Miami Events

#TRAILBLAZING2017 Conference September 30, 2017


Sep 30, 2017 – 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

201 SW 5th Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306 Map

More Info

Pioneers in the field of human resources and the study of neurodiversity will gather at the #TRAILBLAZING2017 Conference in Ft. Lauderdale on September 30 to explore opportunities to learn, understand and appreciate how persons with neurological differences can be an asset to the workforce in a one-day, business-to-business, global conference. The second annual Trailblazing event will create a forum to share best practices and case studies from leading diversity and inclusion leaders and advocates across a number of top companies and organizations.

According to the National Symposium on Neurodiversity at Syracuse University, neurodiversity is a concept which espouses that atypical neurological differences are to be recognized and accepted as any other type of human difference. The term has gathered momentum in the autistic community and is spreading beyond it to include groups identified with other disability categories, including learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities such as Down syndrome. #TRAILBLAZING2017 is designed to connect members of the business community and the neurodiverse community to promote open discussion about how to impact meaningful employment of persons with neurological differences and what it means to create opportunities for them that generate value for employers. While the neurodiverse have qualifications to join the workforce, challenges exist for them to do so in meaningful employment. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that nearly 35% of all adults with autism attend college, yet the unemployment rate of college graduates with autism is 85%. And, although the latest survey results show that 57% of people with Down syndrome are employed, they are largely employed in jobs that greatly underutilize their skills and in positions that do not focus on their abilities and interests.

Speakers and panelists at #TRAILBLAZING2017 serve as a critical piece of the education, inspiration and guidance for the business community at large – to help others see the neurodiverse as a value proposition to the workforce. Panels will include examples of meaningful and sustainable work as well as employment initiatives and discussions around solutions and additional ideas. The conference will feature presentations by leading human resources and neurodiversity experts, including:

Dr. Temple Grandin, renowned neurodiversity advocate and Professor of Animal Science, Colorado State University

Amy C. Cosper, CEO, Radical Upstarts & Former Editor-in-Chief, Entrepreneur Magazine

Jose Velasco, Global Lead, Autism at Work SAP

Dr. Stephen Shore, world renowned inclusion expert and Professor of Special Education, Adelphi University

Taryn Williams, Supervisory Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Labor
Susan Mazrui, Director Public Policy, AT&T

For more information, go to


#TRAILBLAZING2017 is a one-day only, business-to-business, global conference event on meaningful employment for the neurodiversity community taking place September 30, 2017 at the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Fort Lauderdale. #TRAILBLAZING2017 is designed to connect the business community to the disabilities community to create opportunities to learn, understand and appreciate neurodiversity as an asset to the workforce. Meaningful employment is not charity. It's about seeing the talent neurodiversity can bring to the workforce.


Part of all proceeds benefit University of Miami - Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD), a state-funded resource and support program dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism and related disabilities. As a policy, UM-NSU CARD does not endorse specific programs, providers, or approaches.

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