William Davenport, Director
Before becoming a teacher and autism activist William worked in commercial film production for many years, directing and producing television commercials and corporate productions. He has a Masters degree in Special Education, and an additional certificate in autism studies. He also has a Masters degree in Instructional Technology and a Bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Art. William has developed courses and taught filmmaking and technology at a number of institutions. He developed the first Digital Filmmaking curriculum for U.C. Berkeley; he has taught courses at San Francisco State University, San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking, Art Academy and the Art Institute of San Francisco. For three years he taught filmmaking, audio recording and journalism at a public high school. He was the Executive Director of the Autism Social Connection, where he created a unique filmmaking program for teaching social skills to children, teens and adults on the autism spectrum. William was a member of the Marin Autism Task Force, and a member of the San Francisco Inclusion Committee. He has completed two feature documentaries: “Too Sane for This World” (2011) and “Citizen Autistic” (2013), and is working on a documentary about experimental and noise music titled "Unsound Redux".
Robyn Steward, 27, lives in London (UK). She first met William Davenport by cold calling organizations for her first visit to the USA. Since welcoming her into his home, Robyn and William have kept touch, collaborating with each other on projects. Her first book, The Independent Woman's Handbook for Super Safe Living on the Autistic Spectrum, was published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She is a trainer for professionals and mentor for others on the spectrum as well as providing consulting services. Robyn is an artist and musician. The song "Panic Attacks," featured in TOO SANE FOR THIS WORLD, was released on Delektra Records on September 2013 and appears on the Super Safe Living EP available in a limited press of 111 hand painted copies and for digital download. Robyn's website can be found at www.robynsteward.com Greg Yates
Gregory Yates was in childhood a head-banging, toe-walking and sensory-overloaded "little professor" with focused interests in electronics and, later, brains. Born to a family of big professors Greg studied biophysics at UC Berkeley and was briefly in a PhD program in Psychology at MIT. With this background he realized that he was on the autism spectrum and had feet in both autistic and neurotypical worlds. Greg went on to co-found and co-direct the Autism, Asperger Syndrome Spectrum Coalition for Education, Networking, and Development (AASCEND), a collaboration of autistic adults, family members, and autism professionals –– now America's oldest adult-autism support nonprofit. Greg continues independent work in brain science (autismtheory.org, dragonpuzzle.net) and is an avid student of non-dogmatic spiritual practice with decades of experience in Zen meditation, prayer, and suicide prevention. Also a cancer survivor, he works happily as a part-time handyman in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Born in Taiwan in 1969 and immigrated to San Francisco in 1978, Jacob Wang was diagnosed with PDD-NOS in 1990, which was eventually changed to Aspergers in 2001. He has been a member of AASCEND for the last 10 years and currently works as a scanning clerk at the California Division of the State Architect's Oakland regional office.