A Roof Over Our Heads

[ Aug 10 update: California wildfires threaten Paul Nussbaums’ PCT journey HERE ]

Housing is a perennial problem for people on the autism spectrum. On August 18th AASCEND  hosts a presentation by Lindsay Johnson of The Kelsey, a  disability housing innovator now supported by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Lindsay JohnsonThe Kelsey is working to solve the disability housing crisis by building affordable and inclusive communities in the Bay Area.  Come learn about The Kelsey’s model and what they’ve learned to date. Give feedback on their approach and find out how to get involved.  Bring your questions and your housing experience! And as always, attendees on the spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program.

Happy Hermit Crab

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat Aug 18, 10am – noon
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map

Parking is usually available in the garage at 255 12th Street, with a reasonable flat rate for Saturdays. There is also metered street parking for $2.25/hr.

Self-Driving Cars: Spectrum job options

On June 2 the AASCEND Job Club hosts Dan Simpson, talking about paths to employment in the self-driving car industry and in the SF Bay Area tech sector generally, for people on the autism spectrum.  Dan brings his considerable skills and experience as a recruiter at Cruise Automation, a fast-growing autonomous car technology company based in the South of Market area of San Francisco.  Dan is also a board member at AASCEND.Self-Driving CarDon’t miss this chance to hear an insider’s account of work in this fascinating industry! Bring your questions and your imagination. And as always, attendees on the spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program.

Special thanks to the Autism Studies Department at SFSU for volunteers!

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat June 2, 10am – 1pm
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map


For more information about employment on the autism spectrum, join us at:
Spectrum Employment Community by AASCEND on LinkedIn

Parking is usually available in the garage at 255 12th Street, with a reasonable flat rate for Saturdays. There is also metered street parking for $2.25/hr.

AASCEND Hike at Land’s End on Saturday, April 21, 2018

UPDATE: And a fine time was had by all, with wonderful cooperation by the weather!

Let’s do it again! Last year AASCEND‘s hike at Land’s End was a lot of fun and a great chance to get to know each other better. So in response to popular demand, on April 21 we’re strapping on our walking shoes and heading out again. The destination is San Francisco’s beautiful and easy-walkin’ Lands End. Come revel together in the calming natural world so many autistic people enjoy.

There is food at the Lookout Cafe and Visitor Center where we’ll meet, but you might want to bring a snack. Come enjoy together one of the most lovely spots on this beautiful round world!

The Irresistible Force (AASCEND hikers!) meets the Immovable Object (the hill):

Who: Adults on the spectrum, family, professionals and friends all welcome!

When: Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Where: Lookout Café, Land’s End

Video Game Careers

On March 3 AASCEND hosts video game developer Michael Romero, talking about what it’s like to work in the video game industry. Some people on the autism spectrum have the interest and technical ability to do this kind of work. Come see what it takes to translate the passion into reality.

Once Michael Romero realized he could make games for a living, he never looked back. Now, working with artists and programmers to create something new to share with the world is all he ever wants to do. Michael divides his career into three parts: console game packaged goods, mobile games as a service and, for the last few years, shared world location-based AR games with Niantic, Inc., including the cultural phenomenon Pokémon GO. Michael is happy his career has led him to where he helps create games that encourage people to go outside and meet each other.

Pokemon GO image

Michael Romero in sunglasses

Don’t miss this chance to hear an insider’s account of work in this fascinating industry! Bring your questions and your imagination.

When: Sat Mar 3, 10am – noon
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map

Parking is available in the garage at 255 12th Street, with a reasonable flat rate for Saturdays. There is also metered street parking for $2.25/hr.

Identity Theft and You, on the Spectrum

At AASCENDs February 17 meeting Sara Blanco of Balance, a financial education non-profit organization, will discuss a problem troubling many people on the autism spectrum, identity theft. Instead of worrying yourself excessively over identity theft, focus your energy on learning about how it happens, how to prevent it, and how to recover from it should you need to. The resources in the free workshop are designed to help you gain the knowledge and skills you will need to make your information safer.

Sara Blanco

As always, attendees on the spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program. Come with your own stories of identity theft and prevention, on the Spectrum.

