Webinars Past and Future | Organization for Autism Research

OAR News

In celebration of Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month in April, OAR delivered two free webinar events on the topics of safety and self-determination. For those who missed the live events, the archived video presentation and resources can be accessed on OAR’s webinar page.

Next Webinar: Transportation Options

Join OAR’s next webinar on September 17 at 11 a.m. ET, when Earnst Ilang-Ilang will discuss transportation training, services, and challenges for the ASD population. Meaningful community participation is important for increased social interaction, access to services, and overall quality of life, and transportation plays a critical role in providing individuals access to such services and activities. Conversely, public transportation can act as a barrier to integration for those who are unable to independently utilize it.

Ilang-Ilang will discuss increasing safety and security for people with ASD learning to use public transit and share travel training procedures that can be utilized for this population. Specific information about local transportation options will also be offered for those living in the DC metro area.

Ilang-Ilang is a former United States Navy sailor who was honorably discharged after being diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, a painful nerve disorder. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Since graduating, he has maintained a career in the mental health field as a clinician, supervisor, and social worker. Using his knowledge of disabilities and mental health issues, Ilang-Ilang trains individuals in the DC metro area on the skills necessary to effectively utilize transportation.

Register for Transportation: Options and Concerns for Those Living with ASD, which includes a Q&A session.

Recap: Safety Webinar

Scott Fowler, whose son has autism, trains school system employees, among others, to promote and provide awareness of autism spectrum disorders.On Thursday, April 9, Scott Fowler spoke on a range of critical safety topics, including COVID-19 resources, wandering and elopement, working with first responders, and bullying in the school environment. Fowler is the co-founder of AutismOutreachNetwork and has trained school, hospital, and law enforcement personnel on servicing the autism community. Watch his safety presentation.

Of the 295 registrants, 50 percent attended the online event. Of the 105 survey respondents who offered feedback:

  • 93 percent reported the content as being helpful and relevant to their needs.
  • 93 percent reported that they were likely to participate in another OAR webinar event.

“This was fantastic!! I appreciate Scott’s professionalism and knowledge. He’s an excellent speaker and presented the material in a direct, organized way. I really learned a lot and will pass on my notes and PDF to others. Thank you so much.” – Liz S.

Recap: Self-Determination Webinar

On Tuesday, April 28, Deborah Hammer presented on the topic of self-determination. Sarah Cornett, Danny Gulyn, and Justin Boatner, students from the Order of Self-Determination club, joined her. Hammer is an autism specialist for Arlington Public Schools (Arlington, VA). Hammer is the recipient of the 2017 Eileen Crawford Award for Educators and twice the recipient of the Arc of Northern Virginia’s Educational Leadership Award.

She and her students introduced the fundamental concepts of self-determination for autistic students by introducing power standards for IEP goals; demonstrating how students can actively participate in the IEP process; and discussing effective strategies to help students develop self-determination skills. Watch the self-determination presentation.

Of the 381 registrants, 56 percent attended the online event. Of the 150 attendees who provided feedback:

  • 99 percent reported the content as being helpful and relevant to their needs.
  • 96 percent reported that they were likely to participate in another OAR webinar event.

“This was fantastic!  It is obvious how much self-determination is emphasized and how much it helps!!!!!  Deborah is so proud of her students and it shows. Audio was off-my only reason for not giving a 10. Deborah and the students did FANTASTIC!!!  They were so brave and self-determined. I could tell they love themselves and are PROUD of who they are!  REFRESHING to see!!!!!  Thanks for sharing the ‘curriculum.’ Woohoo to you Deborah for all you do!!!!” –Marci H.

“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this presentation! Thank you so much, Justin, Sarah, Danny, and Deborah for sharing your experiences and ideas. I can’t wait to share with my colleagues and the families I work with, the idea of an IEP video. That is one thing I never thought of…thank you!!” –Michelle M.

“This has been by far the best webinar I’ve been on and I’ve been attending webinars for 15+ years. […] I am beyond impressed and so thankful for this information. Thank you, thank you!” –Ashley T.

Questions or Comments?

Please contact or call 703-243-9762. For more information on OAR’s webinar program. To view archived presentations of past webinars, visit OAR’s webinar page.

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