Tuesday A (10:45-11:35)
|Navigating the Disability Services Office||Patricia Violi, M.Ed.,Disability Specialist, University of Nevada, Las Vegas||Tips for helping your students navigate the Disability Services Office and assisting them in advocating for appropriate academic accommodations.
This session will give Autism program staff the tools needed to support their students as they request and use accommodations in college.
|Bridging the Education to Employment Success for Autistic College Students||Valerie D’Astous, Director of the Utah Neurodiversity Workforce Program; University of Utah||Detailed is the replicable, successful model pathway of preparation, support, and work-based learning opportunities for college students on the autism spectrum to improve their academic/career trajectory.
Identified is the process of raising awareness among faculty and staff, providing effective strategies for student success and using existing college infrastructure to facilitate experiences and opportunities for autistic students to transition from academia to meaningful, competitive employment.
|Strategies from Faculty: Neurodiversity-Friendly Teaching||Solvegi Shmulsky, Professor of Psychology, Director of the Center for Neurodiversity, Landmark CollegeKen Gobbo, Professor of Psychology, Landmark CollegeMichelle Bower, Professor of Mathematics, Landmark College||How do college faculty successfully engage students who have autism? In two qualitative studies, we interviewed experienced college faculty about how they teach students on the spectrum. We will present their classroom strategies for making instruction more neurodiversity-friendly. This session will include an interactive component where participants can bring their own experience into the conversation.|
Tuesday B (1:45-2:35)
|Autism Goes to College: What students have to say about it||Yasamine Bolourian, SEARCH FellowGraduate School of EducationUniversity of California, Riverside||Narratives of the college experience from youth on the autism spectrum have been useful for deriving ways to increase college success.
This presentation will focus on the social, emotional and academic obstacles of these college students, and contrast them to those of students with ADHD, another “invisible” disability that brings its own set of challenges. Issues to be discussed include disclosure of diagnosis, self-awareness, academic expectations, co-morbid conditions, medication use, and anticipation of the future.
|Tips and Tricks for College Success||Sarah McMaine-Render, Peyton Collins, Ryan McKenna, Jonathan BeatyKelly Autism Program, Western Kentucky University||This panel will discuss common issues that many ASD students face while in college and strategies that can be implemented during high school to help.,Members of this panel work daily with 60 plus students who are part of the Kelly Autism Program’s Circle of Support at Western Kentucky University. KAP staff focuses on all aspects of the student life, not just the academics.
This approach has helped staff to identify common issues among our students and pushed us to think critically about strategies and resources that should be developed before coming to college. This panel will present a set of strategies and resources that families and professionals can use in high school in hopes of creating a smoother transition for the individuals entering college.
|Beyond Accommodations: Support Services for Students on the Spectrum at Two Texas Universities||Tonya Paulette, Student Accessibility Services Director (UT RGV)Leila Flores-Torres, Student Accessibility Services Assistant Director (UT RGV)Kerry Tate, Student AccessAbility Services Director (UT Dallas)||Student Accessibility Services at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley initiated a pilot program to offer supports beyond accommodations to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Student AccessAbility Services at University of Texas Dallas has served over 650 students on the spectrum in an academic year through a variety of supports.
Tuesday C (2:45-3:35)
|Building a Better Workforce: Helping Employers See the Benefits of Neurodiversity and Empowering Jobseekers||Jan Coplan, Director of Career Connections at Landmark College,Jessica Nelson, Associate Director of Career Connections at Landmark College and Lead Coordinator of “Landmark Works” (a campus-wide student employment and internship program).||Learn how to build partnerships and create a more positive professional experience for neurodiverse clients, with a focus on the competitive advantages they bring to the workplace. This presentation will provide strategies and tools how to partner with employers to help them consider more inclusive hiring and supervisory practices. We will also focus on ways to empower neurodiverse jobseekers when faced with such challenges as disclosure and requesting workplace accommodations.|
|An Examination of the Mental Health Needs of College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders||Dr. Jodi Duke, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Special Education at George Mason University.||This presentation will focus on the mental health needs of college students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), with emphasis on needs, systemic barriers and evidence-based practices that can be used to support the development of coping skills.|
|Discovering Community at Community Colleges: Opportunities and Avenues of Support for Students with Autism||Brett Ranon Nachman, PhD Student at University of Wisconsin-Madison||Reflecting the influx of students with ASD enrolling at community colleges, this presentation will highlight both studies and programs that capture and serve these students’ experiences. Nachman will also will discuss the implications of students with ASD frequently being overlooked in the higher education landscape, and provide ideas about how their needs can be more effectively addressed. Throughout, Nachman will integrate his own personal story as a student with Asperger’s who navigated the community college system.|
Wednesday D (10:15-11:05)
|Developing Participatory Supports for and with Autistic College Students: Project [email protected]||Kristen Gillespie-Lynch, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the College of Staten Island & the Graduate Center, CUNY||Interventions to help autistic college students succeed are often neither evidence-based nor informed by the perspectives of autistic students. In response to the need for programming that aligns with the needs and interests of autistic students, we developed a participatory mentorship program, Project REACH @ CUNY, in which neurodiverse students play leadership roles in developing, delivering, and evaluating programming. We will share strategies for empowering autistic students in developing writing, self-advocacy and employment-related skills.|
|Developing, Implementing, and Modifying: The Growth of a College Autism Support Program||Cherie Fishbaugh, Director of Autism Services, West Chester University Corinne Murphy, Assistant Vice Provost, West Chester University||This presentation will include a description of the development of a program from key contributors, collaboration on and off campus, and research on focus areas. In addition, two year outcome data will be discussed with regards to (but not limited to) retention, skill development, distribution of support hours, and enrollment.|
|Preparing for the Next Phase—Job search 101—The Employer’s perspective||Tracy Powell-Rudy
Integrate Advisors Director of Corporate Engagement
Integrate-Autism Employment Advisors
|Based on Integrate’s premier Employer Connect program, working with companies such as NBC Universal, Cisco, PwC and LinkedIn, this presentation will discuss best practices in effectively navigating the job search process and supporting a “ work ready” college graduate. With particular focus on the challenges of networking, utilizing specific features and functionality on LinkedIn (i.e., groups and alumni search) we will also provide a high level overview of how Integrate ensures its clients (employers) are “autism friendly”.|
|How to Help Parents Be the Best Possible Partners||Jasmine Lamb: Director, Mansfield Hall||Our parents have been exemplary advocates for their children’s education. And yet the advocacy our students need is often different from what they needed in elementary and secondary education. This can create tensions in the partnership of parents and programs. Let’s talk about how to support and challenge parents to shift their advocacy and understanding of their children’s needs to provide the best context for academic success and independent life skill acquisition. Join us for more of a conversation than a presentation.|