Jandoli School to mark World Autism Month with virtual reality event, panel talk and training.

Jandoli School to mark World Autism Month with virtual reality event, panel talk and training Share ST. BONAVENTURE — For World Autism Month, the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University invites members of the SBU community and the public to engage in a virtual reality experience and attend a panel discussion and training on Tuesday, April 9. The VR experience called LOU immerses users in the sensory experiences of a child with autism. The experience is a metaphoric interpretation in which users learn how to deal with stimuli, crises and moments of fascination. “Experiencing Lou: VR Exploration in Autism” will be available in the Athletics Hall of Fame, Reilly Center, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Registration is not required; the experience takes about 30 minutes. A panel discussion begins at noon in the Hall of Fame and will be livestreamed by the university at https://video.ibm.com/channel/st-bonaventure-university-live-stream. The four panelists are Emyle Watkins, Amie Peck, René Hauser, Ph.D., and Kimberly DeSimone, Ph.D., MBA. Award-winning multimedia journalist Watkins, who self-identifies as disabled and neurodivergent, heads the WBFO Disabilities Desk at Buffalo-Toronto Public Media’s NPR station. She is the author of the Global Investigative Journalism Network disability reporting guide. Peck is the quality improvement specialist at Futures Rehabilitation Center, which offers vocational and social programs for people with disabilities in McKean County, Pennsylvania. Over her 30-year career with the nonprofit, she has served in various roles and is now part of the management team and the Investigator Peer Review Committee. Among Peck’s credentials are medication training, CPR, AED, First Aid, and the Office of Developmental Programs Certified Investigator Program. Her eldest son has been diagnosed with epilepsy and autism. Hauser is dean of the School of Education at St. Bonaventure. Her research includes differentiated instruction – providing different opportunities for students to engage in learning. As an associate professor and a special educator since 1989, she has more than 10 years of experience teaching students on the autism spectrum. She is also the parent of at least one neurodivergent adult. DeSimone is a professor in the Jandoli School. As the mother of a child with autism, she works closely with Summit Center in Buffalo, where she has raised more than $40,000 for services provided to children and adults with autism and other developmental, behavioral and social challenges. The panel will be moderated by Pauline W. Hoffmann, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Jandoli School of Communication and infodemiologist. Hoffmann is a scholar-practitioner dedicated to truth-telling through research and education. She is a senior health fellow with the Cattaraugus County Health Department with specialized training from the World Health Organization in infodemic management. Hoffmann is the author of the book “Fake News, Witch Hunts and Conspiracy Theories: An Infodemiologist’s Guide to the Truth” and a LinkedIn newsletter titled “WTF? (What the Facts?)”. Also on Tuesday, Watkins will present a talk and training, “Disability Reporting, People with Disabilities in the Media/Workplace, and Inclusiveness in Reporting,” at 1 p.m. in room 104 of the Murphy Building on campus.

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