People Living With Autism To Speak At UNH Institute
Contact:  Matthew Gianino
Institute on Disability / UCED

Beth Potier
UNH Media Relations
July 10, 2006

DURHAM, N.H. -- In an attempt to present the often unheard real-world perspective and personal accounts of the realities of living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire is offering a unique and comprehensive three-day workshop that will feature keynote presentations by adults living with ASD.

The eighth annual Autism Summer Institute is scheduled to take place on August 14 – 16 in Holloway Commons at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H. Featured at this year’s Institute will be expert keynote presentations by Stephen Shore, a Boston University doctoral student living with autism; Ros Blackburn, a lecturer from Essex, England also living with autism; and Larry Bissonnette, an internationally known artist with ASD whose life and work were recently profiled in the award winning documentary film “My Classic Life as an Artist.”

This unique glimpse into the lives of three individuals will form the basis by which participants will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to better support the inclusion and full participation of individuals with ASD in their schools and communities. Organized in order to address a specific component on each of the three days, the workshops will focus on self-determination, understanding the emotional experience of ASD, and supporting literacy and learning, while giving participants the opportunity to learn and discuss best practices in break-out sessions and panel discussions. Complementing the best practices presented, Chris Kliewer, Ph.D., associate professor in special education from the University of Northern Iowa, will offer a keynote address specifically on the topic of literacy.

Participants will also have the opportunity to work in small groups and will be able to choose among breakout sessions with leaders in the field (including psychology, education, and occupational therapy) in order to integrate this first-hand information into their daily practices and support of students with ASD.

The fee to attend the three-day Autism Summer Institute is $390 per person. Discounts for full-time students, family members of individuals with ASD, and individuals interested in attending keynote presentations only are also available. For more information or to register online, visit To register by phone, call (603) 228-2084.

The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire was established in 1987 to provide a coherent university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. Its mission is to advance policies and systems changes, promising practices, education, and research that strengthen communities to ensure full access, equal opportunities, and participation for all persons.