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More and more autistic students are entering higher education, but they often face barriers to success, with a lower graduation rate than non-disabled students. Some colleges have created programs for autistic students in order to address these barriers — but these programs vary widely, and are often created without the input of autistic people ourselves. How do autistic students define success for ourselves? How can colleges and universities address the barriers that autistic students face? We address these questions and more in our new white paper “Benchmarks to Inclusion: Creating Core Principles to Facilitate Autistic Student Success in Higher Education.”

For this white paper, ASAN brought together autistic college students to discuss what success looks like for autistic students and how colleges can help them get there. “Benchmarks to Inclusion” unpacks barriers to success, looks at how those barriers can be addressed, and lays out ten core principles to make higher education more accessible to autistic students. A summary of “Benchmarks to Inclusion” is also available in three formats: an academic summary aimed at researchers and professionals, an Easy Read factsheet that uses pictures and large text, and a Plain Language version without accompanying graphics.

Everyone deserves an equal chance to experience higher education. Right now, autistic students face barriers to their success — and they know better than anyone else what steps colleges and universities can take to dismantle those barriers and create truly inclusive communities. We hope you’ll check out these resources and share them with people in your life who might find them useful.



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