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What I (Don’t) Know About Autism - Monday

Event date: 03/03/2024 19:00 - 04/03/2024 14:30 Export event

Autism Acceptance Festival

DCU, NCI and ATU Sligo are, respectively, the first, second and third HEIs in Ireland to receive AsIAm designation as Autism Friendly HEIs. This year, CCT, DkIT and NCAD are in the processing of applying for this designation.

In 2024, we six higher education institutes are proud to work together to host the first Autism Acceptance Festival, a series of public-facing events to centre autistic people and promote autism acceptance. All events will be online and free to attend.

Learn more about the speakers in this event and find more events in this series by visiting our Festival Hub.

What I (Don’t) Know About Autism

A play by Jody O’Neill
With cast including Eleanor Walsh

Inspired by the writer’s own experience with autism and using narrative, song and dance, this play is a sometimes comic, sometimes heart-breaking look at the world of autism. Performed by a cast of autistic and non-autistic actors, it celebrates autistic identity whilst offering deeper insight and understanding to non-autistic audiences. 

On Sunday 3rd March at 7pm, we invite you to an exclusive watch party of this play. If you can’t join at this time, watch at a time to suit you between 1st-10th March.

On Monday 4th March at 1pm, Jody and Eleanor will be interviewed by Fiona Earley, Autism Friendly University Coordinator at DCU, and joined by an expert panel, including Eleanor McSherry (filmmaker and lecturer), Anne Tannam (poet and creative coach) and Lauren Melissa Ellzey (author and @Autienelle on Twitter/X), to discuss both the play itself and the broader topic of creativity and resilience (both generally and specifically in relation to autistic creatives).

All those who register for the Watch Party or for the interview and panel will be sent exclusive access to view the play after registering for the event.

Our Panelists

Speakers at Everything I (Don’t) Know About Autism

Speakers at Everything I (Don’t) Know About Autism

Bios for each of our speakers can be found at the end of the page.

Watch Party Details

Time: 7pm

Date: Sunday 3rd March

Discussion Details

Time: 1-2:30pm

Date: Monday 4th March

Other Events

If you are interested in finding out more about our other events, please visit our Festival Hub to check out what is happening.

More information on our panelists

Jody O’Neill

Jody is an autistic writer, performer, creative producer and disability advocate, based in Dublin. She has spent the past five years researching and developing making inclusive theatre that promotes acceptance, accessibility and social change. She wrote and co-produced (with The Abbey Theatre) the award-winning play, What I (Don’t) Know About Autism.

She is currently Theatre Artist-in-Residence at UCC and Cork Opera House, received a 2022 Markievicz Award, and was shortlisted for the Virgin Media Discovers Award 2022.

She is actively engaged in artist development. She offers dramaturgical input, mentorship and practical support in developing work (including advice on applications, development opportunities, etc.) to other artists. She recently founded The Working Group, an online work and peer support space for neurodivergent artists and creators. She facilitated the Abbey Begins programme for the Abbey Theatre in 2021. She was co-founder and curator of Project Brand New – a multidisciplinary new work platform at Project Arts Centre for several years.

Eleanor Walsh

Eleanor Walsh (she/her) is an actor, performer, writer, and an autism and disability advocate. She graduated from DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in 2017 with a BA (Hons) in Drama (Performance), and recent credits include Daughter of God (Asylum Productions), Yellow (Jody O’Neill), What I (Don't) Know About Autism (Abbey Theatre), and Dear Ireland: Part One (These Four Walls by Sinéad Burke) (Abbey Theatre). She is currently writing her first play with support from Barnstorm Theatre Company. She also consults on Relaxed Performance and sensory-friendly theatre, autistic representation, and making theatre and society more inclusive for autistic and neurodivergent people.

Eleanor is a Youth Ambassador for AsIAm, the national autism advocacy organisation, and has spoken at a number of their conferences. She has also addressed NUI Galway’s Disability Summer School and Femfest (National Women's Council of Ireland). She has written for the Irish Independent, featured in Irish Country Magazine, and featured on two episodes of Stage Door Live, the Irish theatre web show, all discussing autism. Eleanor is featured in "Be Inspired! Young Irish People Changing the World" by Sarah Webb, published by O'Brien Press.

Eleanor McSherry

Eleanor McSherry BA MA PGCertTLHEd is a highly qualified Programme Coordinator/designer, researcher and lecturer with UCC (ACE). She lectures and gives workshops, in the areas of neurodiversity in the screen industry, autism studies, advocacy, disability studies, mental health, film scriptwriting, creative writing, film and media. She is currently doing her PhD within Maynooth University’s Media Department and is autistic.

Eleanor has been heavily involved in the film industry in Limerick as a filmmaker, advocate and representative, since 2008. She has been a multi-shortlisted short film scriptwriter since 2009 and has worked in several roles with various production companies in the Mid-West of Ireland. She has been a freelance journalist for many years including, until recently, with Film Ireland. She also has worked with several film festivals, in roles such as a creative director, public relations and film judge.

Lauren Melissa Ellzey

Lauren Melissa Ellzey (she/her), known across social media as @Autienelle, is an autistic self-advocate, author, educator, and activist. Her young adult novels, Boy at the Window, Gimmicks and Glamour, and StreamLine (July 2024), emphasize the importance of belonging for queer, neurodivergent youth of color. Through writing and presenting, she highlights the inequitable systems that oppress queer, BIPOC, and disabled folks. Her work has crossed paths with NeuroClastic, New York University, Reframing Autism, Cripple Media, AbleZine, Think Inclusive, and the United Nations. She holds an MS in Library and Information Science and resides in New York City.

Anne Tannam

Anne Tannam is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) who helps creatives design and sustain flourishing practices. For more on Anne’s coaching, visit She is also the author of three poetry collections, with a fourth, ‘dismantle’ published in Spring 2024 with Salmon Poetry. She is the current Poet in Residence with Poetry Ireland and DCU. For more on Anne’s poetry, visit