Faith Cole is a British writer, speaker, and researcher with a heart for encouraging others. She works with social impact leaders and organizations to communicate powerful stories that shift hearts and minds. Her TED talk titled “What I’ve learned from my autistic brothers” has been viewed by over 1.4 million people across the globe.
Faith’s mission is to pour out her gift to others. She provides encouragement to a growing online community through her newsletter, “Pour”. She joins her husband, Nathaniel Cole, in discussing matters of faith, hope and love through their podcast “These Three Remain” which encourages listeners to push past their fears and press into their purpose.
Faith is currently pursuing her PhD in Communication at American University. She has spent the last seven years studying the intersection of communication and social impact. Her research explores the tensions between online visibility and online vulnerability that are experienced when seeking to create positive changes in society.
Faith is a proud Londoner, but now lives in Baltimore, MD and happily calls it home.
Grant Bruno is a father to four amazing children, two of which are on the autism spectrum. Grant is a registered member of Samson Cree Nation, one of the reserves that makes up Maskwacis, Alberta. He is a PhD in Medical Sciences - Pediatrics student at the University of Alberta.
His PhD research will explore redefining autism from a Cree lens, gathering stories with families and individuals who have experiences with autism using a strength-based approach, as well as gathering data on the perspectives of autism in Maskwacis. Grant is also the chair for Indigenous Relations Circle for the Autism Society of Alberta.
Dr. Paula Kluth is a consultant, author, advocate, and independent scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities and to create more responsive and engaging schooling experiences for all learners. She is a former K-12 special educator who has served as a classroom teacher, co-teacher, and inclusion facilitator. Paula has also been a university professor and has taught courses on both inclusion and disability studies. Most recently, Paula’s work has centered on helping teachers and administrators educate all students in their schools and classrooms. She also frequently works with families and advocacy groups to support goals related to inclusion. In addition to inclusive education, her professional interests include Universal Design for Learning, co-teaching, and educating students with complex support needs.
All In: 18 Ways to Include All Students in Virtual Classrooms is Paula’s newest book. She is also the author or co-author of 15 other titles including Universal Design Daily, 30 Days to the Co-Taught Classroom, Don’t We Already Do Inclusion?, and “You’re Going to Love This Kid!”: Teaching Students with Autism in Inclusive Classrooms. She is also the author of a few books for children including Coaster, a story of a puppy with wonderful wheels.
Paula has won several awards in her field. She is the recipient of the PEAK Parent Center’s Ally for Inclusion Award; The PEAL [Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership] Center’s Inclusive Education Champion Award; The National Down Syndrome Congress’s Educator of the Year; The Belle Center of Chicago’s Inclusion Advocate of the Year; and the University of Wisconsin’s “Forward Under 40” Award.
Michael John Carley is an author, school and business consultant, and former Executive Director in the autism, neurodiversity, mental health, disability, and DEI worlds. He received his B.A. from Hampshire College and his M.F.A. from Columbia University. Between 2003 and 2013, as the Founder and first Executive Director of the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (GRASP), at the time the largest membership organization in the world that is comprised of adults on the autism spectrum, he spoke at over 100 conferences, hospitals, universities, and health care organizations. As the Executive Director of the Asperger Syndrome Training & Employment Partnership (ASTEP, now “Integrate”) from 2011-2014, he spoke at conferences focusing on Human Resources, Corporate Diversity & Inclusion, and he conducted numerous trainings and webinars for individual Fortune 1000 companies. From 2004-2016, he consulted for the New York City Public Schools, and he now not only consults for school districts nationwide, he also now consults in higher education for New York University.
He has frequently appeared in the media, most notably in the New York Times, Washington Post, NY Newsday, the London Times, HuffPost Live, NEWSWEEK OnAir, ABCNews, BBC News, FOX News Network, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Psychology Today, Exceptional Parent Magazine, and on radio with Terry Gross’ Fresh Air and The Infinite Mind. NPR News also aired a 12-minute story in June of 2006 that featured him and GRASP. Carley was also featured in the documentaries, On the Spectrum, and Off the Rails.
In 2012, he was one of two people on the spectrum to address the United States Congress in their first-ever hearings on autism. He has addressed the United Nations, taken part in Dr. Amy Laurents’ TED talk, and his articles have been published in over a dozen publications—magazines such as Autism Spectrum News, Autism Spectrum Quarterly, and Autism/Asperger Digest; the websites of organizations like the Organization for Autism Research and NEXT for Autism; and he also had a regular column called Autism Without Fear that existed for four years and more than 30 articles in the Huffington Post. He also regularly writes for Sinkhole, Exceptional Parent Magazine, and will soon be a frequent contributor to the blog of Neurodiversity Press.
His first book, Asperger's From the Inside Out: A Supportive and Practical Guide for Anyone with Asperger's Syndrome, was released in April, 2008 by Penguin/Perigee. His second book, Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum, was released in early 2016 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. His latest book is The Book of Happy, Positive, and Confident Sex for Adults on the Autism Spectrum…and Beyond! and was the inaugural publication of Neurodiversity Press in 2021. All three continue to receive rave reviews. As a peer mentor, he currently works with individuals one day per week.
