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Clinicians and support professionals – want to learn more about autism?

Sep. 21, 2020—More than a half million autistic individuals will turn 18 years old in the next decade. To meet their physical and mental healthcare needs, novel approaches to train and support community clinicians and support professionals are necessary.  A new Vanderbilt initiative is recruiting specifically clinicians who would like to learn more about adults on the spectrum....

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September Autistic’s Roundtable Webinar now on YouTube

Sep. 17, 2020—Our September webinar is now available on YouTube! To view it, you can press play above, go to the Youtube link by clicking here, or access the link in our Instagram link tree. This Autistics’ Roundtable focuses on international perceptions of Autism, featuring speakers hailing from Denmark, China, Germany and the United States. The main speaker is Thorkil Sonne,...

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Frist Center associate director added to Vanderbilt Diversity Council

Sep. 15, 2020—Dr. Dave Caudel has been invited to join Vanderbilt’s 2020-2021 University Diversity Council. He is the first-ever representative on this council from the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation. The Diversity Council is made up of faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students, and postdocs. It is also charged with making periodic strategic recommendations to the interim chancellor...

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Frist Center earns two large NSF grants to promote neurodiverse employment

Sep. 15, 2020—The National Science Foundation has awarded two highly competitive grants to Vanderbilt’s team working at the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation. The first is a $5 million award that greatly expands a School of Engineering-led project for creating novel AI technology and tools and platforms that train and support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the...

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Upcoming Autistics’ Roundtable Webinar: International perceptions of autism

Sep. 8, 2020—Join the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation on Monday, Sept. 14th at noon for the next Autistics’ Roundtable Webinar. The September installment will be focused on international perceptions of autism. The main speaker will be Thorkil Sonne, a family member advocate and the founder of Specialisterne. Sonne will be joining us from his home country...

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August “Autistics’ Rountable” Webinar on YouTube

Sep. 2, 2020—The latest Autistics’ Roundtable Webinar is up on YouTube! It can be viewed at this link, or by clicking the play button above. It was filmed on Thursday, Aug. 13 from 2pm to 3pm (central time). The topic is how self-employment and entrepreneurship can be successful options for adults on the spectrum. The featured speaker is Dr....

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Fall dates announced: Autism employment coach certification

Aug. 24, 2020—The fall dates have been set for Forward Motion Coaching’s Asperger’s/Autism Employment Coach Certification. Forward Motion Coaching Principal and Certified Coach Barbara Bissonnette will be leading all sessions. Group One begins on Sept. 25, with live meetings from 10:00 – 11:30am Eastern time. Group Two begins on Oct. 1, with meetings from 4:00 – 5:30pm Eastern time. Each...

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Upcoming Autistics’ Roundtable Webinar: Entrepreneurship as an option for autistic adults

Aug. 6, 2020—Join the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation on Thursday, Aug. 13 from 2pm to 3pm (central time) for the second installment of the new “Autistics’ Roundtable Webinar.” This month’s topic is how self-employment and entrepreneurship can be successful options for adults on the spectrum. The featured speaker will be Dr. Somnath Sengupta, founder of...

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New toolkit available: Helping young autistic people set self-determined goals

Aug. 6, 2020—“Supporting Teens and Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Setting and Pursuing Self-Determined Goals” was produced through a collaborative effort of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC), its Treatment and Research Institute on Autism Spectrum Disorders (VKC TRIAD), and the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation. This plain-language toolkit is designed to help parents and caregivers,...

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Video on Neurodiversity Accommodations in the Workplace

Aug. 3, 2020—Frist Center associate director Dave Caudel has created a video explaining the various challenges an autistic adult might face in the workforce, and discussing the accommodations that can be provided to those employees. You can watch the video by clicking play above, or following this link to Youtube! Whether you are an autistic employee or...

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Frist Center YouTube launches, first “Autistics’ Roundtable” webinar available

Jul. 22, 2020—The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation has launched a new YouTube page, expanding the Center’s virtual presence. The YouTube will host videos of Frist Center events and speaking engagements featuring our staff and leadership. The first upload is the inaugural Autistic’s Roundtable Webinar. On Wednesday, June 3rd from 1-2 p.m., the Center held the first of...

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Frist Center hosting first-ever ‘Autistics’ Roundtable’ webinar

May. 29, 2020—On Wednesday, June 3rd from 1-2 p.m., the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation will host the first of its new monthly webinar series. The series is being called “Autistics’ Roundtable,” and each week it will feature autistic voices among the panelists, presenters and moderator. The debut installment will address how the challenges of COVID-19 quarantine...

