2017 College Inclusion Summit

Learn about the 2018 Summit

Testimonials from the 2017 College Inclusion Summit

Brett Nachman

“This work matters… on a personal level, it matters on a professional level.”

Kate Viezel

“…incredibly satisfying and inspirational to finally meet with a group of colleagues that were facing the same challenges that my team and I address every day. The College Autism Network is a real game changer… now college-based practitioners have a fabulous and easy-to-use resource to help them make informed decisions about best practices for working with college students with autism.”

Ellen Goedert

“The Summit was one of my favorite parts of my work with CAN… “

“…really, really exciting to know that there are other people out there with similar interests.”

Presentation Examples from the 2017 College Inclusion Summit

How Are We Going to Pay for This?

Brett Bauch, MBA, ChSNC, CFP Telemachus Wealth Resources

This discussion will highlight ten potential options for funding supplemental college support programs.  Platforms addressed will include:  ABLE accounts, Scholarships, 529s, SSI, Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs, Special Needs Trusts, UTMAs, and other funding options that should receive consideration.  The goal will be a working knowledge of the various platforms which will offer valuable context to the financial issues facing families entering this complex transition phase.

High Quality Vocational Evaluation Tools for Students with ASD

James Williams, Chief Operating Officer/Vocational Expert/College Program Consultant, Bloom Consulting

This discussion will focus on using the research-based tools and methodology needed to ensure an accurate and appropriate vocational evaluation and employment goal. Using high-quality psychometric, environmental, and employment instruments, a vocational expert will explain how to empower families, schools, and, students with the information they need to make an informed choice regarding their future post-secondary employment, education, and independent living goals.

Aspergers & Popular Culture Presentation

John Sheehan, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

A look at Asperger’s Syndrome through the lens of characters in popular culture (Dwight Schrute & Sheldon Cooper, in particular) to highlight why these characters are popular, to help illustrate symptoms of Asperger’s, and to show the growing effects of autism (and particularly Asperger’s) on the campus community both inside and outside of the classroom.

CASE: Connections for Academic Success & Employment

DeAnn Lechtenberger, Ph.D.; Program Director for CASE Program at the Texas Tech University’s Burkhart Center for Autism

This presentation will provide participants with information on an innovative and fully inclusive support program for college students with autism and other developmental disabilities at Texas Tech University. Students are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate academic degree or certification program at Texas Tech University or a local community college, South Plains College. This presentation will describe the CASE program and its five year outcomes at the Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research on the Texas Tech campus.

Academic Anxiety in the Brain

Rachel Pizzie, Department of Education, Dartmouth College

Many students experience anxiety in response to particular subjects, such as math, science, or writing, or sometimes even to school or testing in general. This talk will explore these academic anxieties, including how the brain responds when someone is anxious versus when someone is calm, and ways in which we might combat the negative effects of anxiety on school performance.

Fostering Career Readiness: Introducing “Landmark Works”

Jan Coplan, Director of Career Connections, Landmark College

Connecting Classroom and Career: How do you improve communication skills, build confidence and professionalism in students with little workforce experience?  Implement a comprehensive campus work program.  “Landmark Works” is a college wide initiative with an overarching goal of helping students see, in practical ways, the connection between academics and the world of work. The key component is a one credit course that provides both classroom and workplace hours to improve career readiness skills in neurodiverse students. Come hear how the program has led to greater academic alignment and an enthusiasm for expanding the impact of the program.

Out of the Frying Pan: Challenges and Benefits of Professional Internships for Diverse Learners

Perry LaRoque, Founder and President, Mansfield Hall

This presentation will examine the obstacles of creating a successful internship program for diverse learners and the enduring benefits of participation. We will explore the challenges of discrimination, aligning with institutional policies and expectations, and overcoming objections in the workplace. We will also review the strategic implementation, requisite skill development, and embedded support needed for success. Finally, we will share the positive outcomes that overwhelmingly justify the transition from the frying pan to the fire.

Researcher Summaries from 2017 Summit

Additional Resources

Including training materials and presentations from other events…

[Event] INSAR 2019

The 2019 INSAR conference included several posters about postsecondary education and a Special Interest Group on the topic led by Brad Cox, Brett Nachman, and Jiedi Lei.

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[Event] INSAR2018 – Are Autistic Students More Stigmatized Than Other Types of Neurodiverse College Students?

We compared stigma towards college students with different disorders and examined factors that contribute to stigma towards autism in particular. Findings suggest that autism is less stigmatized on college campuses than disorders like psychopathy and schizophrenia which may be perceived as dangerous. Indeed, stigma towards the label “autism” was associated with perceived dangerousness. Stigma was consistently related to quality of prior contact with autism, suggesting that interventions which put autistic students into high quality contact with peers are powerful tools for stigma reduction.