He was the inaugural FAR Fund Fellow in 2003, and he has since received NYFAC's Ben Kramer Award (2008), the BCID Award for Service (2009), Columbia University's Herbert M. Cohen Lecture (2011), and Eden II's Peter McGowan & John Potterfield Achievement Award (2011). From 2014-2021 he sat on the Board of Directors of NEXT for Autism (the non-profit behind HBO’s Night of Too Many Stars).
Until 2001, Mr. Carley was the United Nations Representative of Veterans for Peace, Inc. In that time, he was known primarily for his work in Bosnia, and in Iraq as the Project Director of the internationally acclaimed Iraq Water Project. Prior to 2001, he was also a playwright who enjoyed 15 productions and 10 readings of his plays in New York. He is proud to continue as a Special Consultant to Spectrum Theatre Ensemble, the nation’s only “by as well as for” neurodiverse individuals. Additionally, he is also the Special Advisor for Neurodiversity with The Ed Factory, and a Special Advisor to Drexel University’s Autism Research Initiative.
Along with his (then) 4-year old son, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in November of 2000. Reevaluated in 2014 under DSM-5, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Before joining Children's Autism Services of Edmonton as Family Liaison, Scott worked in a similar role at Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. He served for 8 years as a Parent Representative on the Government of Alberta's Provincial Stakeholders Advisory Committee and Provincial Parents Advisory Committee providing a parent's perspective in the development and launch of the Family Supports for Children With Disabilities Act.
David is a young adult diagnosed on the autism spectrum. He's earned a College Diploma, is working full time and has his driver's license. His story provides an example of what's possible when needs are supported, hope is nurtured and opportunity is provided.
Lonnie is a developmental pediatrician who completed his clinical training in Toronto and a research fellowship at McMaster University and McGill University. He is currently Edmonton Zone Clinical Department Head for Child Health with Alberta Health Services and Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta.
Lonnie is also a Clinician Scientist supported by the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Autism. His research focuses on improving diagnosis, factors influencing development and outcomes, as well as health care and lived experience related to autism.
Kerry was diagnosed with a form of autism, at age 4. Growing up Kerry’s future was very uncertain. Today however, after countless hours of therapy and the support of a loving family, Kerry has conquered many of his challenges. Kerry Magro is an award-winning autistic professional speaker, best-selling author and autism consultant to the HBO series Mrs. Fletcher that aired in Fall 2019. He started professional speaking 10 years ago via the National Speakers Association after he fell in love with theatre as a child to help with his social and communication skills.
Today he has spoken at over 1000 events during that time include 2 TEDxTalks and a 'Talks at Google' presentation. In addition, Kerry is CEO & President of KFM Making A Difference, a nonprofit organization that hosts inclusion events and has provided 86 scholarships for students with autism for college and counting since 2011. In his spare time, he hosts a Facebook Page called Kerry's Autism Journey that now has 208,000 Facebook followers where he does on-camera interviews highlighting people impacted by a diagnosis to breaking down barriers in our community. His videos have been watched over 35 Million times.
Beth A. Malow, MD, MS is Burry Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development and Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Malow’s clinical and research interests focus on improving health and quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Inspired by raising two sons on the autism spectrum, who are now in college, Dr. Malow has published more than 120 peer-reviewed articles, along with multiple books, book chapters and review articles. She serves as the principal investigator for Vanderbilt’s Autism Care Network, one of 12 regional centers across North America funded to develop standards of medical care for children with autism. She has carried out foundation, industry, and federally-funded trials of melatonin and behavioral sleep education in this population, including in community settings and conducted via on-line portals. She supports investigators engaged in clinical and translational research at Vanderbilt’s Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. She is vice-chair of the Tennessee Autism Council.
Alix Generous, MS, is a behavior analyst, mental health activist, consultant, and motivational speaker. Her TED talk “My inner life” has received over 2 million views and she has spoken around the world on her life experiences. She travels internationally consulting businesses, educating people on autism, neurodiversity, and raising awareness on the importance of ethical mental health care. She takes on projects that increase awareness and acceptance of those with mental differences advocating for non-violence, sustainability, and equality. She lives in Los Angeles.
Terri Duncan is the Founder and Executive Director of Children’s Autism
Services of Edmonton. She is a Speech Language Pathologist and has
worked with children with autism and a broad range of developmental
delays. Terri has her B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics from the
University of Ottawa and her Master’s Degree in Speech Language
Pathology from the University of Alberta.
Terri has been consulting in schools, homes and communities for more
than 20 years, an interest that began when she worked as an aide with
a four-year-old boy with autism in a family’s home. Since that time she
has been fascinated by the complexity of autism and the resilience of
families dealing with the challenges they face on a daily basis. Terri
founded Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton in 2004 and since that
time, the organization has become one of the largest service provider
in Western Canada serving more than 500 families every year.
Kelsey Penney has been working with Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton for the past 10 years. Kelsey has worked with teachers and educational assistants to support students with Autism in inclusive and specialized school settings from early education to high school. Kelsey received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta and recently completed her Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management. Kelsey moved to North Vancouver in July and is excited to expand the services and supports that Children’s Autism Services offers to this community.
It is Kelsey’s belief that students with Autism can thrive in any setting with the right supports, and that educators need a toolbox of strategies to feel confident to help their students succeed.