Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Students with Disabilities Survey

ASAN Southwest Ohio has received a request for assistance with a survey of students with disabilities in postsecondary education. It is for a master's thesis project, and responses are needed within the week. Please consider responding if you are currently a student, or passing this link along to someone who is. More research and information about the supports and services that lead to successful transition outcomes are greatly needed.

The survey's author, Jeffrey Frinzi, can be reached at jf6709@desales.edu for further discussion. He would like to speak in more depth to those who are interested in sharing their stories.


I am a graduate student @ DeSales University in Center Valley, PA. I am working on my master's thesis. My adviser is not requiring me to take a specific approach toward the study. Optimally, a study that investigates the phenomena of students with disabilities transitioning to college should probably employ either qualitative methods or mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative). I am not autistic and I am not a teacher, yet; therefore, I am having no success reaching students with disabilities to take my survey.

I first became familiar with the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and all the good you have accomplished when my family attended the annual Penn Autism Network Conference a few years ago. Our autistic son is now nineteen and will be attending community college later this year. My wife and I are always reminding him that lifelong education is the key to success and to be proud of his autism. He on the other hand blames his autism and would like to erase it permanently.

It is both his attitude and the work of ASAN that inspired me to return to school at the age of 51 to pursue a master's degree in education with initial certification in special education. I want to help autistic students succeed at postsecondary education. I am currently working on my final research project entitled, "How are students who are classified as learning disabled utilizing learning supports at the postsecondary level?"

I am having a difficult time finding students to take my survey so I can gather data either because the disability services offices will not allow me access to the students or students want to erase their learning disabilities (denial). I have included the link to my survey. If you know of any learning disabled students who would be willing to take my survey you may feel free to forward my link or provide them with my email address. The survey will take only a few minutes. My hope is that a few would be willing to agree to a one on one interview to expound their answers.

I feel that autistic persons should be proud, if not accepting of their autism. But because I am not autistic, and my son is, I have been living this feeling through my son. Once I achieve my master's degree I will be more qualified to speak out about the positive power of autism. I want to help the best way that I can.



Thank you for your time in this matter and keep up the good work,

Jeffrey Frinzi

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