Takes my story of the Anna Kennedy Autism Expo up to the end of the first of the talks that I attended.
Welcome to the fourth post in my Autism Events series. This is Part 2 of my coverage of the Anna Kennedy Autism Expo which took place at the Eastern Gateway Building, Brunel University. For those joining the series at this point the previous post are:
This post will cover the remainder of the stalls at the event and the first of the talks that I attended.
AROUND THE HALL
This is a story that will be told largely via photographs…
PAUL ISAACS TALK
Paul is autistic himself, and his talk was both informative and inspiring. Notice that as with the Autism Anglia event in Norwich this event gave autistic voices lots of opportunity to be heard. Here are some pictures from this talk.
Some us went to the venue on Thursday evening to do a some preliminary setup work to reduce the amount that needed to be done on the day itself. Here are a few photos from that…
THE DAY ITSELF
Those of use involved in organizing the event were required to be there by 8AM so that we were ready when the guests started arriving. I arrived bright and early (given that the venue is a five minute walk from my flat so I jolly well should have done!), and got my stall up and running. Here are some photos from before the event started…
THE FIRST SESSION
Indefatigable branch chair Karan McKerrow opened the event and explained that the day was about being positive about autism and autistic people, mentioning both myself and Callum and what we were going to be doing during the day. Then it was time for Lynda Niles’ talk. At that stage we were operating without amplification, and I was stood at the back, but I still heard every word that Lynda said. Lynda’s talk was accompanied by slides, which show you what she covered…
THE BEANBAG INCIDENT
One of the things we had at this event was a ‘dark den’ with a beanbag inside as the floor was quite hard. The den itself survived unscathed, but the beanbag was a different story…
Callum Brazzo, the other of two autistic adults to be on the committee of NAS West Norfolk, recited a poem he had created about autism as the next feature of the conference. I am unable to remember the exact words, but it was a splendid performance, and I sure that if you email Callum he can supply the words (perhaps you could post them in the comments section as well, Callum). Meanwhile, here he is in action…
MEL BRUCE’S AUTISM FRIENDLY RULES
Clinical psychologist Dr Mel Bruce and a commissioner named Sharon shared the next session, but before I move on to that, Mel has learned some excellent rules for making sessions autism friendly, and here they are…
MEL AND SHARON
We had a working microphone by this point, which Mel and Sharon shared, taking it in turns to speak. They introduced the ‘bucket model’ for anxiety of which much more later, talked about their respective jobs and about quite a few other things.
Karan had organised food for us, which turned out to be excellent, and thus fortified we were ready for the afternoon session, which opened with the undoubted star speaker of the event…
ANNA KENNEDY OBE
Anna had arrived during lunch and expressed her admiration for my photos. Anna talked about her experiences bringing up two autistic children, going on People’s Strictly (partnered with Robin Windsor) and launching Autism’s Got Talent (and successfully facing down Mr Cowell over that suffix!). Her talk was thoroughly inspiring.
Anna’s talk was followed by a short break, during which I took this picture…
THE FINAL SESSION:
STAR FISH PLUS AND THE BUCKET MODEL
The last session of the day was another joint effort, by Holly and Michelle,two of Mel’s colleagues at Starfish Plus. Their presentation went into more detail about the ‘bucket model’, and was an excellent way to bring down the curtain on the event…
MY PHOTOGRAPHIC DISPLAY AND
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE DAY
My photographic stall was very successful. The event itself was a massive success. Not counting us committee members 145 people packed out the venue, every session was interesting and informative and the stalls were all fantastic.
My photographic stand – with a blank space for the laptop
Adjoining my photographic stand the other stand I would be covering on the day – the NAS stand
An entire post dedicated to publicising NAS West Norfolk’s Positive Autism Awareness Conference, which will take place on April 15th, starting at 9AM.
This brief post is the first of what will doubtless be many about this event, being put on by NAS West Norfolk.
AN IMPORTANT DATE FOR YOUR DIARIES
West Norfolk NAS’s Positive Autism Awareness Conference will take place at The Duke’s Head, King’s Lynn. I have three images to share to complete this post, a screenshot of Claire King’s facebook post about the event and jpgs of a map and a google earth image showing the location…
Not mentioned specifically, but already lined up as part of the event is a photographic presentation by yours truly.