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August 3, 2020

Call For Programs Deadline

September 17, 2020

Early Bird Registration Deadline

October 26, 2020

Regular Registration Deadline

College Autism Summit

National Institute/Small Conference

The College Autism Summit brings together scholars, practitioners, administrators, employers, self-advocates and their family members to discuss evidence-driven strategies that help support college students with autism and related learning differences.Transition to college, experience while in college, and transition to employment and independent living are all areas of focus.


Presented By


The Summit is for:

  • Professionals working in campus-based or independent programs that support students with autism;

  • Scholars whose research focuses on students with autism and their college experience;

  • Professionals who work with students with autism as coaches, employers, employment advisors, and advocates;

  • College students and alumni with autism who wish to contribute to conversations and learning related to autism on campus

  • Families and parents of future or current college students with autism


This year’s Summit will be a virtual event, held during the week of October 26-30. Bookmark this site and check back this summer for more information. 


Conference Themes & Learning Outcomes

Program Development
  • Participants will be able identify key collaborations needed across disciplines and communities to develop and sustain a support program.

  • Participants will develop a framework for timelines and data collection that will meet their specific program’s needs.

  • Participants will be able to compare and contrast different service models to develop what is needed for their particular university. 


Transition from High School to College
  • Participants will explore skills related to college success that occur inside and outside of the academic classroom.

  • Participants will compare and contrast high school expectations versus postsecondary expectations.

  • Participants will be able evaluate support programs and campus environments to help identify the “best fit” for their son/daughter/student/client.


Teaching & Educational Strategies
  • Participants will explore a variety of educational resources/strategies that are implemented by universities and support programs.

  • Participants will gain information on supporting the student’s socialization both in the classroom and through campus living opportunities.

  • Participants will gain effective tips for supporting students within their classrooms and other campus programs.


Social/Emotional Supports and Services
  • Participants will gain resources/strategies for developing a student’s social and emotional wellbeing on campus.

  • Participants will learn how to support twice-diverse students, including underrepresented identities (race, gender, sexual identity, first-generation and socioeconomic status) in their college experience.

  • Participants will gain resources/strategies for helping students navigate young adult situations such as dating, disclosure, safety on campus, etc.


Employment and Workforce Transition
  • Participants will learn techniques for engaging students in pre-employment skills and opportunities
  • Participants will learn about different neurodiverse initiatives in the current workforce and how to develop these initiatives within their specific community.
  • Participants will be given resources/strategies to better help students select a major or internship that will meet their career goals.
  • Participants will explore how different universities and programs are providing support to students during the COVID pandemic.

  • Participants will develop a strategies tool kit for supporting students through virtual platforms.

  • Participants will explore ways to keep students connected to each other and their support systems through the COVID pandemic.


Featured Speakers

The College Autism Network is pleased to announce our opening speaker, Robia Rashid, creator of the Netflix series "Atypical," and our closing speaker, Anthony J. Pacilio, Vice President and Global Head of Autism at Work for JP Morgan Chase. Please stay tuned for additional speaker announcements. 

Program Spotlight

We invite Summit participants who are affiliated with a program to create a Program Spotlight highlighting their program--its goals, structure, staff, cost and admission policies. We'll ask you to create a short (3-5 minute) recording that will be made available to all participants during the Summit, and will also host a virtual live "program fair" for you to share more information with interested participants. If you would like to submit a Program Spotlight, please email Brittany Jackson at jacksonb1@hiram.edu.



Submit a Program Spotlight

Call For Programs

Summit brings together scholars, practitioners, administrators, and self-advocates to discuss evidence-driven strategies to support college students with autism and other learning differences. There are six areas of focus for which we invite workshops, presentations, panels. Examples are provided, but proposals are not limited to these topics:

The Call for Programs is open! All proposals will be due by August 3, 2020.

Conference Proposal Types and Length

There are several different session types at the College Autism Summit. Consider submitting a proposal for one or more of the following:

  • Recorded general interest sessions - common educational opportunity at the conference, however, session will be recorded ahead of time and hosted during the conference asynchronously. There will not be an opportunity for live participant questions and/or brief discussions (15 or 25 minute options).

  • Recorded general interest sessions followed by a scheduled live Q and A or discussion session (15 or 25 minute options plus 25-minute live session later in the Summit)

  • Live general interest sessions - usually consisting of the presentation of a program, data, research, or theoretical concept. May also be a roundtable-type discussion. There will be an opportunity for live participant questions and/or discussion (30-60 minutes).

  • Recorded poster interest session - appropriate for sharing research or program evaluation. Participants will visually present their data and conduct a brief presentation (10 - 15 minute options).

  • Program Spotlight - these 5-minute sessions will be grouped into 25 minute sessions during which participants will share a brief recorded description of their program, followed by a live Q and A session. Program spotlight requests will not be part of the Call for Programs process. If you’d like to contribute, please contact Lee Williams directly (lwilliams@naspa.org) for further information. 

Why do a recorded session instead of a live session? Recorded sessions remove the stress of technical difficulties and can be made available to participants throughout the Summit. The flexibility of scheduling a recorded session allows means that participants will have more access to program content, and that presenters can reach a wider audience. 

College Autism Summit Learning Outcomes

Program Development

Potential topics include: new program development, assessment, networking, marketing, recruitment, campus partnerships, staffing, peer mentor programs


Transition from High School

Potential topics include: ADA v. IDEA, family and parent education, skills awareness, assessing possible programs and pathways, evaluating services a campus offers, self-advocacy/management, conversations to have before coming to college, campus processes and systems, assessing readiness for college


Employment and Workforce Transition

Potential topics include: connecting to employers, pre-employment skills, interview skills, mentorship in the workplace, assessment of success, agencies and organizations that provide support, firsthand experiences of self-advocates

Teaching and Learning

Potential topics include: Universal Design for Learning, resources and apps that support growth outside of the classroom (mental health, time management, EF, hygiene), group work, student perspectives on handling group work, supporting socialization and finding community, preparation for managing teaching and learning in the higher ed setting, difficult classroom conversations and disruption, language/norms, study abroad groups, understanding and supporting cultural differences

Social/Emotional Supports and Services

Potential topics include:  finding supports on campus, planning for support, resiliency, self-advocacy, building self-awareness, monitoring for mental health needs and changes, housing and specialized housing, identity, LGBTQ, dating/relationships, student conduct and campus police, disclosure, roommates, first year experiences



Potential topics include: mental health impact, unexpected benefits of an online learning platform, creating connectivity in a virtual space, tutoring virtually, platforms that worked, etiquette for students, counseling & telehealth – how to support this effectively, collaboration and resources that supported changing the format and delivery of support



Registration as a member is based on individual membership status. If you are employed by a college or university that is an institutional member, you can join as an individual member at the $75 rate. This gives you the conference registration and a year of membership for less than the non-member registration fee. If your institution is NOT a member, then you will need to join at the associate affiliate rate of $242 and then you can pay the individual member rate for conference registration. Visit the Membership section of the NASPA website to learn about membership types.

Registration Fees
Regular Registration
NASPA/CAN Student Member

CIS-Preconference Workshops

We are pleased to offer two preconference workshops at the Summit. Both will occur on Tuesday, October 27. It is possible to participate in both.


Session 1: 

Session 2

Planning Committee