PA Employment and Education/College Resources 



  1. Chester County Right to Education Task Force
  2. Montgomery County Right to Education Task Force


Online Resources: 


Opening Doors to College

Film and post viewing discussion by Dan Habib

The film "shows how students like Curtis, Janet, Fudia and Missy are leading this inclusion revolution as they immerse themselves in classes, residential life, extracurricular activities and the entire college experience at Millersville and Temple Universities." The film is 35 minutes. Follow up discussion that is 1 hour 45 minutes. 

More info on national college opportunities can be found at


College and Employment Readiness Programs

Carousel Connections 
A residential summer program that is housed on the campus of Haverford College in an authentic living setting. At Carousel Connections, teenagers and young adults are provided opportunities to learn, maintain, and improve skills through participation in vocational training, independent living mentoring, and recreational/social activities. 
Contact Number: 215-948-2527
Email: Amy McCann [email protected]

Life in Progress Coaching
A career and executive coach with a special interest in Aspergers/HFA and a father of a young adult son with Aspergers helps people with Aspergers make rewarding and achievable career choices, and navigate the “mine field” of job search, interviewing and networking in order to compete effectively. 
Contact: Ed Hunter [email protected]


Variety Works
Community Based Work Assessments-individuals participating in this program are assessed in six different areas including: a job skills baseline, social skills baseline, functional behavioral assessment, preference assessment, sensory profile and social supports web. The assessment takes one week to complete and the report is sent in ten days. Assessments are OVR, ODP waiver adaptable
Contact [email protected]

School To Work, LLC. 
Vocational Exploration, Transition Services & Independent Living options to individuals with intellectual disabilities and students on the Autism spectrum. Our goal is to educate clients about employment and life skills using a community based service delivery model. about employment and life skills using a community based service delivery model. We assist students to transition from school into adult life: working, living & participating independently in the community.
Contact Number: 215-817-4444
Email: [email protected]

The Learning Academy at Drexel University 
A structured employment-focused program for young adults with autism spectrum disorder
Transition Pathways of the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute plans to replicate this 30-week transition program from the University of South Florida. The Learning Academy provides services, supports and experiential opportunities for participants to develop and achieve employment goals and enhance independence.


Making My Way through College
NCWD/Youth has released a new guide, Making My Way through College, aimed at helping students with disabilities navigate postsecondary education. The guide provides information and resources on preparing for and succeeding in college and transitioning from college into the world of work. Families and professionals who work with students entering or in postsecondary education are encouraged to share the guide with students and youth."


Transitional Day Program
SJU Kinney Center offers "The Transitional Day Program" which provides students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) the tools needed to develop life, social and vocational skills. This program is designed to supplement a typical high school curriculum with the goal of preparing participants with the practical skills needed to increase independence after graduation. For more information contact a Kinney Center Representative.




Pre-Employment Testing



Colleges & contacts which offer Autism Spectrum/disability accommodations (this is not a comprehensive list)

Dream partnership (multiple colleges in PA)  [email protected] (Sherri Landis )

Arcadia University- [email protected]  (Jessica Mattis)

Mercyhurst University- [email protected] (James Conroy)

Penn State University Harrisburg Campus - [email protected] (Dr. Linda Rhen)

Slippery Rock University-[email protected] (Dr. Robert Arnhold)

Temple University- [email protected] (Kathy Miller)

West Chester University - [email protected] (Cherie Fishbaugh)

Lehigh Carbon Community College - [email protected] (Michelle Mitchell )

Kutztown University- [email protected] (Linda Lantaff)

Eastern University- [email protected] (Dr. Sharon Thompson)

Delaware County Community College -contact form  (Ann Binder)

Bucks County Community College- [email protected] (Jennifer Osinski)



A list of PA Colleges Offering Autism Programs on Campus

Carnegie Mellon University – Pittsburgh, PA
The Olitsky Family Foundation Career-Readiness Program
Our career readiness program for students with cognitive and emotional differences is run through our Career and Professional Development Center, with extensive consultation and support from Disability Resources.

REAL Certificate
The Raising Expectations for Academic Learning or REAL Certificate offers students with disabilities the opportunity to participate in the same learning environments available to same-age peers in an academic-, vocational- and social inclusion-focused program. Eligible students are able to apply for certain types of federal aid. See the Student With Intellectual Disabilities eligibility section of the Federal Student Aid website ( for further information. For updates on the REAL Certificate, find us on Facebook (/REALCertificate) and Twitter (@REAL_CERT)

Drexel University – Philadelphia, PA
Drexel Autism Support Program (DASP)
The Drexel Autism Support Program (DASP) values neurodiversity and the benefits that diversity contributes to the Drexel community and greater society. With personalized peer mentoring and coaching, social events, skill building and more, DASP participants are supported to take full advantage of University life, develop academic and social skills for pursuing career opportunities and ultimately lead an enriched life. For more information, please visit or email Dr. Amy Edwards, Director of the Drexel Autism Support Program at [email protected]

Eastern University – Saint Davids, PA
College Success Program (CSP)
The College Success Program for Students Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder is a comprehensive program providing academic, social, life skills, and cultural supports to undergraduate students living with ASD. $4000 per semester. Contact Dr. Sharon Thompson at 484-654-2378 or [email protected]

Edinboro University – Edinboro, PA
Boro Autism Support Initiative for Success (BASIS) Program
The BASIS (Boro Autism Support Initiative for Success) Program assists students with an autism spectrum disorder through individualized transition support. Academics, social competence, daily living skills, communication, and employment are the focus of BASIS. A wide range of staff, peer advisors, and campus resources collaborate to provide students with ASD a positive successful experience.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania – Indiana, PA
Labyrinth Center
The Labyrinth Center provides a comprehensive and holistic approach to support IUP students with Autism Spectrum Diagnosis (ASD) as they build relationships, gain independence, experience academic success, and graduate from IUP with the professional and personal skills needed to embark on a fulfilling life and career.

