Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Thursday, August 15, 2013

How Does This Look In College?

At NCIE, I saw a lot about AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication.) I'm on a Neurodiversity Committee at my college. One of the things I told my committee (It really is mine: I'm not officially in charge, but no one really argues with me. They sometimes are a bit "OK, how do we do that?" but that's about as much as I get) was that it's not just autistic people who are specifically Aspergers going to college. It's not just people who get called "high functioning" going to college. (Functioning labels are made of fail anyways. Getting into specific support needs, though, is super-useful because it lets people get what help they need.) There are going to be nonspeaking Autistic people with significant support needs wanting to go to typical 4-year programs and access the general curriculum. It's estimated that 20 or fewer nonspeaking autistic people have earned college degrees to date (but that's not zero!) and there will be more. DJ is at Oberlin now, and Carly Fleischmann is about to go to University of Toronto this fall.

So at one of the presentations, when we were talking about inclusive classrooms, I asked what this would look like in college. The presenter actually gave me a link, which is great. There's just one problem: very little of it has anything to do with answering what inclusion looks like in the same sense it should be happening in elementary classrooms, just moved up to college. None of it is a full answer.

There were a bunch of programs; I'm just looking at ones that are at universities or colleges or community colleges- things that aren't just for people with intellectual disabilities. (I wasn't asking specifically about intellectual disability, by the way. So... no issues with programs meant mostly for ID as long as the personalization of supports is enough to get developmentally but not intellectually disabled students what they need, but I'm a bit mistrustful of trying to do it that way given the ways it's gone with other services that try to do that.)

They aren't what inclusive classrooms look like in college. TAPESTRY is only 25% of "instructional time" exclusively with other students with intellectual disabilities, which is nice, and it looks like there are some "typical courses for credit" stuff, but... the certificate is separate, and the curriculum isn't one of the main goals. CrossingPoints (University of Alabama) is apparently for people who are still in high school, and doesn't say anything about general curriculum. It's a separate certificate. Stepping Stones actually lists college course access as a goal! That's an improvement. But... 50% of the time in instruction with just other students with intellectual disability? Separate certificate? This is still kind of segregated...

Project Launch includes typical college courses, but it's not inclusive at all. All the time is just with other students with intellectual disabilities. Project FOCUS is inclusive, and it includes access to college courses as what seems to be the number one priority. So the fifth program on the list happening at a college campus is one that's worth looking at for "what does this look like in college?" It's still a separate certificate, though. Which isn't good- separate certificates mean it's a lot harder to get jobs later. (It would make sense to give an associates instead of a bachelors, since this program is typically 2 years and this school is a 4-year one, but associates degrees are things that are generally still offered at 4-year schools.)

Alameda's College to Career program lets students earn a typical 2-year degree, but 50% of the time is with only other students with intellectual disabilities. There seem to be a few locations of this program, too, and it's affordable. So there's some good and some meh. Something in between them and Project Launch might be an answer to what this looks like in college. Carly's experience, once she's there, might be an answer to what this looks like in college. 

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