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ASBMB article promotes neurodiversity inclusion in labs

May. 25, 2020—The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation is first and foremost a research center, and is proud to employ several autistic researchers, interns and staff members. Frist Center leadership has been intentional about setting an example for other organizations which are considering recruiting neurodivergent talent. Recently, Vanderbilt University Medical Center postdoc and contributing writer for the...

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Frist Center celebrates HOD intern Alex Lithgow

Apr. 27, 2020—This spring, the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation hosted its first-ever Human and Organizational Development (HOD) intern. Senior Alex Lithgow spent the semester working as the Communications & Advocacy Intern alongside Frist Center Communications Coordinator Claire Barnett. Lithgow attended HOD class on Mondays and spent Tuesday through Friday at the Frist Center, beginning in January....

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Partner company auticon featured by CNBC, CBS

Apr. 20, 2020—One of the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation’s partner companies is auticon, a Berlin-based tech consulting firm. auticon’s consultants are entirely on the autism spectrum, and number around two hundred. The firm employs another hundred non-consultant staffers who are neurotypical. As organizations around the globe have shifted to remote work over the past two...

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Podcast ‘HR Happy Hour’ interviews Frist Center’s Tim Vogus

Apr. 17, 2020—The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation is proud to be an interdisciplinary research center focused on empowering autistic adults in the workplace. One of those disciplines in business, which is led by Frist Center Deputy Director for Business Innovations Tim Vogus. Dr. Vogus is also a Professor of Organizational Studies at the Owen Graduate School of...

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COVID-19 update on Frist Center Operations

Apr. 7, 2020—As recommended by the CDC, all non-essential Vanderbilt University faculty and staff are currently working remotely to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. This includes everyone at the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation. While we are working remotely, we cannot meet with individuals or organizations face-to-face. However, we are still holding teleconference and...

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Sign-ups open for summer 2020 Workforce Readiness and Prep (WRaP) camp

Mar. 10, 2020—For the third year, Currey Ingram Academy is hosting a three-week program for students ages 15 – 20 who are on the autism spectrum. It is a collaboration between Currey Ingram Academy and the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation. The Workforce Readiness and Preparation (WRaP) program uses a strengths-based approach to help young autistic people prepare for success in the...

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New partnership with Tennessee Voc Rehab

Feb. 28, 2020—The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation is excited to announce its new partnership with Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation. The Division of Rehabilitation Services is responsible for the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services program, which includes determination of eligibility, determination of the nature and scope of VR services and the provision of employment-focused rehabilitation services for individuals...

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InclusAbility’s “Autism 101” event coming up on Feb. 25

Feb. 21, 2020—If you’d like to learn more about the autism spectrum, mark your calendar for February 25th. On Tuesday the 25th at 1 p.m., Vanderbilt’s InclusAbility campaign is hosting an event called “Autism 101.” The first part of the presentation, given by Autism Tennessee, will cover the diagnosis and most common characteristics of autism. There will...

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Frist Center promotes sensory spaces in Vanderbilt Hustler article

Feb. 3, 2020—Sensory spaces are a common resource at autism conferences and events, providing a calming spot for attendees to escape stress or overwhelming stimuli. But these spaces can be beneficial to a much wider audience, including those with anxiety, ADHD and other neurodiversity or disabilities. The Frist Center for Autism & Innovation is hoping to start a campus...

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Frist Center announces 2020 member awards

Jan. 27, 2020—  – This past October, the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation put out its first-ever call for large projects, mini-grants, scholarly literature reviews, and symposia proposals consistent with the Center’s mission of engineering technologies and transforming the workplace – inspired by neurodiversity. These awards are supported through a combination of Frist Center endowment funds,...

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Seeking 2020 Summer Autism Internship participants

Jan. 27, 2020—The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation is excited to announce the second annual Summer Autism Internship. The participating interns will work on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) research and projects throughout summer 2020. The Frist Center is seeking participants who have an interest in STEM and would like to explore these topics further. To apply, an...

