Danielle Leigh at WABC-TV:
A community college on Long Island planning to cut two programs designed to help students with Autism Spectrum Disorder is facing new pressure to reverse course following a report by 7 On Your Side Investigates.
On Friday, students, parents, and program coordinators described the ASPIRES and ACHILLES Programs at Nassau Community College in Garden City as life-changing for the individuals they serve.
"It's helped me branch out more socially. I used to be very reserved and I used to avoid talking with people and I feel like I've improved in that a whole lot," said Lucas Librie, a liberal arts student. "I went to a different college before Nassau and I did terribly."
New York State Senator Monica Martinez, D-Brentwood, a school administrator and member of the state Education Committee, responded to the news by writing Nassau Community College imploring them to change course.
"I strongly urge the reconsideration of the cancellation of the ASPIRES program," read the letter to NCC Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Valerie Collins. "I have been reached out by dozens of individuals whose lives have improved through participation in the ASPIRES program."