On Monday 14th May in collaboration with Inspire and the Irish Society for Autism we will be hosting a conference on autism. Spectrum – A summit on the past, present and future of autism in Ireland. Working together our three organisations aim to create a day to celebrate how far the movement for the inclusion of people with autism has come, reflect on current success and barriers to development and look to the future with optimism and determination. This pioneering conference will take place at the Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin. 

The conference aims to attract decision makers, public representatives, commissioners, regulators, campaigners, human rights activists, service delivery organisations, health and social care professionals and people with autism and their families and carers. This will be an autism friendly event with sensory/quiet room, visual note taker, no background distractions and relaxed, conversational tone. 


Conference - Image



9.30: Registration and breakfast

10.00: Opening remarks

Professor Peter McBride, Inspire

10.15: Opening Remarks Finian McGrath TD Minister of State for Disability Issues

10.30:  Game changers – The social history of autism in Ireland

Ken Kerr, Senior Psychologist, HSE Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan

Professor Owen Barr, Professor of Nursing and Intellectual Disabilities, Ulster University

Mary Walsh, Board Member and Parental representative, CAA

11.15:  Table conversation and Question and Answer Session.

11.30:   Autism Now: Panel discussion on the key issues facing autism services in Ireland today.

Marcella McBride, HSE

Dr Mary-Ann O’Donovan, Trinity College Dublin

Cormac Coyle, Director of Services, Inspire

Dr Damien Hughes , Consultant in learning disability, Muckamore Abbey Hospital, Belfast

12.30: LUNCH

1.30: Tenx4, big ideas for the future of autism

Hosted by Brian Healy, CAA

Borrowing from the popular Tenx9 method of storytelling four people will take 10 minutes each to share their ideas for the future

No one left behind: Building an inclusive movement for inclusion, Ursula Galvin (CAA)

Dr. Geraldine Leader, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, NUIG and Director of Research, Doctrid Research Institute

Rights without the Fights: ISA Parent Rep tbc

My hopes for the future:  Joanne Weller, Trinity College Dublin Student


2.30: Refreshment Break

3.00: Keynote address: Life, Animated: A Tale of Autism & Hidden Potential

Ron Suskind.

3.45: Question and Answer session with Ron

4.25: Closing Remarks,

Peter McBride Inspire.

4.30: Close.


The Early Bird special for our Autism Conference has closed,  but you still have time to register.  You can book your place by emailing spectrum@inspirewellbeing.ie and receive an invoice or directly on our Eventbrite page.  Your conference fee includes:

  • Free Parking
  • Free WIFI
  • Complimentary refreshments throughout the day
  • Complimentary breakfast and lunch
  • Complimentary meeting spaces available throughout the day

We also have a limited number of free places for those attending with autism and/or carers. You can contact Sandra Butterly at s.butterly@inspirewellbeing.ie or by calling Sandra on 00353 42 9385736 to find out more about these places.