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Dr. Caudel chats with fellow self-advocate on ‘Life in a Neurotypical Universe’ podcast

Jan. 15, 2020—Frist Center Associate Director Dr. Dave Caudel is the most recent guest on autism self-advocate Tim Goldstein’s podcast, “Life in a Neurotypical Universe.” Both Goldstein and Caudel were diagnosed with autism as adults, and they discuss their lives pre- and post-diagnosis. Caudel also shares about the mission and progress of the Frist Center. Caudel’s appearance...

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TEDx Talk highlights Frist Center work

Jan. 7, 2020—This past November, Frist Center for Autism and Innovation communications coordinator Claire Barnett spoke at TEDxVanderbilt about autistic employment. Her talk, titled “Why autistic unemployment is so high – and what we can do about it,” explores several reasons that autistic adults struggle to obtain meaningful work. Barnett also discusses the steps that both businesses...

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Support autistic adults through Electronics Recycling Solutions

Dec. 4, 2019—The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation aims to support and empower adults with autism in the workforce through research and community partnerships. Electronics Recycling Solutions (ERS) is one of those local organizations putting the Frist Center’s principles into practice. Their business model “is designed to provide sustainable, long term employment for adults with autism...

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Frist Center announces new partnership with Floreo

Nov. 19, 2019—The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation has begun a new partnership with the virtual reality start up Floreo. Floreo develops virtual reality trainings for autistic people to learn and practice life skills. The primary user inserts a phone into the VR headset to view one of the sessions. Meanwhile, another user can connect a tablet to observe...

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Frist Center featured on Leadership Lab podcast

Nov. 5, 2019—Dr. Patrick Leddin started the podcast “Leadership Lab” to inform and inspire leaders in all walks of life. He has hosted illustrious guests from the realms of business, academia, activism and more. This past week, Leddin’s guest was Frist Center associate director Dr. Dave Caudel. In the podcast, Caudel employs his own experiences as a self-advocate to provide the...

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Attention: Frist Center members, call for pre-proposals

Oct. 23, 2019—Call for Pre-proposals: Projects, mini-grants, literature reviews, and symposia Due: Nov 15, 2019 The Frist Center for Autism & Innovation announces its first call for proposals for members to request support for mini-grants, large research projects, literature reviews, and symposia. We are utilizing a two-step process: In this first step, members may first submit brief pre-proposals...

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Frist Center deputy director leads $1 million NSF project

Oct. 21, 2019—Autistic people are alarmingly under-represented in the American workforce; around 80 percent of autistic adults are un- or under-employed. So, when the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a program that would forge partnerships between public researchers and private companies, the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation saw an opportunity. A team of Frist Center leaders submitted their proposal...

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Forbes article provides guidance on hiring neurodiverse talent

Sep. 23, 2019—At the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation, we strongly believe that autistic people (and those with other types of neurodiversity) have valuable insights and skills to add to the workforce. An increasing number of companies around the globe have also begun to recognize the value of neurodiverse talent, and now they’re asking: what does it...

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Register now for fast-approaching College Inclusion Summit

Sep. 11, 2019—      The College Autism Network‘s annual College Inclusion Summit is just six weeks away, on Oct. 23, 24 and 25, 2019. This year’s Summit is being held right here at Vanderbilt University, and is co-hosted by the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation. You can register here. The Inclusion Summit convenes scholars, practitioners, college administrators, and...

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Frist Center featured at Precisionists CEO Luncheon

Sep. 5, 2019—The Precisionists, Inc. (TPI) have a unique goal: to create 10,000 jobs for people with disabilities by the year 2025. The company is a national leader in the disability employment space, and a partner of the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation. In Nashville, TPI has worked closely with the Frist Center to help autistic job-seekers find...

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Attention: Autistic college students

Aug. 27, 2019—If you’re on the autism spectrum, being a college student is both uniquely rewarding and challenging. With that in mind, we’d like to share a few tips and resources. Whether you’re a Vanderbilt student or not, it’s important to remember that there are school resources at your disposal. Your college should have a disability services office,...

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Frist Center releases application to become affiliate, fellow

Aug. 19, 2019—The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation has just announced its new membership program, which will allow Vanderbilt faculty and staff to apply to become affiliates or fellows of the Center. An affiliate can be any VU/VUMC faculty or staff member who has a relevant interest in the activities of the Frist Center, including—but not limited...

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Summer Autism Internship

Aug. 6, 2019—In summer 2019, the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation held its first-ever Summer Autism Internship. Interns included a cohort of participants and their mentors – almost all of whom were on the autism spectrum. Their goal was to learn STEM skills and conduct research in support of the NASA Neurodiversity partnership between labs at Fisk University and...

