We are excited to announce the 2020 NAC Keynote Speakers
Elizabeth Vosseller, M.A.
Executive Director at I-ASC & Director Growing Kids Therapy Center
Elizabeth Vosseller has worked with individuals with complex communication and sensory-motor differences since 1995. She began her career as an SLP at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC where she began to specialize in autism. From there, Elizabeth spent twelve years as an Assistant Professor at The George Washington University teaching more than twenty different courses to undergraduate and graduate students in both Speech and Hearing Sciences and the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Elizabeth developed a passion for clinical training through her work with field supervision and training to teachers and SLPs during their graduate studies.
Elizabeth’s greatest joy is working with clients and families she opened Growing Kids Therapy Center (GKTC) in Herndon, Virginia. In 2013 she began using Assistive Technology to educate and teach students the purposeful motor skills to Spell to Communicate (S2C). Elizabeth enjoys teaching parents, educators, caregivers, and other professionals to support nonspeaking individuals through S2C.
Elizabeth survives on mass quantities of coffee! She loves learning, exploring the world through travel, is an avid reader and an experimental crafter.
Autism consultant, an award-winning author, speaker, and leader in the field of autism, adolescence and transition to adulthood.
Chantal Sicile-Kira is an advocate who inspires hope, creates community connections and motivates people to be their best selves. She is a leader in the field of autism, with a deep passion for self-determination and inclusion, and firmly believes the world is a better place when we all have the ability to contribute fully. Currently Chantal channels that passion and leadership into her role as Marketing Director and Team Mentor for Jeremy’s Vision, her son Jeremy’s business as an award -winning professional artist. Despite being minimally speaking, Jeremy graduated from high school at age 22 with an academic diploma, and then discovered his gift of synesthesia and his love of painting.
For as long as she can remember, Chantal has been committed to helping others grow, inspiring her to write 6 award-winning books with practical advice on autism for parents and teachers. Her books are: Her books are: Autism Spectrum Disorder; A Full Life with Autism (co-authored with her son Jeremy); What is Autism; Autism Life Skills; Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum; and Self-Employment Workbook: A Beginner’s Guide. An International speaker, Chantal created Autismcollge.com in 2011 to help foster more understanding about autism through online webinars. Recently she authored the playscript “Greatly I Dream…” based on her family’s experience, currently in development with Intrepid Theatre in San Diego.
Chantal’s commitment to self-determination and inclusion, led her to work years ago at Fairview State Hospital teaching community living and self-help skills to developmentally disabled and autistic adolescents in preparation for their de-institutionalization. Little did she know this experience would serve her well when her son, Jeremy, was born many years later. In past years, Chantal has served on the Transitional Services & Supports Taskforce of The California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism, and as Co-Chair, South Counties Autism Regional Taskforce. Chantal and her family have been highlighted in Newsweek, on PBS, NPR, MTV, and Fox, Huntington Post, Psychology Today, and Art of Autism.
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Creating Your Best Life
Once described by NPR as “Chief strategist and leader of the troops” when it came to raising and educating her son, Chantal Sicile-Kira shares how she successfully changed the prognosis given to her son Jeremy when he was first diagnosed at age three with autism: life in an institution. Thirty-one years later and now an award-winning artist, Jeremy is living a productive life of his own choosing, with needed supports. Chantal shares tips on how to plant the seeds for fostering important life skills at any age and any ability level; skills such as forming relationships, becoming a self-advocate, and living a self-determined life. By focusing on your child’s strengths and cultivating their interests, life-changing gifts can be uncovered; affirming that “not like the others” means being different, but not less.