Kutztown University  – Kutztown, PA
My Place
The My Place program provides structured support services to Kutztown University students on the autism spectrum and assists students with adjustment to college life and integration into the college community. Services include weekly coaching sessions, study halls, and other group activities. This is a fee for service program. Please visit for application and program details.

Mercyhurst University – Erie, PA

AIM Program: The mission of the Autism Initiative at Mercyhurst (AIM) is to facilitate and support the successful adjustment and progression of college students on the autism spectrum in all domains of college life, thereby broadening their vocational opportunities, and enhancing social and community engagement. The AIM program strives to accentuate each student’s abilities within the academic, social, emotional, and independent living domains, while building new skills within the domains where the student may be deficient.   

CREATE: is a nationally-acclaimed summer experience designed to help potential students determine whether they are ready for the demands of college life. Students live in a Mercyhurst residence hall, eat in the college cafeteria, enroll in a three-credit college course, and interact with fellow students in a variety of social activities and settings. The students also participate in the College 101 Series and the Mini Lecture Series to familiarize them with college departments and expose the participants to different faculty and lecture styles. After completing the program, all students will receive a formal written assessment documenting their performance throughout CREATE. The report will highlight their strengths and/or weaknesses and make recommendations to support their transition to a residential college life as a full-time student.

 Contact Brad McGarry at (814) 824-2451 or [email protected] for more information.

Slippery Rock University – Slippery Rock, PA
ATLAS Program
The ATLAS Program provides Slippery Rock University students with autism spectrum diagnosis a wide variety of support, resources and events to ensure a successful transition into, through and out of their college experience.

St. Joseph’s University – Philadelphia, PA
Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support
The Kinney Center ASPIRE Program provides Saint Joseph’s University students who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) comprehensive customized support as they transition to college and matriculate. The ASPIRE program includes crisis intervention and prevention, time management strategies, independent living and social skills training, peer mentors, and a supported work environment. The Kinney Center acts an intermediary with faculty, residence life, academic support, and facilitates training and advocacy programs for the campus community. Cost: $6000 per academic year.

West Chester University – West Chester, PA
Dub-C Autism Program (D-CAP)
The mission of D-CAP is to provide evidence-based social and behavior supports to help WCU matriculated students with autism develop the independent life and interpersonal skills to graduate and lead successful professional lives.

Pennsylvania College of Technology 

ASPIE Program: Autism Spectrum Post-Secondary Interest Experience (pre-college program) The ASPIE program is the perfect opportunity for high school students in grades 10-12 with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and their parents to obtain valuable information pertaining to post-secondary education and career exploration. Choose from the ASPIE virtual one-day session or the on-campus program that runs for two consecutive days. The on-campus version gives participants the opportunity to experience living on campus by staying overnight in the housing complex.


Employment guides: 

Employer's Guide to Asperger's Syndrome
Getting Hired A Primer for Individuals with Asperger's & NLD 
Workplace Disclosure Strategies for Individuals with AS


The Center for Autism Research sponsored a Distinguished Lecture Series program on March 9, 2015 where Jane Thierfield Brown, PhD spoke to the audience about transitions to college for young adults on the Autism Spectrum. After Dr. Brown spoke, a panel discussion was moderated by Deb Dunn, Esq. The panelists included professionals who work with young adults, individuals diagnosed with ASD who are current college students and a college student participating in the peer mentoring program at the Kinney Center at St. Joseph’s University.

Planning for the Future Checklist from OVR
A list of goals in the form of a checklist.




Technology Tools for Living on Your Own

PACER’s Simon Technology Center is offering a three-part series of Livestream trainings titled ‘Living on Your Own.’ The series demonstrates devices and apps that support different areas of daily living. The first archived workshop featured information on developing independent living skills with technology that supports health and wellness. Highlighted tools and apps address managing medications, establishing healthy habits, and maintaining personal wellness. The second archived workshop discusses technology to help individuals with disabilities complete household tasks and live more independently. Apps and devices include reminders, timers, and task directions. The third workshop, “Taking Care of Meal Planning - Technology for Grocery Shopping, Cooking, and More,” takes place on January 15th, 2:00 – 3:00 P.M. Central Time. It will demonstrate apps and devices for meal planning, making a grocery list, and following cooking instructions to help adults with disabilities live more independently. Register to attend the event live or view the archived version after it airs.

PACER’s Tips for Families on Independent Living

PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment (NPCTE) has written resources focused on independent living topics on its website for youth with disabilities and their families, including:

Housing: Starting the Journey

This PACER video highlights the groundwork parents need to do before beginning the journey to housing. It emphasizes the need to start early and to base your housing journey on person-centered thinking and planning. The NPCTE tip sheet, ‘Transition Tips When Considering Housing and Services,’ has more suggestions for parents on things to consider when planning to meet their youth’s housing needs.

Centers for Independent Living Make Community Living Possible

The Administration on Community Living (ACL) has a new infographic about how Centers for Independent Living (CILs) make community living possible. CILs are consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential, private nonprofit agencies that provide independent living services in every state. At a minimum, centers funded by the program are required to provide the following core services:

  • Information and referral;
  • Independent Living skills training;
  • Peer counseling;
  • Services that facilitate the transition of youth to postsecondary life;
  • Individual and systems advocacy; and
  • Services that facilitate transition from nursing homes and other institutions to the community and provide assistance to those at risk of entering institutions.

You can find the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) for each state and territory in the U.S on the ACL website along with each State’s Plan for Independent Living.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact a PACER Transition Specialist by emailing [email protected] or calling us at (952)838-9000.

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