Institute On Disability At UNH Launches Resource Center For Autism
Unites Teaching, Research, Service Initiatives on Autism Spectrum Disorders

Contact: Beth Potier
UNH Media Relations

Sept. 20, 2005

DURHAM – The Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire has aggregated its expertise and services in the study of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to create the New Hampshire Resource Center for Autism.

“The IOD has long been a valuable resource for learning about, diagnosing, and working with individuals with autism. Bringing these various services together as the New Hampshire Resource Center for Autism will help us communicate our capacity and, ultimately, better serve people in the state with autism and their families, teachers, and caregivers,” said Jan Nisbet, director of the IOD and associate professor of education at UNH.

The Resource Center for Autism comprises professional development and technical assistance, evaluation and diagnosis, and academic and research initiatives, including one of the nation’s few Ph.D. programs in the study of autism spectrum disorders.

Specific projects and initiatives of the NH Resource Center for Autism include:

  • The Early Markers Project, a research project that aims to identify characteristics associated with the development of ASD in babies who have an older sibling with ASD.
  • Beyond Access, a four-year project that promotes improved learning of general education curriculum content by students with the most significant disabilities. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Beyond Access works with schools in Windham-Pelham, Raymond, Somersworth, and Pembroke.
  • Seacoast Child Development Clinic, which provides interdisciplinary evaluation and consultation to families of children who have developmental challenges, including autism.
  • Jumpstart: Early Success with Autism, which assists New Hampshire families and providers in supporting young children who have autism or autism-like characteristics.
  • Annual Autism Summer Institute, a five-day event providing state-of-the-art information and strategies in educating students with ASD in general education classes.
  • Ph.D. program in education with a focus on ASD as well as Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders, providing post-baccalaureate education to educators, social workers and psychologists, medical personnel, and policymakers.

The mission of the IOD is to advance policies and system changes, promising practices, education, and research that strengthen communities and ensure full access, equal opportunities, and participation for all persons. Established in 1987, the IOD is a University Center for Excellence on Disability (UCED).