The mission of University of Nevada, Las Vegas Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (UNLV CASD) is to conduct community-focused research and educational training on individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), their families, and community service providers in Southern Nevada. The goal of UNLV CASD is to be a nationally recognized leader in the field of ASD through high quality research and training.
Center-Related Research & Projects
The CASD conducts research on effective assessment and intervention of persons with ASD. Our research has appeared in premier scholarly outlets, including Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.
Project F.O.C.U.S. (Forming Occupational and Community Understanding for Success) is a two-year post-secondary education program for young adults with intellectual/developmental disability, including Autism. F.O.C.U.S. uses the principles of the Universal Design for Learning and Person Centered planning to provide a 100 percent inclusive program that helps college students achieve current and future academic, independent living, and employment goals. http://unlvcoe.org/focus/
Project F.O.C.U.S. (Forming Occupational and Community Understanding for Success) is a 2 year post-secondary education program for young adults with intellectual/developmental disability. F.O.C.U.S. uses the principles of the Universal Design for Learning and Person Centered planning to provide a 100% inclusive program that helps college students achieve current and future academic, independent living, and employment goals.
We are thrilled to announce that Project F.O.C.U.S. at UNLV has recently been approved as a Comprehensive Transition Program by the U.S. Department of Education. We are now one of 75 approved programs in the nation.
Program of Study and Person Centered Planning
FOCUS strives to take into account the personal and career interests of each participant and provide them with a course of study that is modeled after traditional 2 year certificate programs. Within each program, courses and essential experiences are built into the certificate requirements. The courses and experiences that are chosen reflect not only the course of study the student chooses, but their personal interests. Efforts are made to have these align with the independent living and career goals of each student. To ensure a fully inclusive environment, these courses are selected from those offered in the general course catalog at UNLV.
To make these programs of study individualized for each student, person centered planning is used to create each student's program. Person centered planning is an individualized planning process used to create collaborative and goal-oriented plans for individuals. Additionally, it is a way to promote students’ self determination and involvement in the planning and decision making processes. FOCUS aims to use the tenants of person centered planning to ensure that participants are ready to participate in all aspects of their communities as independent adults. It is a, priority of the project to prepare students with the tools and knowledge necessary to discuss their strengths, needs, goals, disability, and to advocate for needed supports in the various environments they will navigate as adults.