35th Annual Conference

Connect. Learn. Engage.

The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin’s Annual Conference is the biggest Autism-related conference in Wisconsin. The conference brings the Autism community together to learn, connect, and belong. It’s a place where Autistic adults, parents and family members, and professionals come to share experiences and learn together. The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin aims to facilitate a conference experience that empowers each person attending by connecting them to the resources and knowledge they need to live fully. 

“Fantastic first time experience! I can’t wait until my children are older & can come with me to experience this!”

– 2023 Conference Participant

“This conference is the highlight of my teaching year, I’m so thankful for this opportunity to learn & meet others who want to do better for our autistic community.”

– 2023 Conference Participant

Keynote Speakers

Happy, Healthy, & Autistic

Much of the information around autism is deficit-based and limited. In fact, some of it is now known to be completely inaccurate. The result is a disconnect from the actual experience of being autistic and the pathologizing of autistic people for being themselves. The misinformation and disconnect leads to misguided support and intentions that further stress and harm autistic people. Informed by lived experience and updated information, begin to see autistic health, happiness, and thriving in important ways that may be unrecognizable to non-autistic people and dismissed by an ableist society. 

Dr. Angela Marx is a neurodivergent licensed psychologist who has been joining with children, adolescents, adults, and families in various roles and places for the past 22 years. Although she uses research and scientific knowledge, she relies more heavily on each person’s experience to join and learn with them. 

 Dr. Marx is the founder of Place of Mind, which specializes in assessment and mental health, wellness, and healing with neurodivergent individuals to help them discover and define who they are and find (or create) the places where they belong and flourish. 

Bringing Your Whole Self to Life

Much has been said about bringing your whole self to work, but how about bringing your whole self to life? Lola Dada-Olley is a mom, wife, sister, attorney, advocate, TEDx and keynote speaker, writer and podcast host. She is the older sibling to an autistic, intellectually disabled man and the mother of two autistic children, a boy and a girl. Her daughter is also intellectually disabled. Lola is a lifetime caregiver who has taken care of a family member, in some capacity, for over 30 years. The day may come when she and her husband will care for their daughter and brother/brother-in-law in their old age. The gravity of that and planning for the scenario can easily keep someone on “autopilot”, stuck in survival mode. While life is far from perfect, Lola learned to recognize the lane she was in, redefine what success could look like for her and her family and reimagine what it means to thrive. It’s the culmination of that three part process that has allowed her to combat generational trauma and be a more effective mother, wife and professional one day at a time.

Lola Dada-Olley is a mom, wife, advocate, sister, writer, attorney, and podcast host. She practices law at a global banking institution, where she sits at the intersection of law, accessibility, and technology. Her role includes drafting and negotiating technology agreements and advising business partners on issues
connected to the Americans with Disabilities Act as it relates to the procurement and implementation of customer facing technology.

In 2020, Lola launched the Not Your Mama’s Autism Podcast. Part audio memoir/part interview style podcast, Lola weaves in personal narratives of her life as an older sibling to an autistic man with an intellectual disability and now, as a mother of two autistic children with interviews of various members
of the global neurodivergent and disability communities.

In 2021, she gave a TEDx talk, titled, “Your Path is Your Purpose”, where she explained how seemingly disjointed events led her to the life purpose she lives today. In 2021-2022, Lola wrote a column for PsychCentral.com, titled ” The Caregiver’s Chronicles”, where she used the written word to speak on lessons learned as a lifetime caregiver. She recently served on the board of two non-profits dedicated to bettering health care, support, and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Lola has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Eastern Illinois University, a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a law degree from Howard University. She currently lives in the Dallas, Texas metro area with her husband, two children and a Portuguese water dog.

Navigating Adulthood: Moving Together on the Journey 

Autistic children grow into autistic teenagers who become autistic adults. Autistics want to, and deserve to live the life they want to live! A Self-Determined Life. Family members (parents) want their children to succeed and be safe. Parents will always worry about their children, no matter how old they are. Hunter and Tim are working together to learn how Tim (parent) can support Hunter in the way that respects Hunter and who he wants to be supported. Hunter is working to learn how to communicate his desires and his frustrations in a way that respects Tim. They both believe “independence” is a myth and that we need others in our lives to be able to live our best lives. Join us as Hunter and Tim share what they have learned from each other and from other self-advocates and families. 

