2018 ASAN Annual Gala

November 15, 2018 @ 6:00PM — 9:00PM

Our annual celebration of self advocacy!

2018 ASAN Annual Gala image

Please join us!

There are currently no tickets available for this event, but you can still make a donation.


Join us for a special celebration and fundraising event on Thursday, November 15. Dinner and dessert will be served and a reception will precede dinner. Proceeds will support our advocacy work and programs for the coming year, and allow us to continue working to empower disabled people across the country.

Service to the Self Advocacy Movement: Elizabeth Bartmess

Elizabeth Bartmess is a Bay Area writer, editor, and autistic advocate. She is the editor of the new anthology Knowing Why: Adult-Diagnosed Autistic People on Life and Autism, which she produced in partnership with ASAN. The anthology is a valuable addition to the ever-growing collection of autistic literature available. Elizabeth has also designed and developed for ASAN a new tool to make legislative advocacy more accessible, which we will be announcing at the 2018 Gala.

Service to the Self Advocacy Movement: Vivian Ly

Vivian is the Director of Autistics United Canada (AU Canada). Founded last year with other autistic activists, AU Canada is a multi-chapter organization that aims to improve the lives of Autistic people in what is colonially known as Canada through self-advocacy. Recently, AU Canada has campaigned on policies related to immigration, healthcare and assisted suicide, as well as new national and provincial accessibility legislation.

Ally of the Year Award: Elena Hung

Elena Hung, with her four year-old daughter Xiomara, has fought over the last year to save the Affordable Care Act. She is the president and co-founder of Little Lobbyists, an organization which brings families and children with complex medical needs to the Capitol in order to educate legislators and the public about how laws and programs like the ACA, Medicaid, ADA, and IDEA affect people. In her advocacy, Elena has prioritized connecting with the disability rights movement and partnering with people with disabilities, ensuring that her daughter grows up connected to our community.

Harriet McBryde Johnson Award for Nonfiction: David James Savarese

DJ is an alternatively communicating autistic poet, essayist, and self-advocate and the writer and co-producer of the documentary Deej, which follows six years of his life from high school to college. Awarded a Peabody for its "inclusive filmmaking," Deej is a groundbreaking film that demonstrates exactly why access to inclusive, literacy-based classrooms and alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) are vital for autistic people.

Master of Ceremonies: Maria Town

Maria Town is the Director of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities for the City of Houston, where she advocates for the rights and needs of citizens with disabilities, and establishes local and national partnerships to advance inclusion. She is the former Senior Associate Director in the Obama White House Office of Public Engagement where she managed the White House's engagement with the disability community.

Keynote Speaker: Liz Weintraub

Liz Weintraub is a disability policy expert and Self-Advocacy Specialist at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). Liz is a founding member of the self advocacy movement and her work has blazed a trail for others to follow, including ASAN. In particular, her work with the deinstitutionalization movement has helped many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities lead full lives in the community. Every week, she hosts Tuesdays With Liz: Disability Policy For All, an accessible video series where she interviews policy makers and advocates on important disability policy issues.

You can RSVP to our Facebook event and invite your friends!

For more information about gala sponsorship opportunities, contact Jean Winegardner at jwinegardner@autisticadvocacy.org.