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Showing Revision 5 created 08/22/2020 by Cokro Tjakranegara.

  1. Hi, Im Evelyn Peña and I'm an associate
  2. professor at Cal Lutheran University.
  3. I am also the director of the Autism

  4. Communications Center, which is a university center
  5. that focuses on inclusion, communication,
  6. access, and higher education, for people
  7. with autism or autistic individuals.
  8. This is my son, Diego Peña, he is doing a
  9. camio today and Diego would like to
  10. introduce himself using the letter board
  11. since he is non speaking.
  12. So he has his communication partner with
  13. him and they are going to spell out
  14. something.
  15. (Communication Partner) H.E.L.L.O. A.L.L.
  16. Hello all. Ok, back straight.
  17. M.Y. N.A M.E. I.S. D.I E.G.O.
  18. Hello all, my name is Diego.
  19. Evelyn: Awesome, so just a little bit
  20. about Deigo, he is going into 7th grade.
  21. He is fully included in general education
  22. and he is a presenter at conferences and a
  23. best selling book author of the book,
  24. Anatomy of Autism, so that is us and
  25. we're excited to be here.
  26. So, Diego is really excited to talk about
  27. inclusion, not only in his book but also
  28. share his thoughts.
  29. I think that is so important in relation
  30. to the Americans with Disability Act
  31. because it provided an avenue for
  32. inclusion in the community, higher
  33. education, and employment.
  34. As a young activist, Diego has experienced
  35. inclusion in school so he wanted to share
  36. some words that he typed out.
  37. He is going to share them through his iPad
  38. , which he calls his talker.
  39. (iPad): I think the culture of inclusion
  40. is important to have in order to implement
  41. strategies be successful for autistic
  42. students in a general education classroom.
  43. Without inclusion, I wouldn't be able to
  44. be in general education setting.
  45. Having autism has limited me both verbally
  46. and physically.
  47. I thankfully have access to communication
  48. by typing and this form of communicaion
  49. has given me opportunity to be
  50. included in general education classes and
  51. activities in the community.
  52. Evelyn: Thanks, Diego. So the first time I
  53. really learned about the Amrican Disabilities Act
  54. was when I was researching what it would
  55. take to support my son, Diego,
  56. He's autistic, you just met him, to go to
  57. college essentially.
  58. When I learned he had autism I didn't know
  59. anything about whether or not people had
  60. access to college if they had a diagnosis
  61. of autism or what the precedent was for that
  62. So, I really started looking into it and I
  63. did learn that, yes, autistic students do
  64. go to college. Which is wonderful.
  65. At that time this was, you know, when
  66. Diego was diagnosed.
  67. It was 8 years ago or 10 years ago and
  68. there wasn't a lot of research out there
  69. on autistic students going to college.
  70. So, that was one area where I'm excited
  71. that I've been able to do research and
  72. publish some work on how we can support
  73. autistic studetns to go to college and
  74. become successful. But, really the ADA
  75. (Americans with Disabilities Act)
  76. is so important for autistic students and
  77. students with disabilites in general, just
  78. to make sure that they have access to
  79. academic curriculums, that they are
  80. getting accommidations that they need to
  81. be successful in academic settings.
  82. So, I really feel that the ADA has been a
  83. key factor in making sure that students
  84. with disabilities are included in college
  85. and university settings.
  86. Certainly the ADA has provided a lot of
  87. opportunities for students with
  88. disabilities. So, I'm grateful for that.
  89. I think there are some areas that we need
  90. to think about, that the ADA does have
  91. some limitations.
  92. One of them is that, many disablility
  93. service offices on campuses at higher
  94. education institutions require diagnosis
  95. or documentation of neuropsychological
  96. evaluation and this can cost upwards of
  97. several thousand dollars for individuals
  98. to get this diagnosis.
  99. So I think there has been a lot of
  100. progress lately where those offices are
  101. saying, "Ok well, we will consider the IEP
  102. document and your individual education
  103. plan from high school as a form to
  104. validate that you do need services".
  105. But one thing we do need to work on a
  106. little more is making sure that higher
  107. education institutions, specifically the
  108. disabiblity offices, are a bit more
  109. flexible in making sure that students can
  110. receive accomodations without dropping
  111. 3 or 4 thousand dollars, in order to do that
  112. The other thing that I think about a lot
  113. is, while the ADA does provide important
  114. accomodations that are reasonable and
  115. appropriate, to students.
  116. I think that what I have learned is
  117. universities and disabilities offices specifically
  118. do a much better job when they go about
  119. and beyond their ADA
  120. So what's required by the ADA
  121. usually I see proper team member
  122. the staff on campus
  123. going above and beyond
  124. to make sure that students feel included
  125. that they feel