Hunter Markle is an autistic young adult who also has some mental health challenges. He is currently working part time. He loves D&D and heavy metal music! (Feel free to search for his Mental Health Play list on Spotify.) He enjoys sharing his experience of transitioning into the adult health care system and keeping mentally well. Hunter has presented at the National Federation of Families Conference, Children Come First Conference, Circles of Life Conference, the PATCH program, and has been on numerous panels. 

Tim Markle is Hunter’s Dad and is founder and director of Forgiveness Factor. Forgiveness Factor exists to promote forgiveness as a way to live mentally well. Tim teaches classes, workshops, seminars and speaks about forgiveness, suicide prevention, and addiction recovery in Wisconsin and nationally. He also works at the Waisman Center at UW-Madison with the Children’s Resource Center-South, Wisconsin Youth Health Transition Initiative, and the LEND Training program. He is member of the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin, Dane County PATCH Community Advisory Board, contributing writer for the International Forgiveness Institute and recipient of the 2022 Healing Hearts award. Tim lives in Stoughton Wisconsin with his wife, Tracy, and with Hunter. His daughter, Sami, lives in Michigan. 

Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions will take place Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27.  Sessions are available on a first come, first served basis during the conference. We recommend picking a backup session for each timeslot in case your first choice is full.

Thursday, April 25th
Welcome Reception

5:30—6:30 PM

Join us Thursday evening to kick off Our 35th Annual Conference! All attendees and exhibitors are invited to join us for networking, hors d’oeuvres, and drinks in a relaxed and casual setting. Whether you’re a first-time attendee or a 15-year veteran, this is a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues, make new friends, and create valuable connections. The reception will be followed by our opening keynote, Dr. Angela Marx.

Friday, April 26th
Islands of Brilliance Digital Academy: SideQuest – GenIAI Text to Image Generation

4:30 PM—6:00 PM

Hosted by Islands of Brilliance

In this 90-minute sampler, a group of highly skilled Creative Technologists will help guide the exploration of GenIA – Text to Image generation. Explore the seemingly infinite possibilities of AI-powered image generation. Unleash your creativity and explore the boundless possibilities of AI-powered image generation. Step into the future of creativity with Adobe Firefly, an ethically sourced, trustworthy image generator with an easy user interface! Explore the possibilities with this new tool!

The first ingredient to a Side Quest is motivation! Sign up for this beginner course only if you are interested in using technology to create images. If selecting this Side Quest, students should be comfortable with computers and typing descriptive text. The success of our highly interactive session hinges upon the active participation of the explorers as we uncover new techniques. Each SideQuest aims to teach individuals how to interact with emerging technologies while unleashing the group’s full creative potential.

Separate registration is required. Registration is limited to 10 participants.

Affiliate Networking Hour

5:00—6:00 PM

Join the Wisconsin Autism Society Affiliates for an hour of family-friendly games, activities, and networking!

Family Reception

6:00—7:00 PM

Autistic children and adults, along with their families are invited to join us for pizza and dessert at 6:00 PM.

Sponsored by GameU

Talent Show

7:00—8:00 PM

Help us celebrate the diverse and many talents of those with autism during our annual talent show.

Interested in participating in the talent show? Due to limited space, participation is accepted on a first come, first serve basis. It is a requirement to provide a valid email upon registering, as you will be notified via email once your registration has been received.  If capacity is reached you will be contacted and placed on the waiting list.

Each talent show participant is asked to limit their talent to 3-5 minutes (maximum).


8:00—9:00 PM

This is a time to have fun and unwind! Join us for a family friendly night of music and fun. The dance will begin directly after the talent show.

Saturday, April 27th
Raffle Drawing

11:30 am

Visit the raffle tables during the conference to get your tickets! All proceeds will benefit the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin. Winning tickets will be drawn at 11:30 am on Saturday.


10:25 AM—12:45 PM

Hosted by WisconSibs

For typically-developing brothers and sisters of people with developmental disability, special health, or mental health concerns. This will be a fun morning filled with interactive activities combining recreation, learning, discussion and peer support.

Separate registration is required. This Sibshop is open primarily to children ages 8-12 who have a sibling with autism whose family is attending the conference.

