Western Kentucky University

Poster Title

The Kelly Autism Program, Western Kentucky University

Institution

Western Kentucky University

Abstract

During the Hurricane Katrina Community Assistance Program, two Western Kentucky University student organizations and the Kelly Autism Program assisted in relief efforts. Both the Student Council for Exceptional Children and the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association contributed time, talent, and fundraising efforts. The cooperation is an example of collaboration between the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services. In addition, the Kelly Autism Program also staffs members of these organizations that are helping with the relief. High school students diagnosed with Autism are also devoting their time and assisting in all phases of the relief effort. WKU’s Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) contains goals of student engagement and experiential learning, which include addressing success in global society awareness. The QEP is also focused on increasing faculty and staff capacity to facilitate student engagement. A pre-post attitude questionnaire using the Likert scale was used to determine the degree of change in students’ perception about their need to assist other communities and to involve students with disabilities in such projects. All measures documented a positive change in the student’s perspective. In addition, interview documentation of the high school students who are diagnosed with Autism also noted a positive change in recognizing the need for community involvement. The poster session will depict the community involvement activities in which the student organizations participated. The attitude survey pertains to WKU’s QEP initiative, and the interview results from the high school students who are attending the Kelly Autism Program.

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The Kelly Autism Program, Western Kentucky University

During the Hurricane Katrina Community Assistance Program, two Western Kentucky University student organizations and the Kelly Autism Program assisted in relief efforts. Both the Student Council for Exceptional Children and the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association contributed time, talent, and fundraising efforts. The cooperation is an example of collaboration between the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services. In addition, the Kelly Autism Program also staffs members of these organizations that are helping with the relief. High school students diagnosed with Autism are also devoting their time and assisting in all phases of the relief effort. WKU’s Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) contains goals of student engagement and experiential learning, which include addressing success in global society awareness. The QEP is also focused on increasing faculty and staff capacity to facilitate student engagement. A pre-post attitude questionnaire using the Likert scale was used to determine the degree of change in students’ perception about their need to assist other communities and to involve students with disabilities in such projects. All measures documented a positive change in the student’s perspective. In addition, interview documentation of the high school students who are diagnosed with Autism also noted a positive change in recognizing the need for community involvement. The poster session will depict the community involvement activities in which the student organizations participated. The attitude survey pertains to WKU’s QEP initiative, and the interview results from the high school students who are attending the Kelly Autism Program.