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[Event] ASCA 2018 – Concurrent Session – Autism and the Student Conduct Process: Support Begins with Understanding

Campuses are seeing an increase in the number of students with diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger’s Syndrome.
These students bring with them social, behavioral and communication challenges that may be disruptive or misunderstood by the
community, leading to allegations of misconduct. Participants will learn about these traits and the strategies that might make a
difference in responding to these students.

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[Event] ASCA 2018 – Pre-Con – Students on the Autism Spectrum: Responding to a Growing Population

Campuses are seeing an increase in the number of students with diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger’s Syndrome. These students bring with them social, behavioral and communication challenges that may be disruptive or misunderstood by the community, leading to allegations of misconduct. Participants will learn about these traits and the strategies that might make a difference in responding to these students.

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[Event] ASHE Presentation

ASHE Presentation Houston, TX, Nov. 2017 In Search of Actionable Insights Regarding College Students with Autism: A Systematic Literature Review This paper draws from a systematic review of articles published since 2000 to summarize what is currently known about...

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[Event] Texas Tech Think Tank

How many students with autism are coming to college? Recent estimates say by 2020 it could be as many as 433,000. This session highlights the four main challenges when it comes to college students with autism. These include the individual, the institution they are attending, the school system itself, and misunderstandings from society.

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[Event] American College Personnel Association 2017 Conference

Over 50,000 students with Autism will enroll in college each fall, a number that is growing annually. How are campuses responding? A review of sixteen major higher education journals shows scant interest in this population. But strategies must begin with research. This session will highlight a current study that looks at peer perceptions of students with Autism. The findings offer insights into developing a campus culture where students with Autism are understood and more likely to succeed.

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[Event] NASPA 2017 Annual Conference: Pre-Con

NASPA 2017 Annual Conference: Pre-Con Students with Autism: Inclusion Begins with Understanding Saturday, March 11, 2017, San Antonio, TX     Presented By: Personal website About the Conference NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health,...

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[Event] 36th Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience

Campuses are seeing an increase in the number of students with diagnoses of Autism/Asperger Syndrome. These students bring with them both remarkable talents and resilience as well as social, behavioral and communication challenges that can complicate their campus experience. First-year students with autism are especially vulnerable because of the challenges they face responding to transitions. Participants will learn about autism: its common characteristics and how those may be problematic, and how a campus can become a more inclusive place for students on the spectrum.

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Students on the Autism Spectrum: RA Training Module

Download these training materials through the button below, or read the individual sections through the tabs below The purpose of this training module is to provide Resident Assistants (RAs) with 1) an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and its characteristics...

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[Event] 2017 Association for Student Conduct Association Conference

The rise in the number of college students with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger Syndrome challenges our campuses to respond with services that support these unique, smart and sometimes-challenging students.  Three senior student conduct officers will share their experiences with, and insights about, a population that requires us to think differently about our work.

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[Event] 2017 NASPA Mental Health Conference: A NASPA Strategies Conference

More students come to campus each year with diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger’s.  How can we help our campuses be more flexible environments and our colleagues be more knowledgeable advocates to better serve these students?  Too often, it is the counseling center and the disabilities services staff who are charged with “managing” these complex students.  This session will provide guidance to counseling and disabilities staff who want to empower everyone on campus to support these students

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[Event] Mental Health Matters Conference 2016

Mental Health Matters 2016 Conference Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum: What We Know and How We Can Make a Difference   Presented by: Personal website The second annual Mental Health Matters (MHM) conference continues its original mission to bring...

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[Training] Conduct and Students on the Autism Spectrum

Educators and administrators may have a difficult time in navigating conduct issues with students on the autism spectrum. An upcoming webinar from StudentAffairs.com, facilitated by Dr. Jane Theirfield Brown of Yale University , aims to help professionals work through...

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[Internship] Curriculum Development and Training

The Curriculum Development Interns will play an integral role in developing and identifying the training initiatives of the College Autism Network (CAN). The interns will develop curricula, materials, and resources for distinct stakeholder audiences. One intern will focus on training for postsecondary administrators and instructors; the other intern will focus on training for autistic students and their advocates. Curriculum Development Interns will also deliver training programs locally and nationally, both in-person and online. The interns will work closely with other team members of CAN to produce training materials that are evidence-based, accessible to all types of learners, and scalable across multiple platforms.

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[Internship] Institutional Outreach

The Institutional Outreach Intern will cultivate effective working relationships between the College Autism Network (CAN) and institutional stakeholders at colleges and universities from across the country as well as connections among campus-based ASD programs. The intern will connect with student advocates and college administrators at campus-based ASD programs to gather information on specific initiatives, research, and good practices designed to support college students with autism. The person in this position will work with CAN’s Student Advocacy and Support team to highlight these initiatives by writing blog posts, producing program summaries, and contributing to an online database of programs and services that facilitate postsecondary success for autistic students.