Islands of Brilliance: The Fellowship

10:25 AM—11:25 AM

Hosted by Islands of Brilliance

In this 60-minute session, participants will experience an activity from the newest Islands of Brilliance program: The Fellowship. Participants will create a piece of digital art that features their own unique fingerprint and SpIns! The Fellowship employs a research-based curriculum designed to empower youth and young adults to gain resiliency skills, advocacy skills, identity, and positive social connections. Topic-based discussions encourage participants to reflect on their unique life experiences in a supportive network of peers. Neurodivergent teens and young adults (aged 16 through early 30s) are invited to gather for creative arts-based activities, connection, and guided discussion.

Separate registration is required. Registration is limited to 10 participants.

Islands of Brilliance: iPad Lab

11:45 AM — 12:45 PM

Hosted by Islands of Brilliance

This 60-minute session is all about fun and creative discovery in a supportive environment on the Apple iPad. Our focus for this 60 minutes will be Procreate and all the fun things you can explore including drawing, frame-by-frame animation, you name it…the options and opportunities to create are limitless! IOB staff and mentors will be on hand to support and guide your exploration!

Workshops will begin with IOB’s beloved question of the day. IOB Staff will share some brief instructions on a few tools and techniques, offer a creative prompt, followed by open lab time with roaming support. We will finish with a sharing time to celebrate students’ creations.

This Program is a Good Fit For:

  • Students 8+ who love to explore and experiment with new technology.

  • Students who work well in a collaborative group environment and do not require one-to-one support.

Separate registration is required. Registration is limited to 10 participants.

Registration is now closed as the conference has reached full capacity. Onsite registration will not be available during the conference. 

The registration fee includes a light breakfast on Friday & Saturday morning. There is also a pizza buffet for families attending the conference on Friday evening. All other meals are on your own, lunches are not included. Registration fees do not include hotel accommodations.

Registration Rates

Autism Society Member

If you are a current dues paying member of an Autism Society affiliate you may register at this discounted rate.  If you are unsure of your member status, please call us at 920-558-4602.


This rate is for individuals who are not a member of the Autism Society.  You may join at any time and immediately receive the discounted member rate! Membership costs $15 for an individual, or $20 for a family. 

Autistic Individual

This rate is for individuals on the autism spectrum.

If you are registering your child with autism for the conference, please keep in mind that the child needs to be at least 14 years of age, and accompanied by a support person, if needed.

Conference Support Person

To qualify for this rate your primary purpose for attending the conference must be to support an individual with autism who is also registered for the conference. Please include their name on your registration form.  Only 1 support person (per autistic individual) may register at this rate. 

Cancellations & Transfers

Cancellation Policy

Written cancellation requests must be sent to alefevre@autismgreaterwi.org by April 3, 2024 and will be charged a $25.00 processing fee. Substitutions can be made at no cost.  No refunds after Written cancellation requests must be sent to alefevre@autismgreaterwi.org by April 3, 2024 – no exceptions. A $30.00 fee will accompany any returned checks or denied charges.

Registration Transfers

If a registered attendee is unable to attend the conference their registration may be transferred to another person who is not already registered for the conference at the same institution or organization at no additional charge. Contact Amber at (920) 558-4600 or alefevre@autismgreaterwi.org to transfer your registration.

Continuing Education
Continuing Education Hours

The conference has been approved for a total of 10.5 Continuing Education Hours by the National Association of Social Workers, WI Chapter. CEHs are approved for: Social Workers, Counselors, and Marriage and Family Therapists. There is no additional cost to receive CEHs.

Certificates of Attendance

A general Certificate of Attendance will be available for all conference participants. Individualized Certificates of Attendance will be available by request.

Sponsorship, Exhibit, and Advertising Opportunities

Sponsoring, exhibiting, and advertising at the Annual Conference is a unique opportunity to engage with the Autism community and promote your brand. Conference attendees come to the conference looking to gather resources and learn more about the wonderful organizations that support Autistic individuals and their families. Showcase your services through a sponsorship, exhibition, or advertising at our 2024 Annual Conference.

Deadline: April 1, 2024


Registration has now closed. 

