Fostering Connections: Living, Working and Building Relationships


The 2017 Philadelphia Autism Project Conference was held on May 12th at Community Behavioral Health in Philadelphia, PA.  There was an overwhelmingly positive response to this conference, with over 160 attendees and speakers including self-advocates, family members, and professionals from throughout the Philadelphia region.  

Attendees had the opportunity to connect with leaders in the education, clinical, policy, and research fields, while also learning about innovations in employment, transportation supports, self-advocacy, building relationships, establishing community connections and changes to the Autism and ID programs in PA.  Additional information was also shared about the 2017 Philadelphia Autism Project GRAAS award recipients.

We would like to thank all of our presenters and speakers: Joan Erney, Dennis M. O'Brien, Dr. Scott Robertson, Nina Wall, Andrea Lubin, Amy Alford, Self-Advocates United as 1, Dr. Susan Minnick, Sharon Potter, PA Sibling Support Network, Susan Schonfeld, Danielle Sivick, Ernie Dianastasis, Jamie DiIanni, Katelyn Wen, Joe Gousie, Dr. Juan Carlos Lopez, Kristin Ahrens, Pia Newman, Councilman-at-Large Derek S. Green.  See below to download available presentations.



Keynote: Dr. Scott M. Robertson

Establishing Community Connections SessionsAndrea Lubin - Addressing Transportation Needs

Amy Alford - Assessing and Addressing Communication Needs

Building Relationships Sessions

Dr. Susan Minnick - Multi-Media Social Skills Project Sharon Potter - Healthy Relationships & SexualityPA Sibling Support Network - Creating Supports for Siblings

Promoting Innovations in Employment Sessions

Susan Schonfeld & Danielle Sivick - Employment Journey Ernie Dianastasis & Jamie DiIanni - Employer PerspectiveKatelyn Wen & Joe Gousie - Employment Support 

Hot Off The Press

Dr. Juan Carlos Lopez - Introduction to ABA Kristin Ahrens - Changes in the ID Programs  Pia Newman - Adult Autism Waiver