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OARacle Newsletter

Join OAR this fall for four live webinar events on autism in the workplace that will offer practical strategies, tools, and support plans for autistic adults, employers, parents, and professionals. The series will focus on topics such as disclosure, accommodations, inclusion, self-advocacy, and the transition from higher education to the workplace. Additionally, for the first time, OAR will host a panel webinar to foster conversation about inclusion in the workplace and how to best accommodate autistic colleagues.  

The webinars are free and include Q&A sessions with the presenters. If you are unable to attend a live event, you can access a recording of each webinar one week after the live event date.  

Autism, Disclosure, and Workplace Accommodations 

September 13, 2023, at 11 a.m. ET 

Presented by Melanie Whetzel, M.A., CBIS 

What is neurodiversity? What disabilities and characteristics best describe someone who fits under this umbrella term? Is being neurodiverse a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Join Melanie Whetzel, principal consultant from the Job Accommodation Network, for a session that focuses on autism and neurodiversity in the workplace. Learn what this concept means and how autistic individuals may be covered as persons with a disability under the ADA. She will discuss disclosure, accommodations, performance and conduct, and more. This session will include real-life examples and allow time for questions.  Register today!

Melanie Whetzel is a principal consultant and team lead for the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), the leading national source of expert guidance on workplace accommodation and disability employment issues. Prior to her career with JAN, she taught and advocated for students with disabilities in the public school system for 14 years. She holds a Master of Arts in special education and a Bachelor of Arts in English. She has completed a graduate certification in career planning and placement for youth in transition and is also a certified brain injury specialist.  


Lost in Translation: What’s Missing in the Strengths-Based Approach for Autistic Workers 

September 21, 2023, at 1 p.m. ET 

Presented by AJ Locashio, M.Ed. 

In this webinar, AJ Locashio will identify the missing components of most programs taking a strengths-based approach when hiring autistic workers and explain how employers and employees can make this practice more effective. AJ will also explore a variety of relevant topics including intersectionality, disability, minority stress, mental health, resources, and accommodations in the workplace. Register today!

AJ Locashio (she/they) is proud to be an ADHD, queer, nerd, USMC military spouse and mom. She is a professionally licensed educator, board-certified clinical sexologist, a passionate advocate for the economic security of the neurodivergent community, and the founder and executive director of Umbrella Alliance US Inc. Her work is dedicated to increasing the knowledge of both neurodivergent individuals and the public about neurodiversity by researching, studying, and engaging in collaborative activities to establish extensive free access to evidence-based, community-created, neurodivergent-affirming resources.   


The Transition from Higher Education to the Workplace for Autistic Students 

September 28, 2023, at 11 a.m. ET 

Presented by Emily Raclaw, M.S., LPC, CRC and Molly Conners 

This webinar will focus on the challenges and opportunities presented to autistic college students during the transition from higher education to the workplace. Emily Raclaw and Marquette student, Molly Conners, will discuss the considerations and insights needed for a successful leap into the professional world and help autistic students discover strategies for adapting to life after higher education.  Register today!

Emily Raclaw is the director of Marquette University’s neurodiversity support program, On Your Marq. She is a neurodivergent-affirming ADHD’er and brings 15 years of disability in education expertise to the program. Prior to coming to Marquette, she taught high school special education, worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and coordinated a college success program for students with disabilities. She is an expert in program creation and development, as well as a disability advocate and professional. She is also a licensed professional counselor and utilizes those skills to ensure her approaches support the whole student.   


Molly Conners is an economics and political science double major graduating in December of this year. She has completed three internships, two in local government and one in financial services. She is also an active member of multiple clubs and honor societies at Marquette, including vice president of the Marquette French club and president of the economics honor society. 



Autism Inclusion in the Workplace Panel

October 12, 2023, at 11 a.m. ET 


  • Shea Belsky, chief technology officer of Mentra 
  • Carolyn Jeppsen, CEO/president and co-founder of BroadFutures 
  • Tiffany Payton Jameson, Ph.D., MBA, PHR, founding and managing partner of grit & flow  
  • Lyric Rivera, founder of NeuroDivergent Consulting and author of the best-selling business ethics book, Workplace Neurodiversity Rising 

Panelists will discuss how to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for autistic individuals in the workplace. They will share their personal experiences, which include being an employer or business leader, autistic employee, manager of neurodivergent employees, and collectively, advocates for neurodivergent peers. Through these perspectives, audience members will learn how to better support autistic individuals in the workplace. Whether they’re a boss, a colleague, or an autistic individual themselves, attendees will leave empowered and confident in their ability to create an inclusive workplace for autistic and neurodivergent colleagues.  Register today!

We Welcome Suggestions and Feedback  

To suggest future webinar topics or provide general feedback on OAR’s webinar program, please contact us at