Public Invited To Free Evening Reception Focusing On Astism

Published on : Saturday, November 23, 2013

columbus-convention-center-logoThe general public is invited to a free reception focusing on autism the evening of November 20 in conjunction with OCALICON 2013 at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center from November 20-22.

“This is our largest event with about 1,500 people coming mostly from Ohio, 41 states and a few other countries — Australia, Iran, Canada and the United Kingdom,” said Simon Buehrer, Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) Conference/Events Manager. “We will have about 200 sessions and 72 exhibitors.”

“Celebrating Possibility” is the theme of the OCALICON 2013 free public reception on Wednesday, November 20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Exhibit Hall E. The reception will include more than 70 exhibitors offering the latest products and services supporting autism, door prizes, refreshments and snacks and family friendly entertainment with music by 15 Strings.

OCALICON 2013 is a national conference and exhibition about autism, assistive technology and low-incidence disabilities, including visual impairments, hearing impairments and traumatic brain injuries. Attendees include national leaders, educators, parents, scholars, policymakers, service providers and people with autism exploring shared concerns and solutions.



In addition to the dozens of learning sessions presented Wednesday, November 20 through Friday, November 22, the keynote speakers are:

• Connor Gifford at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, November 20: “When Opportunity Knocks, Make History” is Gifford’s motto. Gifford was among the first group of students with developmental disabilities to graduate along with peers from Perrysburg High School. He then attended Cape Cod Community College, graduated from the Project Forward education and living studies program, and wrote an American history book with Victoria Harris called America according to Connor Gifford, which received independent publishing’s 2009 Ippy Outstanding Book of the Year Independent Spirit Award.

• Lee Stickle at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, November 21: “Bring Your Hard Hat: Building Bridges, Not Barriers” is the title of her presentation. Stickle is co-director of the Kansas Instructional Support Network and will share insights about the benefit of building meaningful and positive relationships with people with autism to enhance their opportunities for growth and success.


There are pre-conference workshops on Tuesday, November 19.



The exhibit hall will be open to registered attendees from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 20 and 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, November 21.

The Assistance Technology (AT) Learning Lab located in Room E-151 will feature a computer lab network with content experts demonstrating the tools and resources available and providing attendees with the opportunity to learn and practice new skills.

OCALICON 2013 incorporates four national summits as part of its programming:

• Tuesday, November 19: The National Autism Leadership Summit

• Wednesday, November 20: University Summit

• Thursday, November 22: The Traumatic Brain Injury Summit and Universal Design For Learning Summit



Autism is a general term to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders, or autism spectrum disorders, caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences and characterized by varying degrees of social and behavioral challenges and repetitive behavior, according to Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism science and advocacy organization.



“Today, one child in 88 is affected by autism, the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States. We are proud to be the host facility for OCALICON 2013’s ‘Celebrating Possibility’ public reception offering a showcase of helpful resources,” said SMG General Manager John Page.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center, located in downtown Columbus, hosted an estimated 2.5 million visitors in 2012. The facility is owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and is managed by SMG.



Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues.

With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions, catering and special events division, SAVOR, currently servicing more than 100 accounts worldwide.

Source:- Columbus Convention Center



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