Support the RISE Act for College Students with Autism
Students with autism face significant challenges when they seek higher education. The types of services and support systems that helped these students get through high school are less available and more difficult to access when they get to college.
One of the major roadblocks faced by college students with autism is documenting their condition. Under current law, existing IEPs and 504 Plans are not accepted as proof of their disability. This forces students and their families to pay for expensive private testing. A proposed congressional law known as the RISE Act would address this problem.
H.R. 2401, the Respond, Innovate, Support, and Empower (RISE) Act, amends the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) by requiring colleges to accept IEPs, 504 Plans, and other prior evaluations as qualified documents for students who are seeking special education accommodations.
How the Law Will Impact Students with Autism and Their Families
The RISE Act was originally introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1). It was reintroduced to the 118th Congress by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) on March 31, 2023.
Parents, teachers, and supporters of students with autism are strongly encouraged to contact your congressional representatives in support of the RISE Act.
Many college students with disabilities are denied the support they need because they can’t afford the costly documentation that is currently required by colleges and universities. The RISE Act will improve outcomes for students with disability by providing the following:
- Mandatory college acceptance of existing student evaluations
- Improved reporting on outcomes for students with disabilities
- $10 million to fund a National Center for Information and Technical Support for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities
- Making information about disability services more accessible to college students and families
- Technical assistance centers to train faculty on how to support students with disabilities
Academic Assistance for College Students with Autism
College students with autism face several hurdles in adjusting to college life. Colleges are required to provide some level of support, but it’s up to the students to request these services. Learning support services and specific academic accommodations for college students with autism may include the following:
- Help with study skills
- Learning assistance tools
- Extra time on tests
- A quiet, low-sensory test-taking environment
- Technological assistance
- Time management counseling
- Priority registration
- Strategies to enhance executive functioning
Social Assistance for College Students with Autism
Many neurodiverse students find the social adjustment to college life to be particularly challenging. Colleges can assist these students by facilitating social interaction and providing a welcoming environment for students with autism.
Students with autism may have difficulty reading the social world. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Colleges can use the following strategies to promote integration and connectedness:
- Peer mentors
- Social skills counseling
- Self-advocacy training
- Self-awareness training
- Self-management techniques
Are You Getting the Services You Deserve?
College students with disabilities have the right to receive certain accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you aren’t receiving the support you deserve, contact Woodsmall Law Group right away.
We serve children and adults with special needs and their parents in Los Angeles County, focusing on the San Gabriel Valley. We have been helping families make the most out of their educational opportunities for over 18 years.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s placement or the services they are receiving, please call (626) 440-0028 to schedule a FREE initial consultation. We speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Polish, and Spanish.