Tag Archives: Employment

Autism Friendly Logo

2nd Annual Autism Friendly Unconference; Life After High School

AFU header

Every1Games invites you to Autism Friendly, a free event that brings together people to share questions, answers, and experiences related to autism.

If you’re autistic or neurodivergent and are willing to share something of your experience, or just want to meet informally with others, come on along. If you have questions or can offer a perspective on what it means to be autistic, join us at George Brown College on Saturday Aug 15 (10:00am – 4:00pm) to participate in Autism Friendly.

Participants of last years AFU were clear that Ontario’s support system needs improvement especially in the area of employment training and ASD sensitivity from co-workers. The autistic youth at the event were very clear, asking employers for guidance and understanding, instead of doubt and low expectations.

This years event aims to provide a more in depth discussion surrounding higher education and employment to identify issues and barriers as well as a plan of action that will lead to a better understanding of the diversity of the autism spectrum.

We again invite autistic self-advocates to come together with their peers, employers, educators, agencies and government to take another step forward in building an autism friendly future.

  • Judgment Free 
  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Mutli-Sensory Lounge
  • Raffle Prizes

When you register please suggest a topic or as a question so that together we can address what is most meaningful to you. The most asked questions and suggested topics will become sessions in different rooms. There are 15 sessions available (5, 45 minute sessions in 3 different rooms).

Autism Friendly is an opportunity to grow personally and professionally learning more about working with diversity while supporting autism in the workplace, at school and in the community.

Thank You!

Thank you to Autism Ontario Toronto Chapter for their support helping us bring delicious food for everyone to this great event! Thank you to George Brown College for providing space and support.  Thank you to Ryerson University, SSHRC and OCE Social Entrepreneur Fellowship for supporting our outreach initiatives.

The Organizing Committee

The organizing committee is a neurodiverse group of staff who work at Every1Games Professional Services Inc.

Christine Hughes

Damian Laxton

Mark Beaudry

Matthew Pegnam

Jacob Yorke

Jeremy Lyons

Krystal Twiss

Sarah Drew

Other FAQs

What is an Unconference?

An unconference is a “participant driven meeting”. There is no pre-determined speakers or panels. Instead, we collect questions and suggestions from people attending  to drive discussion based on what topics participants find most interesting or pertinent.

Who is Coming?

  • Neurodivergent Post-Secondary Students and Self Advocates, Families and Wellness Professionals.
  • At this event, you represent you and only you.

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

George Brown has provided details on various parking lots for the St. James Campus. Here is a link to view the details. If taking the TTC, the closest subway station is Queen Station, you can take the 501 or 504 Street Car from there to Jarvis and Queen St. E. It is a short walk from there. Please visit Google Maps or TTC Trip Planner to recieve directions from your location.
What can/can’t I bring to the event?

You can bring comfort / stim items, questions and perspective. Due to food allergies, please do not bring your own food to the event. If you require accomdation or specific dietary items please contact christine@every1games.ca.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
You can contact Krystal Twiss at engage@every1games.ca with questions about this event.

Picture of E1G student leads discussion about Autism at Work

First Annual AFU Inspires an Autism Friendly Future

Everyone who registered to attend the  Autism Friendly Unconference was given the opportunity  to ask a question or suggest a topic so that Every1Games could address the most meaningful issues surrounding autism.  We had amazing feedback and can’t wait to do it again next year!

  • The list of topics addressed in this series was co-created, based on questions and topics submitted by  Autism Friendly Unconference registrants.
  • 14% of registrants self-identified as autistic and willing to discuss their experiences.
  • Most of the remaining registrants were people who supported someone on the spectrum either at home or work.

It was an awesome experience. So much new information and concepts! – Autism Friendly Participant

DMZ HouseKeeping PresentationDiscussions ranged from issues with funding processes and application criteria, to the representation of ASD in media. Participants were clear that Ontario’s support system needs improvement especially in the area of employment training and ASD sensitivity from co-workers, something we hope to address at the next AFU.  It was unanimous that employers need to be more knowledgeable.  The autistic youth at the event were very clear, asking employers for guidance and understanding, instead of doubt and low expectations.

These 20 topics listed below will help shape our discussions and together we can design an autism friendly future.

  1. Exploring Media Representation of People w/ASD
  2. Autism at School (Elementary)
  3. Autism at School (Secondary)
  4. Autism at School (Post-Secondary)
  5. High Functioning Autism at Work
  6. Life Planning; From Child to Adult
  7. Defining Social Success; The Morality of “Fitting In”
  8. Reducing Anxiety
  9. Non-Verbal Voices
  10. The Multiplicity of an Individuals Functioning Levels
  11. Social Skills Development
  12. Tips and Skills for Happiness
  13. The Language We Use
  14. Women and Autism
  15. Culturally Sensitive Support
  16. Autism and Videogames
  17. Using Interactive Media for Social Change
  18. Autistic Self Advocacy
  19. Funding
  20. Designing an Autism Friendly Future

picture of people engaged in conversation

It was the first time in my life being surrounded by other autistics. It was the first time in my life I saw myself reflected in a group of other people. It made me feel real, valid and loved. – Autism Friendly Participant

If autism is meaningful in your life, then we want to hear from you. If you’ve never even heard the word autism and stumbled upon this series, we also want to hear from you. So please share this with friends, family, neighbours and co-workers.

At the end of the day on Jan 11th, the Autism Friendly Unconference closed by asking the questions “What do you want from the Government, from educators, employers, and peers?, What does an autism friendly future look like?” Here is the link to a collaborative Google Doc that was created during the final session of the day, where we came together to discuss an Autism Friendly Future.

Thanks to the volunteer team from the UofT Autism Alliance who were taking notes in each session making it possible to share information from sessions you might have missed and to all who participated including our friends at the EDGE Lab, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Marathon Learning Materials, TAD’s Inc. and Autism Ontario.

We are looking forward to hearing from you as we begin Designing an Autism Friendly Future.  If you have questions please contact us anytime! Leave a comment, share videos, poems or what ever else you want to share to help your peers come to a better understanding of autism.

Cheers to an autism friendly future!

– Sarah Anne Drew