Opinion: Submitting a Proposal to the Milestones Conference is Imperative for Autism Professionals
Posted on 11/27/18 in Milestones Conference by Jessica Kaluga
If you are thinking about submitting a proposal to the Milestones National Autism Conference, don’t hesitate! I attended the Milestones Conference for the first time in 2013 and had the honor of hosting a workshop on behalf of the Academic Support Center (ASC) at Notre Dame College. This speaking engagement not only allowed me to share my experience and recommendations for helping students on the spectrum transition from college to career, but provided me the opportunity to connect with other professionals and educational resources. I haven’t missed a conference since and my colleagues and I continue to attend and submit proposals each year.
Whether you are speaking or attending, this conference has much to offer. I encourage my colleagues, students and their families to attend. The Milestones Conference offers attendees access to current, evidence-based content and the opportunity to interact with professionals, family members and individuals with ASD. This wide range of attendees and presenters allows for a variety of information and perspective sharing. I always make sure to attend at least one workshop that is hosted by a panel of individuals with ASD. Who better to teach me on how best to support my students than straight from the source!
I leave each year feeling excited to implement the new ideas gleaned from the two-day conference in my department and daily interactions with students. I make at least one new professional connection each year and connect with at least one family of a student interested in learning more about the supports offered through my department. These interactions confirm that the work I do each day makes a difference and helps me enhance my services for students and families.
Last year, Milestones honored me again by inviting me to serve on their conference committee. As a young professional, serving on the committee has allowed me to expand my professional network while contributing to an annual event that holds so much value to me. As a committee member, I work with the Milestones team to review all speaker proposals, credibility and relevance to the conference audience. When researching on your own, it can be difficult to sort though the endless resources available. You can rest assured that the Milestones team only invites reputable, evidence-based presenters. The team at Milestones also shows their dedication to providing the best conference experience through their implementation of attendee feedback each year. This maximizes the experience for speakers and attendees, surpassing any other national or local conference I have attended.
Thank you to the Milestones team for their dedication to the students and families they serve, and for their tireless efforts each year, developing and hosting the Milestones National Autism Conference.
You cannot overlook this invitation to attend and speak at a nationally recognized conference, hosted by a valued resource in the Cleveland community. I look forward to seeing you at the conference in June!
To learn more about the 2019 Milestones National Autism Conference or to submit a proposal, please click here!
Jessica Kaluga is the Director of the Academic Support Center at Notre Dame College. Under Kaluga's leadership, the Academic Support Center has remained a signature program of the collage and is a nationally recognized center of excellence which provides quality educational opportunities and support services beyond those required by law to individuals with documented learning disabilities. Kaluga is a summa cum laude graduate of Ursuline College, where she received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and teaching licensure in middle childhood education. She has a Master of Arts in teaching mathematics degree from Bowling Green State University.