The Alabama Department of Mental Health recently named the University of Alabama a Regional Autism Network (RAN) site. With this distinction, UA becomes one of five autism resource hubs in the state. The RAN launched in 2016, and UA joins Auburn University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of South Alabama, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville as RAN resource hubs.
RANs are funded by the Department of Mental Health, and each RAN is staffed by experts in the field of autism spectrum disorder. RANs strive to connect people with ASD, their families, educators, and service providers to the information, services, and support that best meet their needs. The resource hubs are established for individuals affected by ASD, their families, and other agencies. RANs provide professional training programs, technical assistance and consultation services, individual and family assistance, and public education programs.
Dr. April Coleman is the Regional Autism Network (RAN) Director for the West Alabama region. She received her Ph.D. in Special Education in 2012 from The University of Alabama. Dr. Coleman has a combined 16 years of professional experience across K-12 and higher education levels. Her experience includes working as an Elementary Gifted Specialist in the Tuscaloosa County School System, an Assistant Professor of Education at Mississippi University for Women, and an Adjunct Education Instructor at The University of Alabama and Delta State University. In addition to serving as RAN Director, she is also an instructor for the UA Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities. Dr. Coleman is passionate about identifying, meeting, and advocating for individuals’ exceptional strengths and needs in home, school, and community settings.
To learn about assistance and resources available in West Alabama, contact Dr. Coleman by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the Alabama Regional Autism Network can be found by visiting www.autism.alabama.gov/Regional-Autism-Network.html