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Showing Revision 1 created 08/14/2020 by Hailey Ron-Dorrough.

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    Hi, Im Evelyn Peña and I'm an associate
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    professor at Cal Lutheran University.
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    I am also the director of the Autism
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    Communications Center, which is the center
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    that focuses on inclusion, communication,
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    access, and higher education, for people
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    with autism or autistic individuals.
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    This is my son, Diego Peña, he is doing a
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    camio today and Diego would like to
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    introduce himself using the letter board
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    since he is non speaking.
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    So he has his communication partner with
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    him and they are going to spell out
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    something.
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    (Communication Partner) H.E.L.L.O. A.L.L.
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    Hello all. Ok, back straight.
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    M.Y. N.A M.E. I.S. D.I E.G.O.
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    Hello all, my name is Deigo.
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    Evelyn: Awesome, so just a little bit
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    about Deigo, he is going into 7th grade.
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    He is fully included in general education
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    and he is a presenter at conferences and a
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    best selling book author of the book,
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    Anatomy of Autism, so that is us and
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    we're excited to be here.
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    So, Diego is really excited to talk about
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    inclusion, not only in his book but also
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    share his thoughts.
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    I think that is so important in relation
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    to the Americans with Disability Act
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    because it provided an avenue for
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    inclusion in the community, higher
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    education, and employment.
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    As a young activist, Diego has experienced
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    inclusion in school so he wanted to share
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    some words that he typed out.
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    He is going to share them through his iPad
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    , which he calls his talker.
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    (iPad): I think the culture of inclusion
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    is important to have in order to implement
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    strategies be successful for autistic
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    students in a general education classroom.
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    Without inclusion, I wouldn't be able to
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    be in general education setting.
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    Having autism has limited me both verbally
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    and physically.
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    I thankfully have access to communication
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    by typing and this form of communicaion
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    has given me opportunity to be
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    included in general education classes and
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    activities in the community.
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    Evelyn: Thanks, Diego. So the first time I
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    really learned about the Disabilities Act
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    was when I was researching what it would
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    take to support my son, Diego,
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    He's autistic, you just met him, to go to
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    college essentially.
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    When I learned he had autism I didn't know
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    anything about whether or not people had
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    access to college if they had a diagnosis
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    of autism or what the precedent was for
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    that.
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    So, I really started looking into it and I
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    did learn that, yes, autistic students do
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    go to college. Which is wonderful.
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    At that time this was, you know, when
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    Diego was diagnosed.
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    It was 8 years ago or 10 years ago and
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    there wasn't a lot of research out there
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    on autistic students going to college.
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    So, that was one area where I'm excited
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    that I've been able to do research and
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    publish some work on how we can support
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    autistic studetns to go to college and
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    become successful. But, really the ADA
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    (Americans with Disabilities Act)
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    is so important for autistic students and
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    students with disabilites in general, just
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    to make sure that they have access to
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    academic curriculums, that they are
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    getting accommidations that they need to
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    be successful in academic settings.
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    So, I really feel that the ADA has been a
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    key factor in making sure that students
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    with disabilities are included in college
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    and university settings.
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    Certainly the ADA has provided a lot of
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    opportunities for students with
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    disabilities. So, I'm grateful for that.
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    I think there are some areas that we need
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    to think about, that the ADA does have
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    some limitations.
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    One of them is that, many disablility
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    service offices on campuses at higher
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    education institutions require diagnosis
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    or documentation of neuropsychological
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    evaluation and this can cost upwards of
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    several thousand dollars for individuals
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    to get this diagnosis.
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    So I think there has been a lot of
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    progress lately where those offices are
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    saying, "Ok well, we will consider the IEP
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    document and your individual education
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    plan from high school as a form to
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    validate that you do need services".
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    But one thing we do need to work on a
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    little more is making sure that higher
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    education institutions, specifically the
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    disabiblity offices, are a bit more
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    flexible in making sure that students can
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    recieve accomidations without dropping
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    3 or 4 thousand dollars, in order to do
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    that.
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    The other thing that I think about a lot
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    is, while the ADA does provide important
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    accomidations that are resonable and
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    appropriate, to students.
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    I think that what I have learned