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Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models
for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
E-Newsletter-December 2012, Issue 10 PDF Print E-mail

SEDL's VR Autism Newsletter Winter 2012

Winter 2012
Happy Holidays from the VR Autism team at SEDL
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New Effective Programs!

VR Autism is pleased to announce three employment programs that have been designated as effective in providing supports to people with ASD. Congratulations to Triumph Services, Project SEARCH, and ACN Connections on their designations.

The VR Autism National Advisory Panel members determined these three programs to be successful in assisting people with ASD in finding competitive employment. These programs show that even in the midst of a struggling economy, people across the autism spectrum can find meaningful work in their communities with proper supports.

Triumph Services, Project SEARCH, and ACN Connections address the work in  different ways. Yet each of these programs shares a philosophy that individualized services to people with ASD are necessary to increase competitive employment success rates with livable wages. VR Autism provides profiles of each of the programs on our website that describes program design, program effectiveness, costs and staffing pattern, and success stories of individuals with ASD receiving their services.

Upcoming Webinars

Triump Services, Inc.: Assisting individuals with ASD to live and work independently. A webcast hosted by SEDLIn early 2013, VR Autism will be hosting webinars with the three new effective programs focusing on their replicable employment practices. Participants will gain knowledge of the challenges related to employment of people with ASD and the programs’ techniques used to overcome these challenges. Registration materials for the first of these webcasts will be sent out in January. To receive these materials sign up for our mailing list here.

VR Autism is seeking pre-approval to offer CRCC credit for the January webinars. Please note CRCC credits are still available to participants listening to the archived webcasts featuring ASNC, Groden Network, and VCU until December 31, 2012. Please remember to fill out the evaluation to receive your credit! Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have any questions.

Study finds college-bound youth with ASD often pursue STEM majors

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A new study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that youth with ASD who enroll in college demonstrate higher participation rates than their peers with or without disabilities in STEM majors in college. STEM refers to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields of study. Graduates in STEM majors are often associated with higher competitive employment rates and wages after completion of a post-secondary program of study.

Cited in this study, Wei et al. (2012) reviewed data from the National Longitudinal Transitional Study-2 (NLST2). NLST2 includes data on a wide range of topics about the experiences of transition-age youth with ASD as well as other disabilities.

NLTS2 data indicates young adults with ASD, who enroll in college, are more likely than other people with disabilities, and the general population as a whole, to pursue STEM majors. However, young adults with ASD are among the least likely of all disability groups to attend college.

These findings imply that many youth with ASD do tend to gravitate toward the STEM-related studies at higher rates than other youth. Furthermore, findings from this study suggest that extra supports and services for students with ASD are necessary for these students to both transition to and graduate from universities.

The VR-Autism project is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). View full disclaimer