Postsecondary education specialist Vincent Varrassi addresses UD resident assistants at an autism acceptance training.
First Spectrum Scholars training acquaints UD resident assistants with autism

The 10-year, CDS-administered program to support UD students with autism offered its first community training on autism acceptance in collaboration with UD Residence Life & Housing last week. Resident assistants gathered for a session covering challenges college students with autism face and considerations for interacting with residents who have autism.

Finnigan Madison, a UD student with autism, speaks with Spectrum Scholars graduate assistant Kerry Pini (standing) at the Spectrum Scholars launch in September.
A place for all to shine

The University of Delaware Magazine profiles the UD and JPMorgan Chase collaboration to create Spectrum Scholars, a 10-year program supporting UD undergrads on the autism spectrum pursuing careers in electrical engineering and computer science. In seeking to boost employment opportunities for individuals on the spectrum, the program will also offer training in areas like effective communication to UD faculty, staff and community businesses. Administered by CDS, Spectrum Scholars will accept between 5 and 8 students per year, starting in Fall 2019.

Self-advocate Catherine Lin
Young adults with disabilities, parents say space and support essential to adult transitions

Self-advocates and parents stressed that young adults with disabilities need a circle of support and the independence to experiment at events marking CDS’s 25-year anniversary.

CDS Director Beth Mineo and students at CDS's 25th anniversary reception
Inclusion celebrated, civic engagement championed at 25-year anniversary reception hosted by CDS

Efforts to foster accessibility and empower people with disabilities to drive much of the Center’s work going forward.

CDS 25th Anniversary Civil Liberties Forum Panel
Barriers to the voting booth: People with disabilities often stymied when trying to vote, panelists say

At two civil liberties events hosted by CDS to mark its 25-year anniversary, elections and disability rights experts ripped the pervasive injustices and inadequate accommodations that suppress voting and political engagement among people with disabilities in the U.S. and around the world. The experts, including a Stanford Law School professor, Delaware’s attorney general and three leaders from Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organizations, cited physical barriers, poll workers’ lack of knowledge, decades-old prejudices and poor enforcement of voting rights legislation, among other factors. They suggested that educating election officials, raising disability awareness and boosting political participation could increase the presence and sway of people with disabilities in elections.