Skip to content
photos of IACC meetings
Banner for the Special Event for Autism Acceptance Month, which includes the title Sound Tracks: An Artistic Journey to Belonging and pictures of Blair Bunting, Laura Nadine, John Schaffer, and Denise Resnik.

NIMH/ONAC Special Event for Autism Acceptance Month

Sound Tracks: An Artistic Journey to Belonging

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Office of National Autism Coordination (ONAC) are pleased to host the 11th Annual Autism Acceptance Month Special Event, Sound Tracks: An Artistic Journey to Belonging. This hybrid event will feature autistic photographer Blair Bunting, autistic violinist Laura Nadine, and neurodivergent filmmaker John Schaffer. The event will include a showing of the film Sound Tracks, directed by Mr. Schaffer and featuring Mr. Bunting and Ms. Nadine, as well as Q&A with the artists and remarks from Denise Resnik of First Place AZ, the non-profit organization that sponsored the film.

meeting webcast Video

meeting announcement Event Information
Topic Topic Description
Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET
In-Person Location:
NIH Clinical Center
Lipsett Amphitheater
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892
Event Arrival
Please plan to add at least 45 minutes to your travel to accommodate NIH security procedures. For more information, click on the link below:
Virtual Access: This will be a hybrid event and also accessible to the public virtually through NIH VideoCast
If you experience technical problems, please e-mail
Registration: Pre-registration is recommended. Register now.
Cost: The event is free and open to the public.
Disability Accommodations: Captioning is available on NIH videocast. Individuals who need sign language interpreters, CART, and/or other reasonable accommodations to participate in this event in-person or online may contact Rebecca Martin at or 301-435-0886. Please make accommodation requests 7 business days prior to the event. This is a family-friendly hybrid event.

meeting agenda Agenda
Time Event
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Susan Daniels, Ph.D.
National Autism Coordinator; Director, Office of National Autism Coordination, NIMH; Executive Secretary, Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Denise Resnik
Founder, President, and CEO, First Place Arizona
Film Screening: Sound Tracks
Live Interview with All Artists
Audience Q&A
Closing Remarks
Susan Daniels, Ph.D.
National Autism Coordinator; Director, Office of National Autism Coordination, NIMH; Executive Secretary, Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
 3:30 p.m.
Sponsored by First Place Arizona
Denise Resnik
Founder, President, and CEO, First Place Arizona
Video Presentation: First Place Global Leadership Institute

meeting speakers Speakers

Blair Bunting


Blair Bunting is an autistic photographer based in Phoenix, Arizona, specializing in portraits of professional athletes for commercial sports campaigns. Blair has shot campaigns around the globe for a diverse list of clients that range from the Discovery Channel to athletes photographed for Muscle Milk to the auto company Chevrolet.

Full biography, photo gallery, and more

Laura Nadine


Laura Nadine is an autistic composer, violinist, teacher, and advocate based in Ontario, Canada. Laura has nearly three decades of experience as a music teacher and is the Program Director of Studio Laura Nadine, which seeks to provide opportunities to help everyone, including students with disabilities, unlock their musical potential and experience the joy of music.

Full biography, photo gallery, and more

John Schaffer


John Schaffer is a neurodivergent filmmaker and cofounder of Wild Asperagus Productions, a small video production company that makes short documentaries primarily with and about people with autism and other disabilities. John has directed eight movies with a disability theme and a similar message of acceptance and appreciation for all people.

Full biography, photo gallery, and more

Denise Resnik

Denise Resnik

Denise Resnik is the mother of a son on the autism spectrum and founder and president/CEO of First Place AZ (established in 2012), cofounder of the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC, established in 1997), and founder and CEO of the DRA Collective, a marketing/communications firm (established in 1986) that serves clients in a variety of fields, including real estate, economic development, health care, education, and hospitality. Denise has formerly served on the Autism Society Marketing Task Force, Autism Speaks Housing Committee, Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism Leadership Council, National Association of Residential Providers for Adults with Autism, and the National Autism Transition Research Network Advisory Panel. She has also served as a member of the IACC. Denise graduated cum laude from Arizona State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

meeting webcast About Sound Tracks

Sound Tracks is a short film directed by John Schaffer and features two autistic artists, photographer Blair Bunting and composer and musician Laura Nadine. Blair and Laura “converse” about their art, their creative process, and how autism has impacted their art. The film is sponsored by First Place AZ, a charitable non-profit developer of supportive housing and community options for adults with autism and/or other intellectual/developmental disabilities, as well as a residential transition program for adults with autism.

meeting materials Additional Materials

Back to Top