In this webinar from DJ Savarese, learn about how you can develop self-directed supports to help you succeed in college.

Alliance board member DJ Savarese is the first alternatively communicating autistic to attend and graduate from a residential college out of state. In this webinar, he walks people through four kinds of self-directed supports he used as he took root and thrived at Oberlin College. 

Those four categories were: 1. financial; 2. social; 3. emotional; and 4. academic.

About DJ Savarese:

David James (DJ) Savarese is a poet, artful activist, public scholar, and practicing optimist.  

As a working board member of The Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports, he is spearheading a national collection of narratives and pathways entitled Lives-in-Progress. A poet and writer, he’s published widely, including his chapbook, A Doorknob for the Eye; a “Notable” Best American Essay entitled “Passive Plants;” and an insight piece entitled “Coming to My Senses.” ( An artful activist, he is the co-producer, narrative commentator, and subject of the Peabody award-winning documentary Deej: Inclusion Shouldn’t Be a Lottery( and founded Listen2Us: Writing Our Own Futures ( as an Open Society Foundation Human Rights Initiative Youth Fellow.  He is currently collaborating with artist Malcolm Corley and fellow poets, Claretta Holsey, Lateef McLeod, and Jorrell Watkins on a book of poetry and art forthcoming from PromptPress in fall 2021. A public scholar, he teaches and presents nationally on a range of topics. His autoethnographic study  “Unearthing the Tools (and Concepts) That Bury Us,” is forthcoming in a scholarly anthology in fall 2021, as is a collaboration with his father on life writing across genres. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, DJ is a practicing optimist who lives life as a meditation on hope. Before moving to Iowa City, DJ graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin College (’17) with a double major in Anthropology and Creative Writing.