Arizona TASH Annual Conference was “Best Ever”

AZWins, Arizona TASH annual conference, is the state’s premier professional development resource for inclusive education practices, and draws many parents and self-advocates who want to learn more and support increased access to inclusive education in Arizona. The seventh annual conference was held June 6-7, 2011, and participants evaluated the conference as the “best ever” and “most outstanding conference I’ve ever attended!”

The hand’s-down scene-stealer of the two days was Laura Nagle. Laura is a modern-day renaissance woman: an author, humorist, comedian, public speaker and self-educated engineer and architect. Her goal in life is to help people understand the perspective of autistic people, and through increased understanding, facilitate appreciation for her “tribe.”  Her friend Nancy Licht summed up Laura’s impact on the conference this way: “What an incredible presenter you are. Susan [Marks] is right … you are a natural, whether in front of the camera or in front of a crowd. Your insight, honesty and humor command rapt attention from your audience. Each time I see you give a presentation, I am more in awe of you. Lon & I are learning so much from you and our gratitude for that is immeasurable. You are helping us better understand and better appreciate our incredible … and incredibly unique daughter. And THAT, my friend, is priceless! So glad you came into the group and into our lives.”

The Arizona TASH conference is a great example of TASH at its best – a community of people working together toward a more just world.  A film is being made of Laura’s life as a way to increase awareness of what it’s like to be autistic. To learn more about the film and make a contribution to its production, please visit To learn more about Laura, visit

Photo: Barb Trader, TASH Executive Director, address the crowd at AZWins