Disability prevalence throughout the United States continues to increase, with current disability rates hovering at almost 13%. Families who support loved ones, and disabled individuals themselves, in rural areas are impacted by a lack of access to services and knowledge more than those in more urban areas. The aim of the Neurodiversity and Disability Symposium—formerly the Northern California Autism Symposium—is to amplify the voices of those who identify as neurodivergent and/or disabled, and educate families, educators, and service providers in our region and beyond.
The symposium started with a specific focus to improve knowledge and acceptance of those who are autistic/on the autism spectrum. Recent conference presenters and topics have drifted toward a broader neurodiversity perspective. Knowing that there are still many families and disabled individuals/individuals with disabilities within our region that need support, the conference focuses are branching out to provide a variety of topics and presenters that will help inform and support our whole community.