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Events Support Neurodivergent Students During Autism Acceptance Month

By Troy Cofie

On April 24, the Bridges to Adelphi program held a yard sale to raise money for RVC Blue Speaks, a coalition of community members, local businesses and local government officials that focuses on helping neurodivergent students, providing scholarships to those who are part of the Adelphi program.

The yard sale had items like sensory bubble poppers, crossword puzzles, word searches and fuzzy socks all available for a donation. Students could also donate money or any items that can support Bridges to Adelphi. They were able to raise $150 for RVC Blue Speaks. This was part of an array of events sponsored by Bridges celebrating neurodivergent students throughout campus in recognition of Autism Acceptance Month.

“The mission of this national April event is to foster more acceptance and educate the populace,” said Amanda Ashe, social coordinator of the Bridges to Adelphi program. “It’s a time where the world is paying attention to autism.”

Many of the events that took place on campus were coordinated by Ashe, who oversees all social events, groups and services. She organized the Silent Disco, Bridges got Talent, and a neurodiversity panel on April 17 with Kerry Magro, EdD, an autistic adult, speaker, author and disability advocate.

Amanda Ashe (left), social coordinator of the Bridges to Adelphi Program, with Feminist Alliance president Allysa Furline. On April 26, they hosted an educational neurodiversity table in the UC lobby as part of a series of events for Autism Acceptance Month. Photo by Troy Cofie

“I think the events were very successful and overall had good attendance,” said Ashe, adding that the overall mission of the Bridges program provides academic, social and vocational support services to Adelphi’s neurodivergent students.

“Bridges to Adelphi helps neurodivergent students transition from high school to college; to college to the real world,” she said. “It also provides neurodivergent training with RAs and different organizations on campus to enhance understanding of neurodivergent students.”

The program currently assists about 130 students. It has been presented with a NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) award in the equity, inclusion, and social justice category for its innovative services for neurodivergent students and effective administration. Ashe said the Bridges to Adelphi program is one of the first in the country that provides support to neurodivergent students-providing social groups and first-year assistance for neurodivergent students.

“Many of our neurodivergent students are able to get the help they need and be part of Adelphi’s community because of the work of the Bridges program,” she said.

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