Autism, amplify, Austin

Greetings from beautiful Austin, Texas. I’m sitting outside with my talking computer during a 15-minute break from sessions at the 2008 Convio Summit. Convio develops the software Easter Seals and a number of other non-profit organizations use for online fundraising, advocacy and Email marketing.

I first found out about Convio when I participated in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Technology Opportunities Program (TOP). Easter Seals used a TOP grant to work with Convio to create web content management tools for people who are visually-impaired.

Interns who were blind or visually impaired were recruited from all over the country to work with the software and learn web content management skills. I was one of those interns, and after my internship, Easter Seals Headquarters hired me to moderate the Easter Seals and Autism blog. That’s why I’m here — the Convio Summit brings together non-profit organizations from all over North America to exchange ideas.

Already this morning, I ran into (not literally — my guide dog Hanni is doing a great job!) Margi Colston from the Autism Society of America — we sat together during the keynote address.

At lunch I sat with a woman named Shana, who works with Amplify Public Affairs. Shana told me about LDpodcast — a blog about learning disabilities. “I think she’s coverring autism topics now, too,” Shana said. “Is that something you’d be interested in?”

It was. And now, out here in the sunshine, I’m taking a moment to share that info with you. Time’s up, though — gotta get back for the next session!


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  1. Shana Glickfield Says:

    Beth, both you and Whitney are doing such incrdible work in this field! I look forward to seeing what this connection inspires!

  2. Whitney Hoffman Says:

    Thanks for mentioning and linking to the show!

    I’ve got some contacts to talk to about autism- it’s interesting how many people look at Autism as a medical diagnosis and don;t consider it a learning disability- i think the places where LD, autism, diagnosis, spectrum disorders and the like all overlap is fascinating- would love to talk to you more about this at some point!

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