2023 CORE Trainee Research Award

November 7, 2023

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.

Larissa Minner

Texas Center for Disabilities Studies, University of Texas: Austin TX

"As an ACT LEND trainee, Larissa designed and conducted a mixed-methods research study on healthcare disparities between autistic and non-autistic adults and broader issues in healthcare for people with disabilities. Findings from this study will be important to develop adequate health care systems for autistic people and people with disabilities."


Autistic advocate, speaker, scholar, and consultant, Larissa Minner is a driving force in promoting inclusivity and equity for neurodivergent individuals. As a dedicated advocate, Larissa's impactful presentations have reached organizations such as PayPal, Safe Alliance, the University of Texas, and the Autism Society of Texas.  She successfully completed the prestigious ACT LEND program at UT Austin,

((Autism Consortium of Texas Leadership in Education on Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) ) in Fall 2022-May 2023. Larissa created a series of self-advocacy videos and educational materials with Disability Rights Texas as part of her LEND practicum.

Larissa's commitment extends to her role as the lead researcher of the multiple award-winning research study S.H.A.P.E. in healthcare at the University of Texas at Austin part of the prestigious ACT LEND program. Larissa collaborated with UT faculty on her study. This study explores healthcare disparities between autistic and non-autistic adults, emphasizing the need for inclusive healthcare systems. This study explores healthcare disparities between autistic and non-autistic adults, emphasizing the need for inclusive healthcare systems.

In 2023, UT Austin Steve Hicks Texas Center for Disability Studies (TCDS) brought Larissa in as a Research Associate and staff. Larissa is currently helping TCDS develop a research advisory committee for adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their family members.

Larissa's expertise has earned national recognition through her presentations at prominent conferences, podcasts, and panels across the United States. She is also actively involved in practical initiatives, creating educational materials, programs, and mentoring initiatives for neurodivergent adults. Larissa's passion for inclusivity is further evident in her collaborations to enhance interactions between individuals with disabilities and law enforcement.

As a neurodivergent individual with multiple disabilities, Larissa's advocacy work is deeply personal, rooted in her experiences and expertise. Her genuine passion, academic prowess, and unwavering dedication make her a significant force in the realms of psychology, neurodivergence, and disability advocacy.