2020 AUCD CORE Trainee Research Award

Helen Rottier, PhD Student

December 16, 2020

This award was established in 2015 by the Council on Research and Evaluation and recognizes outstanding research accomplished by a current or recent AUCD trainee.


Helen Rottier, PhD Student

Institute on Disability & Human Development UCEDD/LEND, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

"Helen recently completed her master's degree in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is continuing her work in the PhD program. Helen is a graduate student assistant in the Institute on Disability and Human Development (IDHD), the UCEDD for Illinois.

Helen is interested in facilitating autism and neurodivergent resources and research within postsecondary education settings. While not research-based, Helen was instrumental in reimagining UIC's Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic's group called Autism Spectrum People in Education (ASPiE) which has since been changed to the Chicago Coalition of Autistic and Neurodivergent Students (CANS). CANS is a peer mentoring program for autistic and neurodivergent students at postsecondary education programs in the Chicagoland area. Meetings are held monthly and Helen facilitates and plans these meetings. Through CANS and other means, Helen is a passionate and continued advocate for herself as an autistic student and for others.

Helen has also served as the program coordinator for the EnvisionIT program which supports students with and without disabilities in their transition from high school to college. As a research assistant in IDHD and a consulting researcher with the Gernsbacher Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she is involved in projects on social skills training for school-aged children, mentorship for autistic and neurodivergent college students, academic ableism, and autistic advocacy. Since starting graduate school, she has initiated several research projects, including her thesis research."