Announcing the ASAN Autistic Scholars Fellowship

people at a coffeeshop having a meeting

In honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is very pleased to announce the beginning of a new college scholarship program for autistic students, the Autistic Scholars Fellowship.

The ASAN Autistic Scholars Fellowship program, a new ASAN project to advance campus leadership, will provide 3 to 5 autistic students $5,000 tuition scholarships each to create systems change on their college campuses. Fellows will be required to establish or participate in a leadership role within an ASAN campus chapter or a disability rights student organization, work to promote Autistic culture and community, and take steps to improve disability accessibility and inclusion on their college campuses. Fellows are also expected to check in with ASAN on a monthly basis to receive support in achieving their advocacy projects. Applicants must be Autistic, be willing to publicly identify as such and should have a strong interest in disability rights advocacy and activism.

Scholarship applications can be found here. Completed applications for the January 2016 scholarship period are due on November 15. Application questions will ask students to describe the current problems for autistic and other disabled students on their college campuses and explain how their planned activities under the fellowship will enable them address these problems. ASAN staff will review completed applications and interview a select group of students starting in mid-November. We expect to inform fellowship recipients of their selection by mid-December.

ASAN will look for the following indicators when screening applicants for the scholarship:

  • Strong interest in civil rights advocacy and activism for autistic people and other people with disabilities. If students are not yet involved in disability rights, involvement in or support for other causes can demonstrate potential for leading disability rights efforts.
  • A background in and experience with the values of the neurodiversity movement
  • A commitment to building Autistic culture and community on their college campus or in their local community
  • Commitment to working with all autistic people in an inclusive and welcoming fashion

ASAN is able to offer this program thanks to the support of a generous donor.

Questions about the fellowship program and the application process should be directed to Natalia Rivera Morales, Leadership Programs Coordinator for ASAN, at