MATC’S Uniquely Abled Academy Helps Autistic Students Navigate Through College | WUWM 89.7 FM

College is a difficult transition for any student, and it presents even more challenges for students with autism. Most students with autism need some extra support for their class work, which can be difficult in standard programs.

The Milwaukee Area Technical College wanted to make it easier for students with autism to navigate through college, so they created the Uniquely Able Academy – a program designed specifically for students with autism within the college.

The machine tool instructor who works with the program is Terry Vesic, and Ethan Tutaj-Blass, a student in the program who works to graduate in tools and dye, shares much.

“The Unilever Able Academy was established to train and encourage our machine tool industry as a starting point to help people with high functioning autism succeed in the workplace. We thought it was a great opportunity for students to come and try it out,” Wesick explains.

A career building that can come out of this program, especially those based on machine shops with semi-automated computerized number control machines.

Vesik says the program is designed to help students get acquainted with machines and gain some immediate business experience in the manufacture of parts.

As a student in the program, Tutage-Blass says that they allow enough time to soak up the curriculum information and understand why they do a particular procedure and how they do it.

“Going to trade school offered me very few classes, I knew I would do very poorly, and I’m going to college more tolerant, so when I hear about this program, I want to work with my hands, I’m strong. It seems very appropriate, “he says.

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