SPEAKERS & PANEL MEMBERS.
RHI LLOYD- WILLIAMS
Rhi Lloyd-Williams is Managing Director of Autact Theatre CIC as well as being a poet, playwright and blogger. She also works as a workplace mentor and advocate for autistic adults and offers workplace autism training.
Rhi was diagnosed with autism in 2015, and like many late-diagnosed autistic women has worked in a range of fields from HR and payroll to libraries, schools, farms and even a mine. With the benefit of a diagnosis she can now see what worked and where the problems lie in supporting autistic people in employment.
Her debut play, “The Duck”, is currently touring. It is a one-woman piece exploring the nature of identity and acceptance around the theme of receiving an autism diagnosis later in life.
She has been writing about her own autism on her internationally popular blog, AutistRhi.com, for several years, using her lyrical style to communicate what being autistic has meant to her. She also co-hosts the Autistic Health and Wellbeing website AutismHWB.com, where autistic adults share their own strategies for improving their lives.
Rhi lives in the wilds of West Wales with her husband and five children.
JAMES & APRIL
April is a 13 year girl, who despite several challenges, including autism, has won awards and appeared as a STEM and robotics figure on TV all over the world, after competing in the UK and China with her own glitter-pink fighting robots. April competes in UK live combat events with her robots, is a guest speaker and STEM role model, multiple award winner, and has spoken at venues such as Cardiff University and IET in London. She continues to inspire young girls, and boys, to consider careers in science and engineering, and has visited both the Mercedes and Williams Fomula 1 teams, as part of the Dare 2B Different initiative. She has many new and exciting projects lined up in 2020, so has set up her own make-space in the Wrexham General Market, where she is creating new and exciting projects, and has her past robots on display. James is a robotics engineer, with late diagnosis neurodiversity. He has been involved in fighting robots since 1999, and has worked with the best teams in the world. James is a former racing driver, has trained as a pilot, but has a work history that starkly illustrates the challenges of neurodiversity in employment. James helps and supports April in her work, filling in any skills gaps or requirements that April cannot do herself, as she learns and develops her talents and capability. GlitterBombRobo is a unique brand created by April. It is promoted through social media, and covers many science based projects, including drones, prosthetics, 3D printing and robotics, but it is best known for the 110kg fighting robots that have been designed, built, and fought on the TV shows Robot Wars and Clash Bots.
Daniel M. Jones is an international best selling author , multi musician and video influencer with an award winning YouTube channel called The Aspie World .
The Aspie World is dedicated to Autism awareness and understanding from an autistic person's point of view. Daniel Has a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, OCD, ADHD and Dyslexia Daniel uses his influence to help educate people about Autism using his skills of
video and social media influence.
The Aspie World YouTube channel has won two awards, the YouTube NextUp 2017 and Top 40 Autism Youtube Channels winning position number 9.
At the age of four, Andrew Edwards was diagnosed with autism. “Go home and watch Rain Man,” the specialist told my mother. “In all probability your son will be institutionalised.”
Raised in a single parent household by his mother, Hazel Davies and encountering bureaucracy, bullying, and a lack of understanding from many around him, Andrew emerged from a turbulent childhood to win a Welsh National Young Volunteer Award and secure his dream job as a statistician at Manchester United Television.
After leaving MUTV after eleven and a half years in April 2014, Andrew secured a book deal to write his autistic memoir entitled “I’ve Got a Stat for You-My Life with Autism”. This was following an interview on his life with John Humphrys on BBC Radio Four’s flagship Today Programme on Easter Saturday 2015.
Since publication, “I’ve Got a Stat...” has received glowing testimonials from a wide range of well known personalities including acclaimed Comedian, writer and Broadcaster Stewart Lee, BBC’s Dan Walker, Sky Sports’ Hayley McQueen, Multi Award Winning Broadcaster, Writer and former England Cricket Captain Michael Atherton and Sky Sports Broadcaster and former British & Irish Lion, Will Greenwood.
Andrew has also been featured on BBC Radio Five Live and by the Daily Express.
He is now the author of three published books while he also gives speeches on his life with autism on a nonprofit basis and volunteers looking after the next generation of autistic youngsters.
From Wrexham to Buckingham Palace via The Houses of Parliament, Andrew’s life is a powerful and inspirational tale that shows how determination, a positive outlook, and the will to succeed can overcome all odds!
Mike is passionate about the development of people and their ideas. As a Coach on the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme, he works closely with some of Wales’ most exciting new businesses and as a freelancer himself, helps individuals and organisations all over the world overcome education, communication and engagement challenges. An advocate for public engagement with the arts and sciences, Mike regularly curates and hosts exhibitions, festivals and events in and around North Wales and supports others in doing the same.
Senior Training and Development Officer, Autism Together.
Autism Together evolved from a handful of families in 1968 and is now is one of the leading providers for services for people with autism.
Yvonne has been with the organisation for 20 years.
Yvonne is in the Autism Training and Advisory Service which is responsible for:
training internally and externally, autism advice sessions and workshops. They have just been awarded the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards for Community Engagement for their external training project on autism awareness and acceptance.
MIKE & YVONNE
Will also be joined by Rhi, Daniel and James from the keynotes section