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I-Ready Online Camp Prepares High School Students with Autism for College

by Sharita Forrest / Apr 26, 2022

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Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Illinois high schools who are on the autism spectrum are encouraged to apply for I-Ready, a virtual summer camp at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The I-Ready Summer Camp, offered by The Autism Program at the U. of I., is a weeklong online experience designed to promote future collegiate success for students on the autism spectrum. The virtual camp, in its second year, will be held daily from 1-2:30 p.m. CT June 20-24.

Campers will learn about what to expect from college life, participate in panel discussions with current U. of I. students and receive tips on social and academic success.

“Navigating post-high school options is tricky for any student, but is particularly difficult for students on the autism spectrum,” said Jeanne L. Kramer, the director of TAP. “This camp gives students a more concrete idea of what college is like and helps them and their parents prepare and decide if a competitive university is right for them.”

Participants will have opportunities during the online sessions to interact with others on the spectrum who are preparing for college. On July 8, campers can visit the U. of I.’s Urbana campus to meet other participants in person and tour the campus.

Special sessions will be offered for participants’ parents that will include tips on planning and preparing their students for the transition to college.

Applicants must demonstrate the intent and academic ability to attend a competitive university program. In addition to the online application, a staff member from each student’s high school who is willing to act as a reference should submit an online school support form assessing the student’s capabilities and interest in postsecondary education.

The fee for I Ready will be $150 per person; campers can request scholarships by contacting Kramer at

The deadline for applications and the school support forms has been extended to May 16. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by May 20.

TAP, a community-focused program of the Department of Human Development & Family Studies and the Department of Special Education at Illinois first offered the I-Ready Summer Camp in 2021. Kramer said about 30 Illinois high school students attended.

“Last year, the campers had a great time, especially when they got to meet and interact with current college students on the spectrum. I think that was their favorite part. It helped them imagine themselves at college, and I hope we get even more to apply this year,” Kramer said.

Learn more about the I-Ready Summer Camp in this story from Illinois Public Media...