World Autism Awareness Day

Empowering Women and Girls with Autism

5 April 2018, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Economic and Social Council Chamber
United Nations

10:00 a.m.       Welcome and Opening

  • Alison Smale, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, United Nations
  • Message of the Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the General Assembly, United Nations

10:10 a.m.       Ableism, Sexism, Racism… How They Intersect

  • Moderator: Jeffrey Brez, Chief, NGO Relations, Advocacy & Special Events, United Nations
  • Morénike Giwa-Onaiwu, Autism and Race Committee Chair, Autism Women’s Network
  • Amy Gravino, Autism Consultant and College Coach, A.S.C.O.T Consulting
  • Saima Wazed Hossain, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in South-East Asia Region
  • Prof. Jonas Ruškus, Member, UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

10:30 a.m.       Keynote Address

  • Julia Bascom, Executive Director, Autistic Self Advocacy Network

10:55 a.m.       “Please Stand By” – Women with Autism in Film (Pt. I)

  • Moderator: Elaine Hall, Founder and Creative Director, The Miracle Project
  • Lara Alameddine, Producer
  • Domonique Brown, Miracle Project member
  • Dakota Fanning, Actress
  • Michael Golamco, Writer
  • Ben Lewis, Director
  • Brittanie Sanders, Miracle Project member

11:15 a.m.       Gender Disparity in Diagnosis: Causes and Consequences

  • Moderator: Jeffrey Brez, Chief, NGO Relations, Advocacy & Special Events, United Nations
  • Hadas Arnon Sharabi, Attorney, ALUT - Israeli Society for Children and Adults with Autism
  • Dr. Helen Egger, Chair, Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Beth Finkelstein, Executive Director, Felicity House
  • Sarai Pahla, Medical Doctor, Translator and Self-Advocate, South Africa

11:40 a.m.       Heightened Risk – Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

  • Moderator: Sophie Browne, Policy Analyst, UN Women
  • Mallory Cruz, Blogger,
  • Sharon daVanport, Executive Director, Autism Women’s Network
  • Dena Gassner, Member, Board of Directors, The Arc; PhD Candidate, Adelphi University
  • Prof. Rannveig Traustadóttir, Director, Centre for Disability Studies, University of Iceland

12:05 p.m.       “Keep the Change” – Women with Autism in Film (Pt. II)

  • Moderator: Heidi Landis, Psychotherapist licensed in Creative Arts Therapy
  • Samantha Elisofon, Actress
  • Rachel Israel, Director
  • Aubrie Therrien, Executive Artistic Director, Epic Players

12:25 p.m.      The four “E”s: Education, Employment and Economic Empowerment

  • Moderator: Tara Cunningham, CEO, Specialisterne
  • Tara Curry, Contractor, NY Financial Firm
  • Joanna Grochowska, Vice President, SYNAPSIS, Poland
  • Rachel Wilson, Student, Mercyhurst University

12:50 p.m.       Closing Remarks

The event is organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information and Department of Economic and Social Affairs, with support from UN Women

Co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Argentina, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan and Poland

Download the programme PDF document