When: Sat Feb 17 10am – noon
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map

Parking is available in the garage at 255 12th Street, with a reasonable flat rate for Saturdays. There is also metered street parking for $2.25/hr.

Disclosure: Why, When and How

At AASCEND‘s November 4 Job Club Brian Jacobs of Emergence Capital Partners will lead a program on the topic of Disclosure. For many job candidates on the autism spectrum, it is better to proactively discuss how they are impacted by autism and how it will affect their employment.

Disrsclosing autism takes confidence and practice, but if done properly, it can help employers understand your capabilities and accommodate your particular needs. We’ll tall about how to have a productive discussion with potential employers.

As always, attendees on the spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program.

Noon-1:00 PM: Job interview practice, LinkedIn support, AS focus class

For more information about employment on the autism spectrum, join us at:
Spectrum Employment Community by AASCEND on LinkedIn

Special thanks to the Autism Studies Department at SFSU for volunteers!


Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact: info@aascend.org
When: Sat November 4, 10am – 1pm
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map

Parking is usually available in the garage at 255 12th Street, with a reasonable flat rate for Saturdays. There is also metered street parking for $2/hr.

 

Security Checks, Pat Downs and the Autism Spectrum

Security screening has become a regular element of public life. We encounter security checks at public buildings, stadiums and airports. These procedures can be extremely difficult for spectrum adults and can lead to difficulties with security personnel.

At AASCEND‘s October 21 meeting, in an interactive presentation, Liz McDonough MFT/RDT will begin to explore these issues through discussion and role play. We will also identify next steps for educating security guards and their employers about the autism spectrum.

Come with your own stories of going through security checks, and what you would like  security officers to know about you. This is our chance to learn and to teach.

When: Sat Oct 21, 10am – noon
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map

Parking is often available in the garage at 255 12th Street, with a reasonable flat rate for Saturdays. There is also metered street parking for $2/hr


The Superfest International Disability Film Festival is coming to Berkeley November 4, and San Francisco November 5. Every film will be captioned and audio described, and all live dialogue will be available with American Sign Language and live captioning, no requests required! Details at Superfestfilm.com.

AASCEND Picnic in the Park!

AASCEND‘s 2017 picnic was a heartwarming success, with over fifty revelers attending, including a handful of welcome newcomers. There were piles of tasty food, with amazing barbecue courtesy of Jim Ullrey. The sun brought welcome warmth to winds that sent baseballs and birdies flying  and made us wish we’d brought kites. Conviviality and spirited conversation abounded, and it was a fine day all around!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s that time again! Join the festivities at AASCEND‘s annual potluck picnic in the park Saturday September 16. All are welcome for an afternoon of informal socializing and games with our community. This year’s picnic will be held again at Hellman Hollow (formerly Speedway Meadow) in Golden Gate Park. We will have food and drink, but bring something to share if you can. No RSVP is necessary. Set-up begins at 11:00 AM.

AASCEND Picnic 2014
Sat Sept 16, Noon-3pmat Tables 1 to 6 in Hellman Hollow GG Park ( X on map)
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              GG Park Map
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These picnics are a lot of fun, and a good way to get to know our community if you are new. See you there!

 

Coping with Anxiety on the Spectrum

Are you autistic and often nervous or anxious? You are not alone. At AASCEND‘s August 19 combined general and Job Club meeting we will explore how to cope with autistic anxiety. Flying in from Australia to lead the discussion will be Holly Bridges, author of the book Reframing Your Thinking About Autism — in which she traces much of autistic anxiety to disregulation of a very old part of the nervous system, specifically involving the vagus nerve. She will share her experience working with autistic people to improve regulation of their stress response.

Holly has worked with various autism organisations in a variety of roles and she is now working in a private practice teaching people with autism how to help regulate and calm their nervous system. Holly founded a business called License to Think, so bring your own license to think and share what you think, and feel, about this or any other approaches to autistic anxiety that you have found helpful.

Around 11am the program will transition from coping with job-related anxiety, into our usual Job Club.

When: Sat Aug 19, 10am – 1pm (including Job Club)
Where: The Arc of SF 1500 Howard St. @ 11th St. SF, CA 94103 map

Parking is often available in the garage at 255 12th Street, with a reasonable flat rate for Saturdays. There is also metered street parking for $2/hr