Blog 3: Comprehensive Institutions/Action Plans/Professional Presentation

Moving on to a new phase of my research on autism education, I have proceeded to two units. Unit #9 reflects on different comprehensive support programs that I have discovered when I was in Vermont at the College Inclusion Summit Conference where I met with several directors from their own institutions. During the conference, I showcased the autism support program I am a part of and picked up information on comprehensive support programs that do similar tasks about the support I receive. After learning about more than 20 different programs, I have chosen four programs that I think are relevant to the research I have conducted so far and what I hope to do moving forward. The names of the programs are listed below along with where they are located and the their websites for more information.

Program Name                                                                                 Location

Keep in mind that the support programs I am discussing have a mission to help students with ASD in Post Secondary Education reach independence. Every program operates differently than other ones, but they concentrate on the same areas that I have explained earlier in my research.

Unit #10 discusses the importance of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders having access to technologies and obtaining the permission to use them in post secondary educational environments. It is also a good resource for students with ASD to enhance their social behavior when communicating with others.

According to The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, “it acknowledges the instrumental role of assistive technologies in enabling persons with disabilities to exercise their rights and freedoms.” The convention also clarifies that UN Member States are obligated to advance the role of technologies by making them affordable, and accessible for post-secondary students who use technology more frequently instead of hand-writing. Statistically, more than 50% of individuals with autism spectrum disorders who need devices with others are unable to receive them.

Antonio Guterres introduced a different Strategy on New Technologies in September 2018. His plan is to know how United Nations system will fulfill the usage of technologies in educational environments and how will it be achieved by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. There are four values embodied in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the CRPD and other human rights conventions: Education and Equity, Inclusion and Transparency for independent living, employment, and education.

This year on autism awareness day, the UN Headquarters in New York will concentrate on expanding assistive technologies as a resource for people with autism as a tool to eliminate the barriers they face, and enable them to reach their fullest potential through economic and political participation in society, and in promoting equality, equity and inclusion. Topics to be addressed through discussions with self-advocates and experts include:

  • Independent living: Smart home technology and more
  • Education and employment: Communication and executive functioning
  • The right to be heard: Political participation and advocacy

This weekend, I presented my research at the 38th Annual Meeting of the Dyson Society of Fellows. It was a one-day student research that conference where I used a poster to explain my work on the importance of students with High Functioning Autism to be included in Post Secondary Educational Environments with their challenges and successes. The annual meeting has given me the opportunity to share my academic achievements with family, friends, and members of the Pace community and participate in an experience similar to presenting at a professional conference.