Lynch Learning Center Photo

Lynch Center Events Focused on Autism Acceptance

Robert Waterbury

The Loras College Lynch Disability Resource and Cultural Center has announced a slate of events in April centered on informing and educating the public on autism. All of the events will take place in the Alumni Campus Center Ballroom at 7 p.m.

“The month of April has historically been known as Autism Awareness month.  It’s time to move from awareness to acceptance,” Lynn Gallagher, Ed.D., director of the Lynch Disability Resource and Cultural Center, said. “Being aware is not enough. Truly listening to autistic voices, and not talking over those voices, will help autistic people live more meaningful lives rather than treating the condition like an illness.”

Things kickoff with an information session about the basics of autism. This interactive session will dispel myths and empower participants to be truly inclusive. The event, Autism 101, will be held Monday, April 17.

The following night, the movie “Deej” will be shown. The film tells the story of a nonspeaking autistic individual, DJ Savarese (Deej) as he confronts the terrors of his past, society’s obstacles to inclusion and the often paralyzing beauty of his own senses.

Loras will host two events featuring current and former Autism Resources for Career and Higher Education (ARCH) students as they share their experiences living with autism. The first event features Hope Jacobson (’19), who will speak about her time both as a student and beyond. Jacobson has published two books and maintains a successful podcast and blog. Her presentation will be Wednesday, April 19.

A panel of four current ARCH students will share their stories of autism. Each panelist will discuss ways they have experienced life (both good and bad) and ways to support and include those with autism. The panel discussion will be held on Thursday, April 20.

Loras College’s ARCH program is a four-year program designed to help students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) thrive emotionally, academically, and socially.  Students work directly with Loras College certified autism specialists to hone skills ranging from self-advocacy and organization to stress management and socialization in addition to earning their bachelor’s degree.

For more information contact: Lynn Gallagher, director of the Lynch Disability Resource & Cultural Center at or 563.588.7921

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