Applications for the 2023 Autism Campus Inclusion (ACI) Leadership Academy are now closed. This year’s program will be held from July 10th through 19th. This year’s program will be held in person, if it is safe to do so. If we cannot have ACI in person, we will hold it virtually.
ACI helps autistic students learn to make their college campuses better for people with disabilities. ACI participants learn about making student groups, understanding disability policy, and talking to people in power. During ACI, all participants go to the U.S. Capitol to talk to their Senators and Representatives about policies important to the disability community. After the Academy, students get help from ASAN to meet their advocacy goals at their college.
Past students have learned new skills and information about:
- Developmental Disability Policy
- SMART Goals and Action Plans
- Meetings and Facilitation
- Building Your Student Group
- Building Relationships and Campaigns Using Intersectionality
- Strategic Relationship-Building
- Campaign Strategies
- ASAN Policy Goals
- Sharing Your Story For a Political Purpose
- Effective Debunking
ACI participants usually travel to Washington D.C. one week in the summer each year. ASAN pays for travel and rooms for all ACI students. Due to the pandemic, the program was held virtually in 2020, 2021, and 2022. This year’s program will be held in person, if it is safe to do so. If we cannot have ACI in person, we will hold it virtually.
If you have any questions about ACI, please contact Dean Strauss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch the video of our alumni sharing their experiences!
Testimonials from Alumni:
ACI was the first time in which I got to be in a space by autistic people for autistic people. It was an absolutely empowering and life-changing experience! I’ve finally found an autistic community that has given me friendship and support before, during, and after ACI. You will find a chosen family. I learned so much about activism, public policy, and identity. You don’t learn just about what activism and public policy are; you learn how to do them. I’m so honored that I had this opportunity and would recommend it to any autistic person who seeks to bring about systemic change.
— Eryn Star, ACI 2018 Alum
It was a very transformative experience in which I learned the importance of creating autistic space, fostering a neurodiverse learning environment, and meeting other non-speaking autistic people in higher education. Since this experience, I have become more confident in my self-advocacy and community advocacy. I continue to look at the workshops from ACI for guidance while creating and founding a disability rights group on my campus.
— Huan Vuong, ACI 2018 Alum
To apply for Autism Campus Inclusion (ACI), you must:
- Be autistic. You do not have to have an official autism diagnosis to apply.
- Be a student at a college or university with at least one year left before you graduate. Students in TPSID programs (Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities), 2-year community colleges, 4-year colleges, and graduate school are eligible to apply.
- Live in the United States or Canada. This includes all 50 states, all US territories, and all provinces and territories of Canada. (Please note: the policy sections of our program will focus on the United States) You do not have to be a citizen of either the US or Canada.
We especially encourage students of color, LGBT students, low-income students, students with intellectual disabilities, AAC users, and students from other marginalized communities to apply.
ACI is made possible by a generous donation from Nicole Cliffe.