Australia/World Autism Advocacy

My name is Zach Zaborny. I am 25, live in Fargo, North Dakota and I am on the autism spectrum. I was born prematurely, weighing only 1 pound, 12 ounces. I spent the first six months of my life in the hospital and had a tracheotomy tube for three years, with a feeding tube for two and a half years. Eventually, I grew up to have a fairly healthy and normal childhood. At 8 years of age, I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

After graduating from Kansas State University in 2012, with a Bachelors degree in Mass Communications, I began a path into autism advocacy. Beginning in 2014, I started traveling throughout the United States as an autism advocate, delivering a lecture on autism and the college experience, giving hope through humor and education through acceptance.

My lecture, which is called "Education of An Aspie: College Through My Eyes,"  starts by covering my initial diagnosis and childhood on the spectrum. I then address my high school years and transition into college, finally highlighting my college experience, including strategies and tips on how to be successful academically, socially and with outside extracurricular activities. I highlight several support systems that I found helpful and offer strategies for people on the spectrum, parents, teachers, professors, school administrators and support staff, at both the high school and college level. I end the lecture with my five keys to college success for people on the autism spectrum and a very opened and engaging question and answer session with the audience.

Since beginning my advocacy, I have spoken in Georgia, Idaho, Nebraska and North Dakota. I am scheduled to speak in Minnesota, Nevada and Colorado later this year.

In late April 2015, I was invited to speak at the 2015 Asia Pacific Autism Conference in Brisbane, Australia, taking place this September. I would love to attend and speak at the conference, but due to personal financial difficulties, which includes working multiple jobs to support myself, I am asking for help and support to make this dream happen, so that I might be able to make a positive impact on the lives of people with autism in Australia and ultimately, around the world! 

My goal is to help inform the world about the opportunities available for students on the autism spectrum after they graduate high school and let people know that there is hope as the transition into adulthood takes place. 

I fully believe that post-secondary education opportunities are possible for people on the autism spectrum and I am proof that the success is real! I want to share the proof with others and spread hope to as many people as I can, everywhere I go.

Thank you for your support!
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Zach Zaborny 
Fargo, ND
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