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Showing Revision 7 created 08/23/2020 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. in Communications Center, which is a
  5. university center that focuses on
  6. inclusion, communication, access, and
  7. higher education for people with autism or
  8. autistic individuals
  9. This is my son, Diego Peña, he is doing a
  10. camio today and Diego would like to
  11. introduce himself using the letter board
  12. since he is non speaking.
  13. So he has his communication partner with
  14. him and they are going to spell out
  15. something.
  16. (Communication Partner) H.E.L.L.O. A.L.L.
  17. Hello all. Ok, back straight.
  18. M.Y. N.A M.E. I.S. D.I E.G.O.
  19. Hello all, my name is Diego.
  20. Evelyn: Awesome, so just a little bit
  21. about Deigo, he is going into 7th grade.
  22. He is fully included in general education
  23. and he is a presenter at conferences and a
  24. best selling book author of the book,
  25. Anatomy of Autism, so that is us and
  26. we're excited to be here.
  27. So, Diego is really excited to talk about
  28. inclusion, not only in his book but also
  29. share his thoughts.
  30. I think that is so important in relation
  31. to the Americans with Disability Act
  32. because it provided an avenue for
  33. inclusion in the community, higher
  34. education, and employment.
  35. As a young activist, Diego has experienced
  36. inclusion in school so he wanted to share
  37. some words that he typed out.
  38. He is going to share them through his iPad
  39. , which he calls his talker.
  40. (iPad): I think the culture of inclusion
  41. is important to have in order to implement
  42. strategies be successful for autistic
  43. students in a general education classroom.
  44. Without inclusion, I wouldn't be able to
  45. be in general education setting.
  46. Having autism has limited me both verbally
  47. and physically.
  48. I thankfully have access to communication
  49. by typing and this form of communicaion
  50. has given me opportunity to be
  51. included in general education classes and
  52. activities in the community.
  53. Evelyn: Thanks, Diego. So the first time I
  54. really learned about the Amrican Disabilities Act
  55. was when I was researching what it would
  56. take to support my son, Diego,
  57. He's autistic, you just met him, to go to
  58. college essentially.
  59. When I learned he had autism I didn't know
  60. anything about whether or not people had
  61. access to college if they had a diagnosis
  62. of autism or what the precedent was for that
  63. So, I really started looking into it and I
  64. did learn that, yes, autistic students do
  65. go to college. Which is wonderful.
  66. At that time this was, you know, when
  67. Diego was diagnosed.
  68. It was 8 years ago or 10 years ago and
  69. there wasn't a lot of research out there
  70. on autistic students going to college.
  71. So, that was one area where I'm excited
  72. that I've been able to do research and
  73. publish some work on how we can support
  74. autistic studetns to go to college and
  75. become successful. But, really the ADA
  76. (Americans with Disabilities Act)
  77. is so important for autistic students and
  78. students with disabilites in general, just
  79. to make sure that they have access to
  80. academic curriculums, that they are
  81. getting accommidations that they need to
  82. be successful in academic settings.
  83. So, I really feel that the ADA has been a
  84. key factor in making sure that students
  85. with disabilities are included in college
  86. and university settings.
  87. Certainly the ADA has provided a lot of
  88. opportunities for students with
  89. disabilities. So, I'm grateful for that.
  90. I think there are some areas that we need
  91. to think about, that the ADA does have
  92. some limitations.
  93. One of them is that, many disablility
  94. service offices on campuses at higher
  95. education institutions require diagnosis
  96. or documentation of neuropsychological
  97. evaluation and this can cost upwards of
  98. several thousand dollars for individuals
  99. to get this diagnosis.
  100. So I think there has been a lot of
  101. progress lately where those offices are
  102. saying, "Ok well, we will consider the IEP
  103. document and your individual education
  104. plan from high school as a form to
  105. validate that you do need services".
  106. But one thing we do need to work on a
  107. little more is making sure that higher
  108. education institutions, specifically the
  109. disabiblity offices, are a bit more
  110. flexible in making sure that students can
  111. receive accomodations without dropping
  112. 3 or 4 thousand dollars, in order to do that
  113. The other thing that I think about a lot
  114. is, while the ADA does provide important
  115. accomodations that are reasonable and
  116. appropriate, to students.
  117. I think that what I have learned is
  118. universities and disabilities offices specifically
  119. do a much better job when they go about
  120. and beyond their ADA
  121. So what's required by the ADA
  122. usually I see proper team member
  123. the staff on campus
  124. going above and beyond
  125. to make sure that students feel included
  126. that they feel like they belong in campus
  127. and it is really important
  128. i think i learned that we have this brief lossgreat laws
  129. but it is also important to us to have
  130. compassion, flexibility, to accomodate
  131. individuals like my son Diego, who
  132. uses, you know, must have a communication partner
  133. with him uses iPad in order to communicate
  134. and we find that many colleges are providing
  135. accomodation and some are not
  136. because it is so new to them
  137. So i think that... al those things
  138. are important and especially
  139. for students of color and/or margin
  140. or historically marginalized students
  141. who has intersectional identity
  142. with disability, we need to make sure
  143. that we are providing a welcoming
  144. and accesible environment in higher education
  145. So i think that one of the important things
  146. I've learned in my work so
  147. this scholarship and the advocacy work
  148. that I do everyday
  149. in essence by half with faculty
  150. and staff in higher education
  151. setting in particular
  152. is that we know that disability
  153. support offices are mandated
  154. to provide accomodation according to
  155. the ADA but what I see a lot
  156. is that faculty and staff
  157. are not required to receive
  158. training or professional development
  159. in order to serve children with disability
  160. And we think about this
  161. one in ten students in college
  162. or campus having disability
  163. of some sort and there's
  164. only the ones who are documented
  165. So imagine who don't report
  166. and having disability
  167. But we do need our faculty
  168. instructor, staff, to have more
  169. knowledge, experience, tools
  170. and their toolkit to serve students
  171. with disability, so that we
  172. can fully include them
  173. make sure they're succesful and
  174. empower them to graduate
  175. with college degree, so that they can
  176. move on to employment opportunity
  177. in the future