Finding Employment

OCASG Launches Autism In Entertainment Initiative

By Autism in entertainment, Educational Success, Finding Employment No Comments

OCASG Launches Autism in Entertainment Initiative

In May of 2022, the Orange County Asperger’s Support Group (OCASG) established the Autism In Entertainment (AIE) Workgroup. The goal of the Autism In Entertainment Workgroup is to drive employment efforts in entertainment-related careers. Many individuals on the spectrum have passion and skills, well-suited for employment in entertainment. Our goal is to increase awareness of these skill sets and work with the entertainment industry in creating internships, apprenticeships, and employment opportunities. Our members include educators, professionals, and family members who believe that individuals on the autism spectrum can contribute in the development of film, animation, and game design.

In late 2022, OCASG and the workgroup were awarded a Department of Developmental Services Educational Grant designed to help Regional Center consumers find employment. Specifically, the grant will fund the hosting of the Autism In Entertainment Conference in the Spring of 2024.

The AIE Conference planning effort is driven by the Autism In Entertainment Workgroup, led by OCASG with support from Zavikon, an employment agency whose mission is to place neurodivergent individuals and those with disabilities in career-oriented, meaningful jobs, via a supported placement model to set both employer and employee up for success.

Conference Scheduled for 2024

For the last six months we have been hard at work. We are thrilled to announce that the conference will be held on Friday, April 5, 2024 at the prestigious Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. This conference promises to be an unforgettable experience, bringing together top industry professionals, advocates, and individuals on the autism spectrum to discuss how we can improve representation and inclusion in the entertainment industry. With thought-provoking panels, inspiring speakers, and plenty of networking opportunities, this is an event you won’t want to miss. Mark your calendars so that you can join us for this historic event! Registration opens in Q4 2o23.

Autism in Entertainment Website Goes Live

This week the Autism In Entertainment Website has gone live.

The Autism In Entertainment (AIE) website is a key forum for sharing our activities and news. The website is driven by amazing autistic talent to create and deliver our content.

  • The AIE logo was designed by graphic artist Jimi B.
  • The website is being built and managed by IT developer Eric N. Eric is also managing our Constant Contact deployment. Eric’s employment is made possible through the Regional Center Paid Internship Program with technical support from the nonprofit Code the Spectrum.

If you are interested in learning more about the Autism In Entertainment Initiative and Conference, take a minute to tell us about yourself.


Judi’s Story: Helping my son Graduate from CSUF

By Educational Success, Finding Employment, Personal Stories No Comments

This is Judi Uttal, President of OCASG, with a new Blog.

This week’s blog is about my efforts to help my son complete his bachelors degree at California State University at Fullerton (CSUF). In particular, how to meet the important but difficult internship requirement. Many of OCASG members have children who either are attending or will attend CSUF, and I am hoping that my experience could be useful to you all.

Signing Up for Workability

Today, my son Joshua and I had a meeting with Yvonne Cordova, Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for Department of Rehabilitation. Yvonne is working on getting Josh admitted into the Workability Program as CSUF.  We are hoping that Workability can be of assistance in helping Josh find an internship. To graduate from CSUF with a BA in Cinema and Television requires completion of an internship (495 course). Josh is likely to graduate in December 2019. This internship is a critical step towards his receiving a diploma.

The Reel People Connection

We are also enrolling Josh in the Reel People program being offered at New Vista Academy. Through this program, Josh will be able to develop skills in After Effects. According to Jimmy Lifton, this training will be complemented by “real” employment. Hopefully this “real” job can meet Josh’s treasured internship requirement. To stay on schedule for a December 2019 graduation, we want to make this program an independent study (499 course). However, having never done this before, I am not sure what types of problems we may encounter. One difficult milestone will be finding a CSUF faculty member to act as the sponsor.

To help with the mitigation, I reached out to Jacqueline Gerali, Disability Management Specialist at CSUF. So far I have not heard back from her, but I am hopeful.

Team Josh

One of Josh’s old buddies, Josh B. is finishing up his degree in Art at CSUF with an eye towards video game development. Josh B. and his mother Diane are attempting to pursue a similar strategy. So we are working together as a team, as we try and navigate the ins-and-outs.

I will check back with you in the future to let you know our progress. Wish us all  luck.