Awards celebration kicks-off April 2

Staff writer
March 22, 2013 01:00 AM

The organizers of the fourth annual Inter-national Naturally Autis-tic People Awards, Con-vention and Festival will have their official kick-off on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day.

The kick-off luncheon will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club in Roberts Creek. There will be an overview of the past three years, a presentation of what is to come for the convention Oct. 1 to 6 here on the Sunshine Coast, official spokespersons will be introduced and a silent auction fundraiser promoting local businesses and sponsor partners.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through

The countries represented at the convention to date via nominations have increased from 10 in 2012 to 14 this year: Canada, Romania, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, USA, India, Scotland, England, Malaysia, Italy, Pakistan and Turkey. Organizers anticipate another four to five countries joining the represented ranks.

The awards, convention and festival event is not restricted to autistic people, although the inception and concept was created by autistic people in an effort to showcase and build partnerships between the autistic and mainstream communities. Collaborations and sponsor partnerships are clear outcomes since 2010, the inaugural event.

The award categories include visual, performing, literary arts, entrepreneur, technology, sports, community achievement, community mentor and community leadership organization.

All nominations are judged by a broad international community of judges from the broadcasting and entertainment industries, sports, technology, business and humanitarian outreach. The judges are selected on their lifetime of achievement for contribution in their respective fields and are not directly connected to autism. Each judge is given three categories to judge. The judges do not personally know or have any direct connection with one another.

The INAP awards, convention and festival is an opportunity for the autistic community, their sponsor partners and collaborative partners to be showcased in an effort to educate the greater public about the autistic community, those under the special needs umbrella of diverse abilities and those organizations and individuals who have been instrumental, creative and innovative in their supports and outreach.

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