Applaud Program for Students with Learning Disabilities

Target: Disability Resource Center at Eastern Michigan University (EMU)

Goal: Thank university for paving the way for students with learning disabilities to earn a college degree, and encourage other universities to implement similar programming

Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, has implemented a program for students with learning disabilities that has proven to be effective and life-changing. Students with autism, and other learning disabilities, can be paired with a graduate student who will attend all classes with them and will assist with class-work. A few other universities, such as the University of Arizona, Lynn University, Landmark College and Beacon College, all have enhanced their support for students with learning disabilities, making a college degree more accessible for students who learn differently.

According to the Journal of Pediatrics, about one-third of all young people with autism do attend college within six years of graduating high school, making programs like the one at EMU crucial to the success of college students with autism. Though this program costs an additional fee on top of traditional tuition costs, Tony Saylor of Allen Park, Michigan, a student in the program, has found it to be well worth the extra money. With such a program in place, professors are also more accommodating and understanding of the unique needs students with autism have. Saylor, for instance, draws constantly in his classes, something professors initially tried to stop. However, after explaining that drawing helps him to focus and process the material presented in lecture, instructors have accepted this “quirk” that comes with working with autism.

Thank EMU for implementing such an important program for young people with autism and other learning disabilities, and urge other colleges and universities to adopt a program like this in their communities.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Disabilities Resource Center staff,

Thank you for implementing such an effective program for helping students with autism, and other learning disabilities, be successful in pursuing a college degree. Tony Saylor, a student from your university who has autism who has also been successful in college thanks to your program, has a story that is inspiring and encouraging. Pairing students with autism with a graduate student to provide the individualized academic support that is needed makes a big difference in the lives of young people with autism who want to pursue a college degree.  Saylor has testified to the effectiveness of your program, and has applauded the understanding nature of staff and instructors due to the awareness your program creates on campus.

Please encourage other universities and colleges to adopt a similar program at their campus. Advertise the special services you offer, and make others aware of the formula you have created that has worked for students with autism and other learning disabilities. Keep up the good work!

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Detnutz, Wikipedia

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