to discuss, but for them to exchange perspectives with expert professionals and parents so that everyone can learn from each other.
This year, due to the enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on everything from employment to online etiquette, our focus will be the effects of this pandemic on Wisconsin’s adult autism community. INTEGRAL 2020 will be held virtually, and will feature a keynote by autistic elected official Nicki Vander Meulen followed by nine breakout sessions with “panel-table” discussions – a combination that will feature a panel of experts in an open-ended, conversational format with general participants, like a roundtable.
Our hope is that this panel-table format will allow general participants and expert participants alike to interact directly and efficiently, so as to target the complex and rapidly evolving problems presented by the COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin. No one is an expert in having autism during a pandemic – we hope our model will allow us to cope better with that fact.
All stakeholders of the autism community are invited to attend – adults on the spectrum, parents, support workers, researchers, clinicians, therapists, educators, social workers, disability advocates, law enforcement, and business leaders, among others. The biggest goal of INTEGRAL is to get lots of perspectives sharing ideas, educating each other, and forging a stronger community through direct interaction.