Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities

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Community of Practice (CoP) in Autism in Rhode Island

Sherlock Home | C.G.S in Autism Education


A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common interest in something they do, meet on a regular basis and seek to improve their practice (Wenger & Traynor, 2015). The goal of the CoP in Autism in RI is to bring diverse educators into a working relationship around a common interest in autism spectrum disorders to share information and improve practice. The CoP meets 3 to 4 times a year at Rhode Island College and hosts a variety of speakers who have presented on topics such as inclusion, social skills instruction, improving outcomes, and addressing challenging behavior. While the majority of group members are educators (teachers, related service providers, administrators, etc.), we also welcome individuals with disabilities, family members, community providers, clinicians, students and any other interested stakeholders.


Paul LaCava
Associate Professor
Rhode Island College
(401) 456-9703 (email Paul)

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2018 Autism Educator of the Year Award - Call for Nominations!

The Certificate of Graduate Study (CGS) in Autism Education faculty at Rhode Island College is seeking nominations from the field for the 2018 Autism Educator of the Year Award. Please see the nomination form below for details.

Autism Educator Award Nomination Form 212 kb (PDF)

The Rhode Island Autism Educator of the Year Award was created to recognize and celebrate the tremendous work that goes on daily in our field. Any licensed professional (general education teacher, special educator, SLP, OT, school psychologist, social worker, etc.) who works with individuals with ASD is eligible to be nominated.

We are looking for nominations for this spring's award and will announce the winner at our next CoP meeting on May 16. Nominations may come from anyone - you don't need to be a CGS graduate to nominate someone else or to be nominated for the award.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact Paul LaCava at

March 6, 2018 CoP Meeting Summary

Over 150 attendees participated in a workshop entitled Working Together to Develop Effective IEPs for Students with ASD. This event was co-sponsored by the Sherlock Center and the
Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART) .

The panel of speakers included:

Handouts and PowerPoint slides from the March Meeting:

Handouts and web links 1 MB (PDF)
PowerPoint Slides 1.3 MB (PDF)

Professor emeritus, Dr. Tony Antosh, presented to the Community of Practice in Autism RI at their winter meeting on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. The event took place in the Student Union Ballroom at RIC and more than 130 participants came to hear Dr. Antosh present on "Inclusion: It's Not That Hard.

Meeting/Seminar Schedule
Space is limited. Registration is required. A confirmation and parking pass will be issued upon registering.

Next Meeting
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
4:00 -6:00 PM
Topic: Creating the Connections: Applying Learn the Signs, Act Early to support children and their families

Gaige Hall Auditorium
Rhode Island College
600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue
Providence, RI 02908

Directions and Campus Map (PDF)

Register Online

Print Flyer 296 kb (PDF)

Next Meeting - Save the Date!
Thursday, April 18, 2019
4:00 -6:00 PM
Topic: Sexuality Education and Autism

Registration will open soon


Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities

Professional Development

General letters of attendance will be available at the end of the workshop. NASW RI CEUs (2.0 credit hours) available pending approval.

Accommodations Requests

If you need a reasonable accommodation (ASL Interpreter, materials in an alternate manner, etc.) to fully participate in an event, please make your request known when you register or contact Elaine Sollecito at the Sherlock Center.
Registration Questions?

Elaine Sollecito:

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