2016 Midwest Autism Summer Institute Coming to Des Moines June 27 – 28


We want to remind everyone that the 2016 Midwest Summer Institute is rapidly approaching. This year’s Institute, the theme of which is “Advocating for Access: the Right to Inclusion, the Right to Communication” will take place at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa on June 27 and 28.  The event is hosted by the University of Northern Iowa, in partnership with the Institute for Inclusion and Communication at Syracuse University, Inclusion Connection, and Disability Studies in Education.

For five years, UNI has been host to the Midwest Summer Institute, where students, families, self-advocates, teachers, administrators, and educators of all sorts work the cracks and create fissures in a system that has long excluded the voices of those who desire inclusive educational spaces and opportunities for all. Joining with the Second City International Conference on Disability Studies in Education, the goal is to deepen and widen those cracks and rule the world, if just for two days.

For more information and conference details, including cost, registration, lodging information, complete list of scheduled speakers, and more, read our post, “2016 Midwest Autism Summer Institute Announced.”

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Who’ll be There, Where to Stay, What To Do, and more

For complete details about the event, visit the 2016 Midwest Autism Summer Institute website. Information available includes:

You will also be able to view the Schedule of Events and Presentations when it becomes available.

Event coordinator Jean Trainor has requested we ask that if you are planning to attend, even if you don’t have time to register right now, to please send her a brief e-mail indicating that you do plan to attend so that she and the dedicated crew organizing the weekend can get a more accurate picture of expected attendance.

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About This Year’s Theme: Advocating for Access: The Right to Inclusion, the Right to Communication

“What does it mean to be an advocate? In its broadest sense, advocacy means ‘any public action to support and recommend a cause, policy or practice.’ That covers a lot of public actions, from displaying a bumper sticker to sounding off with a bullhorn. But whether the action is slapping something on the back of a car or speaking in front of millions, every act of advocacy involves making some kind of public statement, one that says, ‘I support this.’ Advocacy is a communicative act. Advocacy is also a persuasive act. ‘I support this’ is usually followed by another statement (sometimes only implied): ‘…and you should, too.’ Advocacy not only means endorsing a cause or idea, but recommending, promoting, defending, or arguing for it.”
John Capecci and Timothy Cage, Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference

Advocacy in all its forms seeks to ensure that people, particularly those who are most oppressed and marginalized in society, are able to:

  • Have their voice heard on issues that are important to them.
  • Defend and safeguard their rights.
  • Have their views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives.

Advocacy is a process of supporting and inspiring people to:

  • Express their views and concerns.
  • Access information and services.
  • Defend and promote their rights and responsibilities.
  • Explore choices and options.
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For more information about the 2016 Midwest Autism Summer Institute, you can contact:
Amy Petersen