The HANDS in Autism® Research and Service Mentorship Program provides opportunities for undergraduate to post-graduate students to engage among interdisciplinary service or research project teams specific to areas of development as aligned with but not limited to the principles of undergraduate learning. With ongoing seminars, mentoring meetings, and structured check-ins aligned with the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) frameworks, learners are selected based on their interests, experiences, and availability to engage among teams ranging from one semester to multiple years pending the need and fit.
Within our innovative Center design, the HANDS leadership team worked to design a layout that is primed for shadowing, immersive learning, and mentoring. All Center team members come aboard with an understanding of the HANDS mission and vision to both offer innovative learning opportunities and build local capacity. With this in mind, feel free to let us know of your interest in shadowing or engaging across the range of offerings detailed below:
Student Support Assistant
On-campus employment; part-time, hourly positions; work-study eligible
Student Support Assistants (SSAs) are considered a part of the HANDS administrative support team and support many key facets of the HANDS Center operations under and alongside the HANDS leadership team. Assistants lead communications, follow-up, and general coordination tasks in support of services, trainings and events, outreach, and distribution.
Student volunteer role in fulfillment of course or program requirements*
*Expanded role types (i.e., on-campus employment, part-time, hourly positions) are offered pending the experience, qualifications, and duration of students with the HANDS team.
Research Assistants (RAs) have the opportunity to engage across an array of research and dissemination stages as part of project teams centered around the Center’s research studies, pilot projects, and program and facilitation efforts. Quarterly goals are set within project teams spanning stages of data collection, analyses, visualization, and both scholarly and non-scholarly dissemination to extend the impact and outreach efforts of the Center. Assistants have the opportunity to take part in these teams to gain training and experience in practical and translational research and research tools (e.g., REDCap, data management, EndNote, literature evaluation, basics of charts and graphs, and data visualization) while also building relationships with our collaborative partners inclusive of but not limited to the Ruth Lilly Medical Library and Department of Biostatistics.
Direct Support Assistant
On-campus employment; part-time, hourly positions; transportation to or ability to drive to off-site locations may be required
Direct support assistants engage and work directly with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related disabilities through programming and service options delivered through the HANDS Center. With service options provided across a range of formats (e.g., virtual, onsite, community-based) and ages (i.e., lifespan focus) to meet and support needs statewide and beyond, assistants participate in ongoing professional learning opportunities (e.g., initial onboarding, weekly seminar series) to best support implementation of plans, curriculum, and strategies steeped in evidence-based practices and inherent within the HANDS in Autism® Model Training Curriculum, Framework and Process.
Student volunteer role in fulfillment of course or program requirements; Off-site or off-campus focused with work within communities, sites, and/or State entities
Field-based assistants work alongside HANDS team members specific to field-based implementation programs and/or projects. Roles may include but not be limited to working with HANDS collaborative sites, within the HANDS Coordinated Care continuum, among pilot projects, contributions to program evaluations, and/or state and community facilitation efforts. These high-profile community initiatives align with the core mission and vision of the HANDS Center to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and professionals affected by special needs.
Student volunteer role in fulfillment of course or program requirements (e.g., service learning programs or hours)
Program Assistants work with the HANDS leadership team to support tasks or efforts across programs and projects that provide unique student and volunteer opportunities, aligned with course or program requirements, among those looking for a more limited service experience without the constraints of a particular number of hours. Assistants may be looking for a one-time opportunity or a regular, ongoing schedule depending upon the needs of the Center and the program requirements, interests, and skills of the individual. Activities might include program-level support of HANDS leadership in preparation of specific programs or events, partnerships or outreach, and/or participation in particular community or awareness events or initiatives.
School/Community Consultation Elective for Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows
The HANDS in Autism® (“HANDS”) School & Community Consultation Medical Elective has been designed to provide learners in medical education with an opportunity to shadow, engage, and learn about school experience and community living particularly as it relates to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a range of other special needs. As you consider this elective or other ways to engage as part of your medical training, check out the HANDS Calendar to find opportunities to participate.
Don’t see the activity of interest to you? Have other ideas for participation? Looking to engage or contribute as a group, society, or organization? Please contact HANDS in Autism® at 317-274-2675 or email@example.com. Visit our Ways to Give page for more ways to get involved.