Guidance and Strategies for Supporting the Mental Health of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Students with an Intellectual Disability
April 22, 2021
The current crisis of COVID-19 including far-reaching responses such as “Stay at Home” directives, closures of schools and non-essentials businesses, mandated social distancing, and personal hygiene procedures have profoundly impacted the well-being of people nationally. Students enrolled in higher learning institutions when the pandemic hit are experiencing challenges impacting their mental health. Students with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum, are no exception. Personnel charged with assisting students academically, find themselves with an increasing duty to support the mental health of these students in addition to addressing their support needs in new virtual learning environments.
This webinar featured a panel presentation of lessons learned and “instructional nuggets” shared from the past (2020-2021) year. COVID-19 turned our instructional world on its head. The panelists shared authentic stories of uncertainty, failures, and successes, emerging practices, and lessons learned from our students. Allison Ferrier shared the invaluable role of and ways to utilize instructional assistance during a synchronous Zoom class. Beth Syverson presented online tools that helped her capitalize on the unique benefits of online teaching. Ivan Stanojkovic provided ways of keeping our sessions engaging, interactive, and with limited bugs. Katie Stubblefield shared how she used TV game-show strategies to inspire participation and engagement. The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session.
Belonging in a College Community (both virtual and traditional) for Students with Autism and/or Intellectual Disabilities
April 16, 2021
The UCLA Tarjan Center provided a webinar on Belonging in a College Community (both virtual and traditional) for Students with Autism and/or Intellectual Disabilities. The purpose of the webinar was to provide an overview of belonging in a college community of belonging in a college community (both virtual and traditional for students with autism and or intellectual disabilities. The presenter, Michael Hoggatt, M.S., MPA, Ph.D., DSPS Chair/Advisor-Saddleback Superfriends, of Saddleback College examined how program structures affect image and competency perceptions of students involved in programs for students with autism and/or intellectual disabilities. Moreover, Dr. Hoggatt led community colleges to look at key indicators of program success and belonging, and how these may be applied to local programs/ departments.
Practical Strategies for Engaging Students with Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Emerging Online Higher Education Environment
The Tarjan Center at UCLA hosted a webinar on Practical Strategies for Engaging Students with ID and ASD in the Emerging Online Higher Education Environment on Friday, April 17, 2020. The presenters will be Angela Guevara, M.S., Associate Professor/Faculty Coordinator, Santiago Canyon College; Stacy Eldred, M.A., Chair of Occupational and Academic Skills for Independence and Success (OASIS)/Adult Education with Disabilities (AEWD) Program, Saddleback College; and Michael Hoggatt, M.S., MPA, Ph.D., Chair DSPS/Advisor-Saddleback College.
The presenters discussed elements of planning, training, implementation, and follow-through that they pursued over several weeks, in the transition to online instruction. They shared emerging practices and practical strategies for engaging students with ID and ASD in the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Strategies for Supporting Students with an Intellectual Disability (ID) and Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the Emerging Higher Education Environment
In the 2019-2020 academic year, the 115 California Community Colleges were initiating and implementing practices designed to improve student outcomes (e.g., focused on increasing the number of students who earn a degree, credential, certificate, or transfer to four-year institutions or attain employment, in high demand jobs).
In the advent of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, it will be important for the colleges to engage with students with an intellectual disability (ID) and students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as soon as possible in the new online environment. This webinar was designed to respond to emerging needs to support students in the wake of the Coronavirus. It features presentations by Maria Paiewonsky, Ed.D. and Jane Thierfeld-Brown, Ed.D. Dr. Paiewonsky provided strategies for supporting students with ID, and Dr. Theirfeld-Brown provided strategies for supporting students with ASD.
Transition for Academic Success is Key
California community colleges (system wide) are currently working on improving the institutions’ ability to assist students to enter and move through higher education. San Joaquin Delta College found that the transition to college was a challenge for some students with disabilities and developed the Transition for Academic Success is Key (TASK) Program. TASK is a two-week learning community curriculum designed to assist 30 students to transition from high school to college. The primary goal of TASK is to build students’ (with disabilities) ability to achieve academic success. The purpose of the webinar was to share how to design and implement programs like TASK on other college campuses.
Webinar on the Transition for Academic Success is Key to Program Part 2
Autism College High School Innovation for Educational and Vocational Excellence (A ACHIEVE) Project by Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D.
