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Disabilities Awareness Day Autism Keynote on Oct. 24

MCC’s Disability Awareness Day, an annual event examining all aspects of disabilities, will look at autism this year. The program is Monday, October 24 in the College Center and is open to the College community. Organizers are hoping faculty will bring their classes.

The keynote speaker is Jed Baker, a well-known psychologist who lectures on helping others understand autism. Dr. Baker is the author of several books and writes and lectures extensively on autism.

“His lecture will focus on understanding autism to build acceptance within our community,” said Elaine Weir-Daidone, counselor for students with disabilities. “The planning committee chose to focus on autism this year as we have an increasing number of students on campus with autism. Our hope is that this event will help raise awareness and understanding.” His speech is at 11 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center.

At 12:30 p.m., Dr. Baker will discuss teaching strategies in a workshop designed for faculty and staff. He will review Autism Spectrum Disorders to develop a working understanding of the disorder, and focus on the social interaction challenges that emerge and the impact on communication skills. Dr. Baker will review examples of behavior faculty may observe and look at teaching strategies that may be effective. The program is in Cafeteria C.

A documentary, “Autism in Love,” will be shown in Cafeteria C at 2 p.m. It is a look at romantic relationships of four autistic individuals. In addition, representatives of community agencies will be in the College Center hallways discussing ways in which they serve individuals with disabilities from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.