Hotel + Travel Information

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Kalahari Resort. Book your reservations in advance; only a limited number of rooms are blocked at the following discounted rates:

  • Thursday, 4/25 – $129 – (SOLD OUT)
  • Friday, 4/26 – $179
  • Saturday, 4/27 – $199 – (SOLD OUT)

Overflow room blocks are available for Thursday evening at the following hotels at discounted rates:

  • Tru by Hilton Wisconsin Dells – $99
  • Wingate by Wyndham – $77

Reservations can be made using the same link as the Kalahari by selecting Thursday as the check in date, and Friday check out date. You should then receive the option to make a reservation at either of the above hotels.

Room reservation cut off date is March 25, 2024; all unconfirmed rooms will then be released to the general public.

Reservation Link: https://book.passkey.com/e/50712515

Important Information from the Kalahari

Per their policy, the Kalahari does not accept completed Credit Card Letter of Authorization forms, Tax Exemption forms, nor Purchase Orders at hotel check-in. They have a dedicated team that pre-approves these forms to ensure validity prior to check-in. These forms should be submitted no later than 7 days prior to check-in via email or fax 608-254-6116.

The Kalahari highly suggests attendees submit these forms at least two weeks in advance of check-in so their team can process them in a timely manner. Failure to follow this procedure may result in full room and tax charges to your personal card, since their Front Desk will not accept these forms at check-in. The Kalahari General Policy Page explains their policies in full detail.

Kalahari FAQ
Additional Information about Staying at the Kalahari

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the registration fee?

Registration includes access to the entire conference and most special events. Some special events require separate registration (see special events tab for more information).

A light breakfast will be provided for registered attendees on Friday and Saturday morning. All other meals will be on your own.

Registration fees do not include hotel accommodations.

Can I register for just one day?

We do not offer single day registration for the conference.

Is there a cancellation policy?

Written cancellation requests must be sent to alefevre@autismgreaterwi.org by April 3, 2024 and will be charged a $25.00 processing fee. Substitutions can be made at no cost.  No refunds after April 3, 2024 – no exceptions. A $30.00 fee will accompany any returned checks or denied charges.

What is the cost of attendance?

There are different registration rates for different groups. The cost will also depend on when you register and whether you are part of a group registration. Registering early will ensure you receive the best rate. Please review the detailed descriptions under the Registration tab to help you understand what rate will be appropriate for you.

Are there any available funding sources/scholarships to cover the cost?

The Children’s Long Term Support Waiver may cover the cost of attending the conference as part of Consumer Education and Training category. We encourage families to check with their county caseworker about funding options.  We also suggest that Autism Society members check with their local affiliate to ask about scholarship opportunities.

When is the deadline to register?

The deadline to register for the conference is April 3, 2024. Registrations will not be accepted after April 3rd, no exceptions.  Substitutions may be made at no cost.

How will I know I am registered?

An e-mail confirmation will be sent once your registration has been processed. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please contact us to ensure your registration was received. It is important that you provide an email on your registration.  Important information, including access to handouts, will be emailed prior to the conference.

Do I need to pre-select the concurrent sessions I plan to attend at conference?

No, breakout sessions do not need to be pre-selected and are available on a first come, first served basis during the conference. We recommend picking a backup session for each timeslot in case your first choice is full.

Is child care available?

We are unable to offer childcare during the conference. Please keep in mind that children must be age 14 or older to register and attend the conference.

Are meals included?

A light breakfast will be provided for registered attendees on Friday and Saturday morning. All other meals will be on your own.

Can I bring my spouse/children?

Although attendees may bring family members to the hotel, only paid registrants wearing conference names badges will be permitted to attend conference sessions. The only exception is the Family Reception on Friday evening, in which family members may attend without being registered.

Can I receive CEUs for attending the conference?

ASGW will apply for Continuing Education Hours by the National Association of Social Workers, WI Chapter. If approved, CEHs will be provided for Social Workers, Counselors, and Marriage and Family Therapists. There will be no additional cost to receive CEHs. More information about potential CEHs will be released in February.

A general Certificate of Attendance will be available for all conference participants. Individualized Certificates of Attendance will be available by request.

Are sponsorship opportunities available?

Yes. We have several sponsorship levels, as well as exhibitor and advertisement opportunities. More information can be found here.

Can’t find an answer? Contact Amber LeFevre at 920-558-4600 or alefevre@autismgreaterwi.org

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