Meet the Speakers

Below is a preview of the speakers attending the 20th Annual Autism Conference. We will be releasing additional details on the speakers as the conference date grows closer. Watch this space!

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Siri Ming

Dr. Ming is a scientist-practitioner with over 25 years of industry experience. Her background includes experience from direct intervention work with children with autism to regional level quality assurance for developmental disability services across the life span. Her keynote will address what it means to provide socially valid services, and the concept of “psychological flexibility.”

Dr. Scott Herbst

Dr. Scott Herbst is the founder and president of SixFlex Training and Consulting and the Chief Programming Officer for Pivot 2 Inclusion.  He earned his PhD at the University of Nevada, Reno where he focused his studies in organizational systems, Relational Frame Theory, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. His keynote presentation will focus on Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and how it can enable problem solving. His breakout presentation will define integrity and discuss integrity as a behavioral framework.

Dr. Nathaniel Williams

Dr. Williams is an author, lecturer, and entrepreneur. He is the President and CEO of HumanWorks Affiliates Inc., a cluster of organizations which seek to support social service agencies. His lecture will focus on the mindfulness and wellness themes he explores in his most recent book.

Dr. David Wilder

Dr. Wilder is the Head of the School of Behavior Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida. He is the current editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management (JOBM). He is also on the editorial boards of Behavioral Interventions, Education and Treatment of Children, and Behavior Modification. His Keynote speech will focus on the skills behavioral analysts need to develop to maintain a successful clinical practice.  

Breakout Speakers

Dr. Rebecca Vauter

Dr. Vauter is a licensed clinical psychologist who is board-certified in forensic psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology; and a Certified Correctional Health Professional. She currently serves as the Chief Behavioral Health Officer for Armor Health. Her presentation will focus on self-care plans and techniques for leaders, and help participants develop a consistent self-care strategy.

Dr. Keith Storey

Dr. Storey is a Professor Emeritus at Touro University in Vallejo, California. He has forty years of experience working with individuals with disabilities. His focus is specifically on the transition from school to adult life, functional analysis and positive behavioral supports, and curriculum development. His presentation will provide an overview on understanding and analyzing positive behavior supports for teachers and other service providers. 

Dr. Einar T. Ingvarsson

Dr. Ingvarsson is Director of Training and Research at the Virginia Institute of Autism, and serves as Adjunct Faculty in the School of Education and Human Development at University of Virginia. His talk will focus on the ways practitioners can implement “ethical, safe, and practical” functional assessments. 

Dr. Rebecca Landa

Dr. Landa is a professional speech pathologist who is credited as the founder and executive director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute, where she is vice president. She also works as a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and CEO of Bundle of Learning. 

Steve Burns

Steve Burns focuses his legal practice on estate and special needs planning, guardianship and conservatorship matters, estate administration, and fiduciary litigation. He is a graduate from Catholic University, Columbus School of Law and has over ten years of legal experience working on special needs planning and guardianship matters. His presentation is designed for caregivers with children with special needs. He will discuss the elements of Special Needs Trusts and how caregivers can utilize them to support their children.

Sarah Sheppard

Sarah Sheppard earned her Master’s in Education and Disability Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016. She has worked with adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum throughout central Virginia since 2012 and has served in various roles in school and community-based settings. Sarah completed her masters while working as a behavior coach at UMFS Charterhouse School and went on to serve middle and high school aged students in Charterhouse’s Autism and Neurodiversity Program in an administrative capacity from 2016 to 2020. Sarah has received credentials as a certified practitioner in Collaborative Problem Solving ©, and uses a combination of CPS, behaviorism, and mindfulness practices in her work with clients and families. In her current role as Manager of Adult Programs at CA, Sarah leads a team of counselors in supporting young adults and their families in residential and community-based settings to build skills to reach and maintain their desired goal of independence.

Dr. Julie Gilliam

Dr. Gilliam has 20 years of overall IT experience and 18 years in academic computing, instructional and system environments. Focusing on creating, developing and orchestrating solutions, support, and training for the end user in various capacities has been Dr. Gilliam’s life work. Dr. Gilliam has a bachelor in Social Work and Computer Information Science. Ze also has a masters in Computing Systems Management and a Doctorate in Information and Interaction Design. Dr. Gilliam has written a book called “Seeking to Understand” and has delivered a TedxTalk in “Finding the Middle Ground in Gender.”

Laurie Ackles

Laurie’s biography coming soon!

Dr. Staci Carr

Staci Carr received a masters degree in education from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Since 1993, Staci has been working and conducting research in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder, specifically addressing Social Skills Training and Social Competence, Quality of Life, Transition to College, and Relationships and Sexuality, and physician and hospital training and support. She has worked in Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Virginia developing programs to support individuals in a variety of settings with varying abilities.  Additionally, Dr. Carr has consulted nationally on issues related to adolescents and young adults with ASD.

Daniel Irwin

Daniel’s biography coming soon!

Craig Simmons

Craig’s biography coming soon!