2022 Northern California Neurodiversity & Disability Symposium

We are excited to announce the evolution of the Northern California Autism Symposium to the Neurodiversity & Disability Symposium. The symposium started with a specific focus to improve knowledge and acceptance of those who are autistics/on the autism spectrum*. Recent conference presenters and topics have drifted towards broader neurodiversity perspective. Knowing that there are still many families and disabled individuals/individuals with disabilities* within our region that need support, we are branching out to provide a variety of topics and presenters that will help inform and support our whole community.

* This program is intentionally using identity first language when appropriate, and realizes that this may not be the preference of some who prefer person first language. Here is some helpful information to better understand both perspectives.

Save the Date!

The 2022 Symposium will take place September 23, at Chico State. Save the date and stay tuned for all of the details!

Featured Speaker

Steve Silberman will be a featured speaker at the 2020 Northern California Autism Symposium

Steve Silberman is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in Wired, the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Financial Times, the Boston Globe, the MIT Technology Review, Nature, Salon, Shambhala Sun, and many other publications. He is the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity (Avery 2015), which Oliver Sacks called a “sweeping and penetrating history…presented with a rare sympathy and sensitivity.” The book became a widely-praised bestseller in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Book Cover of "Neurotribes," by Steve SilbermanIn April 2016, Silberman gave the keynote speech at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day. He has given talks on the history of autism at Yale, Harvard, MIT, Oxford, the National Academy of Sciences, Queen Mary University, Apple, Microsoft, Google, the 92nd Street Y, Imperial College London, the MIND Institute at UC Davis, and many other major institutions. His TED talk, “The Forgotten History of Autism,” has been viewed more than a million times and translated into 25 languages. His article “The Placebo Problem” won the 2010 Science Journalism Award for Magazine Writing from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Kavli Foundation, and was featured on The Colbert Report. His writing on science, culture, and literature has been collected in a number of major anthologies including The Best American Science Writing of the Year and The Best Business Stories of the Year. Silberman’s Twitter account @stevesilberman made Time magazine’s list of the best Twitter feeds for the year 2011. He is proud to be a member of the PEN American Center.

Silberman also won a gold record from the Recording Industry Association of America for co-producing the Grateful Dead’s career-spanning box set So Many Roads (1965-1995), which was Rolling Stone’s box set of the year. His liner notes have been featured in CDs and DVDs by Crosby, Stills, and Nash, the Jerry Garcia Band, and many other groups. As a young man, he was Allen Ginsberg’s teaching assistant at Naropa University. He lives with his husband Keith in San Francisco.

About the Neurodiversity & Disability Symposium

Disability prevalence throughout the United States continue to increase with current disability rates hovering at almost 13%. Families who support loved ones, and disabled individuals themselves in rural areas are largely impacted by a lack of access to services and knowledge that those in more urban areas. The aim of the Neurodiversity and Disability Symposium—formerly the Northern California Autism Symposium—is to amplify the voices of those who identify as neurodivergent and/or disabled, and educate families, educators, and service providers in our region and beyond.