The Autistic Scholars Fellowship was an annual college scholarship program from 2016-2018, which supported autistic college students in becoming leaders of the disability rights advocacy movement on their campuses. Fellowship recipients were granted a one-time, $5,000 scholarship and received technical assistance from ASAN in achieving their advocacy goals. The scholarship was founded in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and was funded by an anonymous donor.
For more information about ASAN’s current higher education programs and publications, see here.
The ASAN Autistic Scholars Fellowship program was designed to advance campus leadership and to give students an opportunity to create systems change on their college campuses. Fellows were required to establish or participate in a leadership role within 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 checked in with ASAN on a monthly basis to receive support in achieving their advocacy goals. Applicants were required to be autistic, be willing to publicly identify as such and to have a strong interest in disability rights advocacy and activism.
ASAN looked 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