Understanding the Puzzling Pieces of Autism

9th Annual Autism & Employment Conference

9th Annual Autism & Employment Conference

Presented by the Autism Society of Iowa and the Iowa Development Disability Council

Friday, September 11, 2020

Virtual Conference Held by Zoom

Click here to register!

For a printable event flyer, click here!



9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – How to Prepare for an Interview

Presenters:  Candice Fedeler, MA, Ed.  and Ambrose Ball-Harney

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. – Accessing Employment Services


  • Brian Dennis, MS, CRC – Iowa Employment Solutions and Ticket to Work
  • Chris Phillips – Transition Alliance Program at Cedar Falls Schools
  • Scott Atwood, Ph.D. and Bridget Quinn – Balance Autism
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Representative

11:30 a.m.  – 12:30 p.m. – Scanning the workplace – 4 scans autistic people can do at work to recognize where they might face sensory, movement, communication, and executive function issues.

Presenters:  Josh Cobbs and Anne Grego-Nagel

12:30 p.m. – Break

1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m.Turning Your Interest into Employment Ideas

Presenter:  Ashlea Lantz, MA

2:15 – Panel of Employees with Autism– Facilitated by Sue Askeland

  • Leo Bird – U.S. Post Office
  • Mike Dierdorff – Talk to Me Technologies
  • Tyler Leech – Wells Fargo
  • Reyma McCoy McDeid, MA, – Central Iowa Center for Independent Living
  • Joel Wesselink – Mercy Hospital, Iowa City


Continuing Education Units

Continuing Education Credits: The Autism Society of Iowa is an accredited sponsor for CEU’s for Social Work #300. This conference offers 5.5 credit hours. Certificates of Attendance will be provided for CEU’s.


Keynote Speakers

Ambrose Ball-Harney

Ambrose is the Lead RBT Classroom Support and Transition at Metro West Learning.  He received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology along with a minor in Religious Studies from the University of Iowa. He has a long history of working in the Human Services field and greatly enjoys working with students with autism and challenging behavior.

Josh Cobbs

Candice Federler, MA ED.

Candice is the Director of Programming and Metro West Learning and holds a degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Northern Iowa and completed her course work in Applied Behavior Analysis from the Chicago School of Psychology. She worked for Des Moines Public Schools as a Behavior Interventionist for grades K-5. Candice has been trained in ABA, Verbal Behavior, Lindamood-Bell Visualizing Verbalizing and Seeing Stars, TEACCH, Picture Exchange Communication Systems, and other communication devices. She is well-versed in Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) and has given several trainings to staff and families on how to implement with fidelity. Candice is a Certified Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) Trainer and A Registered Behavior Technician. Candice is a board member of the Autism Society of Iowa.

Anne Grego-Nagel

Ashlea Lantz

Ashlea Lantz is a Senior Consultant with Griffin-Hammis Associates. She provides training and technical assistance around Customized Employment, Supported Employment, Self-Employment, Benefits Planning, and Agency Capacity Building. Before joining Griffin-Hammis Associates, Ashlea was the Director of Employment of a community-based rehabilitation agency. She has extensive experience in working with families both personally and professionally. Ashlea is a certified benefits planner and has a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Drake University.


REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! 2019 Autism & Employment Conference

Free to those on the Autism Spectrum

Friday, September 13 – Registration begins at 8:45am

To register online, click here.

To register via mail or for a printable event flyer, click here.

The Autism Society of Iowa and Iowa DD Council are sponsoring a conference on Autism & Employment for those on the autism spectrum who are interested in employment, family members, employers, human resource managers, case managers, social workers and anyone interested in helping those with ASD in the work place. This conference is free to those on the autism spectrum.

Conference Agenda

  • 8:45am – Registration Begins
  • 9:10am – Announcements
  • 9:15am – 10:15am  – Accessing Assistive Technology in the Workplace for the Employee with Autism – Patricia Bahr, MSE, ATP, RET; Patricia Bahr is the Program Manager at the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
  • 10:15 -10:30am – Break
  • 10:30am – 11:45am – Employment Services Panel – Facilitated by Kirsten Varnum Lane


  • Ambrose Ball-Harney, RBT – Metro West Learning Center
  • Justin Bogers – Community Outreach Specialist at Goodwill
  • Brian Dennis, M.S., CRC – Employability Services Specialist, Ticket to Work Iowa Employment Solutions @ DMACC
  • Candice Fedeler, MA, Ed.D., – Director of Programming at Metro West Learning Center
  • Reyma McCoy McDeid, MA, CESP – Executive Director of the Central Iowa Center for Independent Living and Self-Advocate
  • Suzie Paulsen, MS, CRC, CPWIC – Benefits Planning Resource Manager at Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services


  • 11:45am -12:45pm – Lunch provided
  • 12:45pm – 1:30pm  – Extraordinary People Film
  • 1:30pm- 2:00pm – Extraordinary People Film Discussion – Faciliated by Gina Ireland, M.B.A.


Continuing Education Units

The Autism Society of Iowa is an accredited sponsor for CEU’s for Social Work #300.  This conference offers 3.5 credit hours of SW CEU’s.

Handouts and certificates of attendance will be provided for CEU’s

Workshop on Transitions – Quad Cities

Autism Society of the Quad Cities will sponsor a free workshop on transitions for persons with autism on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, 3300 River Drive, Moline. The workshop is part of our observance of National Autism Awareness Month in April.

Session topics are transition to employment, to education and vocational training, and to housing, Family members and caregivers of persons with autism of any age are invited, as well as persons with autism. Panel members are experts in each of these areas in the Quad Cities region.

There is no charge to attend.

Sessions are in the Quad Cities Complex, the building that is farthest west, in Rooms 2406, 2214, and 2216. Continental breakfast will be available in Room 2222.

Registration is at 8:00 a.m. Sessions are at 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 10:30 a.m. so it will be possible to get information on all three topics. A panel of speakers will answer questions at 11:30 am. Sessions for Illinois and Iowa residents will be offered separately to report on services available in each state.

Watch for meeting reminders and information about registration.