Events

“Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination”

31 March 2017, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
United Nations Headquarters, Economic and Social Council Chamber

The event is organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information and Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Denmark, Ecuador, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan and Poland.

Please find additional information on this year’s theme.

10:00 a.m.  WELCOME AND OPENING

  • Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, UN
  • Peter Thomson, President of the General Assembly, UN

10:15 a.m.  KEYNOTE ADDRESS (Speaker Bio)

  • Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen, Director, Autism Research Centre, University of Cambridge, U.K.

10:30 a.m.  SUPPORTED vs. SUBSTITUTE DECISION-MAKING (Speakers Bio)

  • Introduction: Maher Nasser, Director, Outreach Division, DPI 
  • Excerpt from the film ‘Swim Team’
  • Moderator: Lee Hawkins, Journalist, The Wall Street Journal
  • Prof. Theresia Degener, Chairperson, UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Prof. Robert Dinerstein, Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, American University
  • Zoe Gross, Director of Operations, Autistic Self Advocacy Network

11:00 a.m.  INDIVIDUAL MILESTONES AND LEGAL CAPACITY

A.The Road to Independent Living: From Early Intervention through College (Speakers Bio)

  • Moderator: Sofia Lachapelle, Journalist, Telemundo
  • Daniel Emig, Self-Advocate and Rooster Ranch Leader, Autism Housing Network
  • Prof. Janet Mulvey, Director, Oasis Program, Pace University
  • Lisa McCauley Parles, Esq., Attorney, Parles Rekem
  • Zemi Yenus, Founder and Director, The Joy Center for Children with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities in Ethiopia

B. Navigating Relationships: Dating, Marriage and Parenthood (Speakers Bio)

  • Moderator: Caren Zucker, Journalist and TV Producer, Co-author of “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism”
  • Dr. Julia Ejiogu, Founder and Director, Autism Care and Support Initiative, Nigeria
  • Hillary Freeman, Esq., Attorney, Freeman Law Offices
  • Anita Lesko, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and Self-Advocate
  • Walter Suskind, Regional Spokesperson, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Advocate for Sibling Engagement

C. Vocational Training and Employment: A Key to Independence and Self-Sufficiency (Speakers Bio)

  • Excerpt from the film ‘Swim Team’
  • Moderator: John Donvan, Correspondent, ABC News, Co-author of “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism”
  • Antonio Cisneros, Human Rights Officer, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN
  • Paola Jelonche, Attorney and Member, TGD Padres (PDD Parents), Argentina
  • Noah McCourt, Former Candidate for Waconia City Council, MN, and Self-Advocate
  • Maria Wroniszewska, Programme Manager, SYNAPSIS Foundation, Poland

12:30 p.m.  THE WAY FORWARD: THE 2030 AGENDA AND THE COMMITMENT TO LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND (Speakers Bio)

  • Vocal performance by Spencer Harte, member of The Miracle Project
  • Moderator: Maher Nasser, Director, Outreach Division, Department of Public Information, UN
  • Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, UN
  • Jackie Pilgrim, Artist, Poet, Blogger and Self-Advocate
  • Dr. Barry Prizant, Clinical Scholar, Researcher and Author of “Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism” 

 

Autism Advantage Luncheon

31 March 2017, 1:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Delegates Dining Room, United Nations Headquarters

 

 

Stakeholders including employers, academics, and government and community representatives discussed best practices aimed at providing employment opportunities for persons with autism. Article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), on “Work and Employment”, recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to work on an equal basis with others, and to a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible.

The event was organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information, in collaboration with Specialisterne Foundation. It was co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Armenia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Ecuador, Israel, Kazakhstan and Poland, and organized with the support of SAP, Google, Microsoft, and the Jeffery R. and Katie C. Nelson Family Foundation.

 

 

 

“Populations in Movement: Addressing the Opportunities and Challenges to Ensure Care and Services to Migrants with Autism and Developmental Disabilities”

Friday, 31 March, 2017. 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber, United Nations Headquarters

The event was organized by the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh, China, India, Quatar, Turkey and Autism Speaks organization

Moderator: Pamela Falk, CBS News, U.N. Resident Correspondent

High-Level Opening Segment:

  • Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the United Nations and Acting President of the General Assembly
  • Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of State of Qatar to the United Nations
  • Angela Geiger, President and CEO, Autism Speaks
  • Cristina Gallach, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, United Nations, representing Secretary General of United Nations
  • Ambassador Georgi Panayotov, Permanent Representative of Bulgaria to the United Nations and President of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
  • Ambassador Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of People’s Republic of China to the United Nations
  • Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations
  • Ambassador Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations

Expert Panel Discussion:

  • Dr. Natela Menabde, Executive Director, World Health Organization (WHO) Office at the United Nations
  • Ms. Suzanne Sheldon, Senior Advisor and Team Leader for the Global Compact on Migration, International Organization for Migration (IOM) to the United Nations
  • Professor Donald Wertlieb, Ph.D., Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development Tufts University and Coordinator, Early Childhood Development Task Force (ECDtf) for the Global Partnership for Children with Disabilities (GPcwd), The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
  • Dr. Sonali Gupta, Psy.D., Senior Global Mental Health and Psychosocial Officer, International Medical Corps (IMC) piloting the implementation of the WHO-AS Parent Skills Training program in Syrian refugee camps
  • Zsuzsanna Szilvasy, President and Member of the Executive Committee, Autism-Europe

Interactive Dialogue

Download pdf of the programme