One of the great pleasures of doing our Autism Today conferences is the opportunity they bring to partner with leaders and groups in our host communities.  You never know what good things will come from these grassroots collaborations.

A great example from Calgary: The aptly named Autism and Aspergers Friendship Society of Calgary.  In exchange for free registrations, Executive Director Dean Svoboda and his excellent team volunteered to visit Calgary schools and distribute fliers and posters to promote the conference.

They contributed so much to our program that we decided to offer them a booth at “Keys to the Treasure Chest,” where they promoted the artwork of Society member Shawn Belanger.  Shawn’s work caught the eye of Dr. Temple Grandin herself.  Dr. Grandin visited with the group at length after her presentation – and once again, some valuable new friendships were born. Karen liked Shawn’s artwork so well, she asked author Debbie Hosseini to add his work into our soon-to-be-released “Artism: The Art of Autism”.