I am completely exhausted… but in a good way! Last week I attended and participated in the IASE (International Association of Special Education) Conference in Vancouver, Canada. There were people from more than 40 countries, and what an honour it has been to be in their presence, hear their perspectives, and get a glimpse into the struggles faced around issues of inclusion and advocacy on a global level.
I had some amazing conversations with spectacular educators: people who are knowledgeable and deeply caring, people with a determination to make a difference… and we were together – so many in one place. It was nourishing…
Sharing – connecting – learning…
Two spectacular professors from the Education Department at Northern Arizona University had arranged for the award-winning documentary, Vectors of Autism, to be screened at the conference, and invited me to participate with them. They believe strongly in the message of this film, and were moved and inspired to present it at this conference when they attended the premier in Flagstaff, Az. in April of 2012. I am grateful for their passion and their support of our project.
This screening provided the opportunity for educators from all over the world to see the film; we were able to discuss it and advance and promote opportunities for others to use Vectors of Autism as a tool to support and build greater understanding for neurodiversity.
It is amazing and powerful that this film is now in the hands of educators at universities who work to train both special and general education teachers. It is now in Malawi, major universities in the US, Canada, and Poland (the host country for the 2015 IASE Conference) and also in the hands of people with connections to training and to influencing educators in China, Australia, India, Brazil, and other places.
There is more… but I lack the words to express it with any real eloquence so I will simply leave you with a few other links to tell you more about the film and the work we are doing in educating others around neurodiversity and the experience of being Autistic.
If you are interested and do not yet have a copy of this amazing film, Vectors of Autism is available for purchase on Laura Nagle’s site here! It is a beautiful film that educates others and supports the idea that, among other things, people on the autism spectrum are the best voices for understanding and explaining their experience.
Heart of the Festival: Vectors of Autism (Award Winner at the Sedona International Film Festival)
Vectors of Autism: Wowing the Sedona International Film Festival and the AAIDD (Winner of the AAIDD 2013 Media Award)
30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.
©Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2013)