February 19, 2019
An increasing number of students with autism spectrum disorder are accessing higher education in general, and California community colleges, in particular. Little is known about effective practices for preparing these students for college. Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D, draws upon more than 30 years of experience as a disability support professional (i.e., recently retired from serving as the director of disability support services at the University of Connecticut, School of Law), consultant to higher education and K-12 professionals, and parent of a 27 year-old son on the spectrum, to highlight strategies that may be used to prepare individuals with autism for college. She presented on a webinar for California community colleges’ Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) directors/coordinators and staff, on February 19, 2019. Click on this link to access the audiovisual recording of the webinar:
Adult Education Block Grant: Is DSS at the Table? by Adam Gottdank, Ph.D., Michael Hoggatt, Ph.D., Katie Stubblefield, MFA, Stormy Miller, Ed.D., Chrissy Gascon, M.Ed., Angela Guevara, MS, Wilbert Francis, MBA
April 23, 2018
A number of our California Community Colleges are doing amazing work to support the academic and workforce development goals of students with disabilities, using Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) funding. The UCLA Tarjan Center in collaboration with Coast Adult Education Consortium, Marin Adult Education, North Orange County Regional Consortium for Adult Education, Rancho Santiago Adult Education Consortium, and South Orange County Regional Consortium will provide a webinar on Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG): Is Disability Support Services (DSS) at the Table? A recording of the webinar may be accessed here:
Strategies for Supporting Students with Autism by Nicole Smith, Ph.D
April 16, 2018
As part of a needs assessment, the Tarjan Center conducted a survey of the California community colleges to learn what gaps in knowledge existed regarding DSPS’ capacity to support students with autism. An analysis of the feedback we received led to the development of a webinar that addressed the following topics: 1) Student Academic Skills, 2) Student Self-Determination Skills, 3) Student Expectations, 4) Faculty Attitudinal Barriers, 5) Best Practices in Educational Assistance for Students with Autism, 6) The Educational Impacts of Autism Faculty Development Activities, and 7) Setting up and Managing Peer Tutoring and/or Peer Mentoring Programs.
Paid Internship Program by Michael Clay and Elizabeth Zastrow
March 22, 2018
The Tarjan Center provided a webinar for California Community Colleges’ Disability Support Services’ professionals on the Paid Internship Program (PIP). It is being administered by the California Department of Developmental Services. PIP provides $10,400 per intern, per year to cover wages during a paid internship. The California Blueprint for Competitive Integrated Employment and Local Partnership Agreements were discussed. A recording of the webinar may be accessed here:
Practical Strategies for Integrating Disability Support Programs into the Equity Conversation, by Bridget Herrin, Ed.D and Lindsay Eigenauer
April 27, 2017 and May 18, 2017
A webinar was provided for California Community Colleges’ Disabled Student Programs and Services Coordinators to provide an overview of the Student Equity program and to offer insights on how it relates to supporting students with disabilities. One college provided examples of how the equity program was used to provide services to assist students to complete college coursework. A recording of the webinar that was presented on May 18th can be accessed here:
Competitive Employment Incentives that May Impact the Engagement of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) by Denyse Curtright and Amy Westling
March 6, 2017
A presentation was made by staff from the Department of Developmental Services and the Association of Regional Center Agencies to the California Community Colleges on two recently authorized programs (i.e., the Competitive Integrated Employment Incentives Program, and the Paid Internship Program). Through the incentive program, up to $3,750 per California Regional Center client is available for regional center vendors who assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to transition from school to competitive integrated employment; and through the paid internship program, up to $10,400 is available per intern, each fiscal year to cover paid internship wages for a regional center client, as a pathway to competitive integrated employment. A recording of the webinar is available here:
Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) by Lindsay Eigenauer
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, the U.S. Department of Education may provide federal financial aid to students with intellectual disabilities. In order to obtain federal aid, the institution must be eligible and the student must be eligible. Lindsay Eigenauer presents to colleagues in higher education on the CTP application process. A recording of this webinar may be accessed here:
Advanced Strategies for Supporting Students with Autism in Inclusive Higher Education by Jane Thierfeld-Brown, Ed.D.
Friday, April 8, 2016
An increasing number of students with diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or autism are enrolling at higher education institutions. This webinar was provided for community college and other higher education professionals who have more than a basic understanding of some of the strategies that are used to accommodate and support students with ASD in the college environment. A recording of the webinar is available here:
Basic Strategies (101) for Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Programmatic opportunities in DSPS by Nicole Smith, Ph.D.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
California Community College administrators and disability services professionals have indicated that increasingly they have observed a larger number of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are attending college. Recent survey results indicated that training on strategies for supporting these students is needed. Dr. Nicole Smith provided a number of strategies for professionals in higher education to consider and to implement supports for students with ASD. A recording of this webinar may be accessed here:
Tailored Day Services: Because one size doesn’t fit all by Holly Tracy
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
The Regional Centers of California may provide services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to assist with participation in postsecondary education and career development. The information provided by Holly Tracy provides insights on some of these supports that are referred to as Tailored Day Services. A recording of this webinar is available here:
Federal Financial Aid for Students with Intellectual Disabilities under the Higher Education Act of 1965 by Jessica Finkel, Ian Foss, Molly Boyle, Eric Latham and Jeff Ross
Monday, May 5, 2014
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 contained provisions for federal financial aid for students with intellectual disabilities. Jessica Finkel of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education and Ian Foss of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Federal Student Aid provided training to describe the requirements that apply to institutions and to individuals that would qualify for federal financial aid. A recording of this webinar may be accessed here: