Live from the Palmer House

Hello everyone! I am blogging from the annual Easter Seals Training Conference. This year it’s at the Palmer House Hilton, a legendary old Chicago hotel — Frank Sinatra used to hang out here during visits. Easter Seals staff from around the United States and Canada and Ability First Australia are the ones hanging out here this week, though.

Well, we’re doing more than just hanging out — we’re participating in training sessions and sharing ideas. I am meeting Easter Seals colleagues who provide services and support in their communities. It’s great to have them here in Chicago.

A lot of the scheduled sessions center on autism. In fact, when President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Williams gave his welcome speech this morning, he talked a lot about autism and the services Easter Seals provides to individuals with autism and their families. He also mentioned our ambitious Vision 2010 goal to annually serve five million people with disabilities or special needs.

Nearly 400 people are at this conference — a big group. Everyone here is interested in learning the latest on autism and finding out the newest and best ways to continue serving clients and their families. In the hallways you hear people sharing stories and asking questions. Two well-attended sessions this afternoon focused on autism. It’s very encouraging to be around so many people so sincerely interested in services for people with autism!


Comments may not reflect Easterseals' policies or positions.

  1. Lori Robb Says:

    Thank you Beth, for providing information and a forum for people to find information not only on autism but employment opportunities for adults with autism. Statistics for life after public education for adults with autism can be discouraging. Many never find gainful and fulfilling employment and end up living at home with family members. Persons with autism want fulfilling careers just like everyone else. I am proud that my 17 yr old son with autism will be working for Easter Seals this summer. He will work two days a week at the thift store and then 3 days a week at the local senior center. He has worked there through the school through a cooperative effort with Easter Seals and the school district. He loves the senior citizens center and says that he enjoys going there because “they talk to him”. That sounds like an odd comment but often “everyone else” is too busy to talk with people with disabilities. The one thing older people can offer is time!! They will take the time to get to know individuals wtih autism and other disabilities. I have nothing but the highest praise for Easter Seals. Thank you!!!

  2. Beth Finke, blog moderator Says:

    I can understand why you got frustrated looking for a “New Post” link on our blog – there isn’t one! Blogs on are only authored by approved content contributors. Experts from Easter Seals can be found everywhere from Capitol Hill advocating for the rights of people with disabilities to conferences ensuring Professionals who work with people with autism have access to the latest resources and information.
    And now, you can find these experts posting messages on our blog!
    Through our blog, Easter Seals communicates directly with people experiencing autism, and their families, giving them the resources and pointing them to services they need. We encourage visitors to comment in response to blog posts — all you need to do to comment is:
    1. Read the community guidelines, then
    2. Look for the “leave a reply” heading. You’ll be asked for your name and your email address (don’t worry — your email address will not be published). You can leave your web site address, too, if you’d like.
    3. Type out your comment and hit the “submit button.

    Your comments to our posts help to keep the conversation going – thanks for your interest in our blog and please keep those comments coming.

  3. Princessoflaw Says:

    I think that it is wonderful that a website has been provided for everybody involved with anybody with autism. Its educational, helpful emotionally and informative to all who would like information on autism. I love the idea already.
    Ms B in Chicago