Autism Edmonton enhances the lives of people on the autism spectrum, through knowledge, services and inclusive opportunities.

Presentation Series - Celebrating IDPD 2021

Registration is now open! 

Join us for a series of educational presentations that will run throughout the day. The 2021 IDPD will be an online Zoom Event. It’s free to join! This celebration is organized to highlight the contributions and achievements of persons with special needs, raise awareness about the issues facing their communities, and provide educational content to people with disabilities and their families. The United Nations' theme for IDPD 2021 is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.” Following this theme, we are bringing several speakers to cover a range of topics about the opportunities for creating bright futures for people with disabilities. We chose this topic as while we mark the IDPD, we must consider not only where we are but where we have been and, more importantly, where we are going.

Please sign up through Eventbrite to attend any of the following presentations that are of interest to you (Zoom meeting links will be included in the confirmation email):

• 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. – Stories of Success: Family Resource Centres Serving Individuals and Families of all Disabilities. Presented by Carlos Pereira, FRC.

We will kick off the day with a presentation by Carlos Pereira on the Autism Alberta's Family Resource Centres (FRC) and Resource Website. Since its inception about a year ago, FRC has made significant strides in expanding supports throughout the province. This presentation will cover some of the key accomplishments to date and how such services address the needs of the autism community. Carlos will also be joined by two coordinators and two families to discuss success stories and how to create strong resources.

• 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. – Long-Term Financial Security. Presented by Paula Holt, Sun Life Financial.

Paula will highlight the importance of the registered disability savings plan (RDSP). This session will benefit anyone who is currently or has a family member receiving the disability tax credit and wants to learn more about the government grants and bonds available to them through the RDSP, an account designed to assist with long-term savings and planning for the future.

• 12.00 p.m -1.00 p.m. – Autism CanTech! Helping Autistic Youth Gain Employment. Presented by Jenna Gauthier and Gail Kesslar, ATC.

Join this session to learn from Jenna and Gail about Autism CanTech!, an exciting new National program launched early in 2021, which looks to teach employability and tech sector skills to Autistic Youth between the ages of 18-30. This program also provides participants with a paid Work Integrated Learning experience over a 2-month period within the tech sec, where they can use their newfound data wrangling skills. The program also looks to provide supports, educate and train employers to recognize and understand the value and gifts Autistic individuals can bring to the workforce. Learn about the program, its successes, its future, and how it can all be accessed at zero cost.

• 1.30 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. – A Positive Approach to Complex Behaviour in Children. Presented by Erin Gluckie and Malorie Cardamone, Catalyst Behaviour Services.

The key takeaway from this presentation is getting a better understanding of what ABA is, how it could benefit your family and questions to ask your service provider to ensure you are getting the best out of your therapy. Erin and Malorie come from the teaching field with over 20 years experience in teaching a variety of age groups including a preschool program for children with developmental delays as well as a specialized classroom that supported students with Autism. They created Catalyst Behaviour Services to help fill the gap for families that needed additional support to help their children increase skills. They work with families in their homes and communities, supporting individuals to have greater autonomy and independence in their daily lives.

• 3.00-4.00 pm – Financial Tips on Running Your Disabilities Family Managed Services. Presented by Basia Kowal, Bcalm Business Management.

Family Managed Supports (FMS) is a funding option available through Alberta’s Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Program. Join this session to hear from Basia, who comes with over 15 years in accounting, payroll, and policy development, on setting the solid financial foundation needed for the record-keeping for both the provincial government and the Canada Revenue Agency. Basia will highlight different topics such as payroll versus contracting, requirements needed for Workers Compensation Board, etc.