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Els for Autism Foundation hosts conferences annually, fulfilling our mission to facilitate the sharing of best practices and programs.

2021 Conferences



Autism Innovations & Global Impact Conference: Building a Neurodiverse Workforce

March 12 & 13, 2021

The virtual conference, Autism Innovations & Global Impact Conference: Building a Neurodiverse Workforce, will feature renowned leaders from industry, government, and academia who share a vision to transform the labor market for individuals on the autism spectrum. The objective of the conference is to provide tools and best practices for businesses or individuals interested in hiring employees with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), initiating a neurodiverse workforce program, or expanding an existing program.  HR professionals can earn up to 10 SHRM Professional Development Credits (PDCs). For more information and to register click here

Hiring Best Practices | Recruiting and Onboarding | Management and Supervisory Styles | Accommodations in the Workplace | Environmental Considerations | Retention, Productivity, and Brand Impact | Mitigating Challenges and Risks | Workflow and Workload | Tax Incentives and Benefits

Keynote Speakers:
Tom D’Eri, COO/Co-Founder, Rising Tide Car Wash
Dr. Temple Grandin, Professor, Department of Animal Science, Colorado State University
Honorable Mike Lake, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Edmonton-Wetaskiwin

Craig Leen, Director, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), U.S. Department of Labor
Haley Moss, Attorney, Author, Artist, and Autism Advocate

Jose Velasco, Chief Program Manager, Product Engineering & Autism at Work Ambassador, SAP
Paul Wehman, Ph.D., Professor of Special Education and Counseling, Director, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, Virginia Commonwealth University

Breakout Sessions:
I. Starting a Program
Erin Brooker Lozott, M.S., CCC-SLP, Director of Clinical Services and Global Support, Els for Autism Foundation
Sheila Hills, Senior Human Resource Manager, PGA National Resort & Spa
Trudi Zayac, MSW/MA, Director of Adult Services, Els for Autism Foundation

II. Running a Program
Lileana (Lily) de Moya, Founder and CEO/President, The de Moya Foundation
Jill Brookner, Director, DMF Employment, Inc.

III. Expanding and Sustaining a Program
Tom D’Eri, COO/Co-Founder, Rising Tide Car Wash

Panel Sessions:
March 12th – Moderated Q&A with Day One Speakers
Panel Moderators Conference Co-Chairs: Dr. Michael Alessandri and Dr. Marlene Sotelo
Panel Participants: Jill Brookner, Lileana de Moya, Tom D’Eri, Sheila Hills, Craig Leen, Dr. Paul Wehman, and Trudi Zayac

March 13th – In the Trenches – Employment Experiences from Employees with ASD Covering Hiring, Accommodations, and Equity in the Performance Feedback Process
Panel Moderator: Jim Hogan, 2020 Els for Autism Foundation Autism Spectrum Award Winner
Panel Participants: Els for Autism Foundation Advisory Board Members – Merrick Egber, Hunter Huff, Haley Moss, and Ron Sandison

The Grand Sponsor of the conference is Shanken Family Foundation.
Sponsorship opportunities are available.  Please contact

For more information and to register click here