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Frist Center hosts official Grand Opening

Jul. 29, 2019—The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation is officially engineering technologies and transforming the workplace, inspired by neurodiversity. On Thurs., Jul. 25, the Frist Center held its Grand Opening. The private event was held in the Innovation Pavilion, on the first floor of the Engineering and Science Building. Frist Center staff and summer research interns...

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College Inclusion Summit reveals program highlights

Jul. 12, 2019—The College Autism Network (CAN) has announced several of the highlights of its upcoming Inclusion Summit in Nashville, TN. The Summit brings together scholars, practitioners, administrators, and self-advocates to discuss evidence-driven strategies to support college students with autism and other learning differences. On the first day of the Summit, Oct. 23, at 4:30 p.m., there will be a...

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Our video entry selected for finals in NSF 2026 Idea Machine competition

Jun. 4, 2019—The National Science Foundation (NSF) received more than 800 idea submissions for the NSF 2026 Idea Machine competition. Entries were judged and 33 are still in the running for the grand prize, including our entry, NSF announces: we need YOU to help NSF determine which entries will advance to the next stage by watching entrants’ video pitches...

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Neurotypical Women with Spouses on the Spectrum Announce Support Group

May. 7, 2019—A support group for Neurotypical Women with life partners who have Asperger’s Syndrome, now a part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder, have announced regular meetings in the Nashville area. As many people on the spectrum struggle with social norms, neurotypical spouses of those individuals may struggle with an apparent lack of needed nonverbal support from such...

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A few answered questions about our center

Apr. 26, 2019—Recently, an individual reached out to us with some questions. While answering these, we wondered if others out there may have similar questions about us, so we’re posting them here for everyone to see: How much is the tuition of the program? We’re trying to help people find innovations, programs, and supports that will help them...

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College Inclusion Summit puts out “Call for Programs”

Apr. 12, 2019—Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN  October 23-25 Call for Programs The College Autism Network is all about its members, so we rely on you for Summit presentations that share your ideas, practices, and challenges with one another during our breakout sessions. These sessions are roughly one hour in length. We are particularly interested in programs on the...

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2019 College Inclusion Summit to be held at Vanderbilt University

Mar. 28, 2019—We’re proud to announce our collaboration with the College Autism Network (CAN) to host the 3rd annual College Inclusion Summit, Oct. 23-25, here in Nashville Tennessee. This summit brings together scholars, practitioners, administrators, and self-advocates to discuss evidence-driven strategies to support college students with autism and other learning differences. Visit their website to learn more,...

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TPI gives 2018 update on jobs for Nashville folks on the spectrum

Mar. 8, 2019—Our partners at The Precisionists (TPI) established a presence in Nashville in 2017 by opening a local branch, an Innovation and Technology Center, in the Metro Center section of Nashville. They specialize in contracting out autistic employees to local companies looking to hire neurodiverse talent. In 2018 (particularly the second half of the year), TPI formalized contracts with...

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Spring retreat for our center successfully concluded

Mar. 5, 2019—On Monday (March 4, 2019), representatives of leadership throughout the Vanderbilt community gathered for a spring retreat to discuss the future of our center. We reviewed how we got to today, what we learned from our successes and struggles, and explored such questions as: What does success mean for the center in the first two...

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Frist Center for Autism and Innovation featured in Vanderbilt Magazine

Feb. 22, 2019—Vanderbilt Magazine published an article, The Innovation of Autism: The newly endowed Frist Center for Autism and Innovation seeks to unlock unique talents. This article explores how our center came into being and highlights a number of staff, with a lovely side article about one of our Vanderbilt University undergrads who’s also on the spectrum,...

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Construction underway for our center

Jan. 24, 2019—Construction has begun on the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation, located on the main floor of the Wond’ry, where the Au Bon Pain used to be. Construction should be complete by late spring.

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Photos from Nov. 29 Conference now available

Jan. 4, 2019—Anyone interested in seeing some photos from our conference featuring Temple Grandin are welcome to see them here.

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VKC Notables shares article on November Conference

Jan. 4, 2019—The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center did an article on our “Envisioning the Future of Human-Technology Partnerships” conference on November 29. You can read the full article here.

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Vanderbilt Hustler features article on FCAI

Dec. 6, 2018—The Vanderbilt Hustler posted an article Dec. 6, 2018 featuring the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation. You can read the online article here.

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