Due to work by Ohio University Student Senate, professors and other professionals at OU may better identify and assist students with an autism spectrum disorder.

During Wednesday evening’s general body meeting, the body voted to approve a bill asking the university to “adopt autism spectrum disorder checklists across departments.”

The checklist details characteristics of someone with an autism spectrum disorder. Senate plans to mail the checklist to university administrators and other professionals on campus, such as employees of Ohio University Culinary Services.

Saira Brown, the director of internship and secondary sponsor of the bill, said a diversity and inclusion committee she served on sent out a survey to professors about ASD. 

“They had no knowledge of who had ASD or a disability in their classroom,” Brown said. “They asked us to help them and provide them with resources.”

She hopes the checklist will “knock down” stereotypes associated with ASD. 

“I hope people understand ASD a little more and other disabilities,” she added.  

Senate President Landen Lama said senate will recommend the checklist be added to the training portfolios of “housing professionals, health professionals and safety professionals” at the university. 

“We want to make Ohio University the most inclusive place it can be,” Lama added. 

During the meeting, Elizabeth Sayrs, the interim executive vice president and provost, also gave a presentation about her role at the university and developments hiring someone to replace her as executive vice president and provost. 

The university is working on new initiatives to retain students until graduation and creating an expanded honors program, Sayrs said.  

The body also voted to approve three resolutions appointing people to commission positions and tabled one other appointment resolution at the request of the resolution’s sponsor. 

@m_peckable

mp172114@ohio.edu

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