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[Internship] Student Organizations

The Student Organizations Intern will play an active role in building grassroots, student-led organizations supported by the College Autism Network (CAN). As part of CAN’s Student Advocacy and Support team, the person in this position will work with active undergraduate students to initiate, develop, and advise a new FSU student organization supporting and advocating for students with autism. In addition, the intern will work to identify and interface with similar student organizations at universities across the country, ultimately creating a national network of student organizations.

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[Training] Supporting Students with Disabilities

This website provides the viewer with free and interactive learning modules. These modules inform the viewer of basic information of each disability listed. This information includes myths/facts, definitions, implications for learning, a video, and a scenario section. Click this link to access an interactive free educational resource that highlights many disabilities that impact students on our campuses!

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[Internship] Web Design & Development

The Web Design and Development Intern plays an integral role in the development of the College Autism Network’s (CAN) online presence. Working with other members of the Media and Communication team (Graphic Design, Video Production, Social Media, and Public Relations), the Web Design and Development Intern will oversee CAN’s websites. Building upon the visual and structural foundation of the current website, the intern will post new content and ensure effective maintenance of the main CAN website (CollegeAutismNetwork.org). The intern will also lead the design and development of a new website for CAN’s newest initiative, the CanDoCollege project, a guide for student self-advocates loosely modeled after “Humans of New York.”

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[Internship] Social Media

The Social Media Intern manages the College Autism Network’s (CAN) social media presence. Working with other members of the Media and Communication team (Graphic Design, Video Production, Web Development and Design, and Public Relations), the Social Media Intern will leverage social media to cultivate an engaged network of stakeholders committed to improving college access, experiences, and outcomes for students with autism. The Social Media intern will manage the day-to-day activities of CAN’s Facebook and Twitter account, implement processes to facilitate efficient interaction with our digital clientele, and work with the leadership team to develop a long-term strategy for the College Autism Network’s social media efforts.

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[Internship] Public Relations

The Public Relations (PR) Intern oversees the media relations functions of the College Autism Network (CAN). This PR specialist will establish relationships with local and national press outlets for the purpose of securing placement in paper, TV, and online publications. As part of the Media and Communication team (Graphic Design, Video Production, Web Development and Design, and Social Media) the PR intern will help accelerate the growing media presence of CAN.

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[Internship] Video Production

The Video Production Intern will play an active role developing videos that will shape public perceptions about autism and the College Autism Network (CAN). The intern will work with a Media & Communication team (Graphic Design, Website, Social Media, and Public Relations) to produce short, videos that will be used for public advocacy, marketing, training, and content dissemination. The intern will also lead the production of videos for CAN’s signature CanDoCollege project, which will post weekly videos, pictures, and/or essays highlighting individual college students with autism. We envision the intern creating material inspired by projects like Humans of New York and I, Too, Am Harvard.

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[Training] What is autism?

What is Autism? Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) In this presentation, Kerry Thompson provides a thematic and historical overview of autism, addressing questions regarding the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of autism. Presented By: University of...

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[Event] FSU Autism Superhero 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run

On Saturday, April 9th, the FSU Autism Institute and the Tallahassee community will be “Running to Put the Pieces Together” in our 9th Annual Superhero 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run at the Northwood Centre! Your support of the FSU Autism Superhero 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run will help us provide valuable services such as consultation, resources and educational support free of charge to individuals with ASD, their families and professionals who work with them. So come join us on April 9th and be a SUPERHERO for Autism!

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[Event] UROP

Hosted by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement (CRE), the Symposium is an annual showcase for undergraduate student researchers from across campus to present their work to the university community. Presenters: Florida State University Florida...

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[Event] AAIDD

To address this gap in existing research, our study sought out firsthand accounts of college students with autism. Student testimonials were gathered from the website WrongPlanet.net: an online resource for individuals on the autism spectrum that provides articles,...

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[Research] FLASHA 2015

Best Poster Award at the 2015 FLASHA conference. Findings emphasize how students make sense of the college transition process and how they communicate with each other in an online forum.

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[Research] AERA 2015

How do adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder make sense of and respond to autism-specific barriers to postsecondary success? Drawing data from in-person interviews of adults with ASD who have attended college, this study amplifies the voice of an often-overlooked population of college students and highlights opportunities to improve postsecondary experiences for students with ASD.

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[Training] NASPA 2016

Autism in Higher Education: Barriers and Bridges in a Changing Landscape

1:15-2:05 PM on Monday, March 14th in Meeting Room 130 of the Indianapolis Convention Center

Through the lens of student vignettes, the audience will discuss the autistic student experience on campus and learn why common institutional practices may need to be amended in order to better serve this population.

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Support CAN – Become a Member

The College Autism Network (CAN) is a nonprofit organization run almost entirely by dedicated professionals and students who volunteer their time, resources, and expertise to support college success for students with autism.

But websites, videos, curricula, presentations, and events cost money.
So we need your help!