A primary assembly organized by and for individuals with autism or with mental disabilities

The 28th Meeting of the University Institute on Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders (DI-ASD), taking place on November 17, will be organized for the first time by and for people with autism and people with intellectual disabilities.

Three conferences will be presented via webcast on different hot topics: online social support, language skills development and movement games. Two testimonies are also offered: that of a mother of a child with an autism spectrum disorder who developed her parenting skills thanks to the ABC Early Childhood Program, and that of a young woman with an inspirational lifestyle with a mild intellectual disability.

From the inspiring life story of Marie-Lee Houde, who suffers from a mild intellectual disability, to sharing a study conducted jointly by two autistic women, including Marjorie Désormeaux-Moreau, a professor at the University of Sherbrooke, the conferences will this allow to improve participants’ knowledge regarding the inclusion and active participation of people with autism or intellectual disabilities in the community.

The inclusion of people with autism or intellectual disabilities is now more than ever in the public interest. There is still a long way to go, but the success stories are multiplying. Building a more inclusive society is a collective responsibility that is better perceived. People with autism or with intellectual disabilities need to be at the center of this process. The Institut universitaire en DI et en ASD aims to be at the forefront of the province in supporting projects and achievements aimed at these goals. The 28th Rendez-vous will welcome nearly 500 participants from across Quebec and a variety of sectors.

For Marjorie Désormeaux-Moreau, Professor at the University of Sherbrooke and proud researcher on autism, this 28th Rendez-vous highlights research and initiatives conducted with or by (and not to) autistic people and people with intellectual disabilities. The event is important because it helps highlight these people’s most valuable experiential knowledge. “For my part, I can only hope that this rendez-vous will make it possible to position events by and for people with autism and intellectual disabilities as the norm,” she specifies. “I also underline the contribution of such an event to expanding the words and perspective of people with autism and people with intellectual disabilities,” she adds.

“This edition of the University Institute Meetings was created from the ground up by and for people with autism and people with intellectual disabilities. It is a good example of our desire to engage more in a participatory approach with the people themselves and with the community. The institute increasingly involves people with autism or intellectual disabilities and their families in all phases of its projects in order to really meet their needs. Today, therefore, we recognize the efforts of researchers and experts, but also and above all the expertise and skills of people with autism, people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Their dedication and determination to improve their lives and those of their loved ones drives us to constantly innovate. It is thanks to them that Quebec is a globally recognized model for inclusion,” says Renée Proulx, Administrative Director of the Department of Higher Education, Research and Innovation at the Center Intégré Universitaire de Health and Social Services of Mauricie-et-du -Centre du Québec ( CIUSSS MCQ).

The conferences, presented on November 17th, will touch on several areas of the lives of people with autism or intellectual disabilities:

9:30 am Online social support by and for adults with autism, needs and interests analysis

10:35 am: Learning to read for people with a moderate to severe intellectual disability, another step in a parent’s research and testimony

1:10 p.m .: The Tour de France: play to move

2:00 p.m.: Testimonial: The ABC Early Childhood Program as parents regain the confidence to properly recognize, observe, and respond to behavior

3 p.m.: Testimonial: an inspiring journey!

Note that at 3:50 p.m., a word from Diane Morin, Scientific Director of the University Institute of ID and ASD, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Quebec in Montreal, accompanied by a user of the CIUSSS, will be broadcast on MCQ.

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