Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2019

Capstone Advisor

Peter Wilcoxen

Honors Reader

Anne Mosher

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Disability Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This thesis centers on autism and the exclusionary effects of it. While there is a wealth of new research on this diagnosis indicating that while there is an entire spectrum of autism, many people are fully functional in society. Many of these people simply have limitations. If these limitations were attended to by society, there would be no need for exclusion of people with these types disabilities. Many of the changes needed to promote an environment of inclusion instead of exclusion are not incredibly difficult to make, yet they have not been made.

While people on the spectrum are excluded from all kinds of activites, the most exclusionary are some of the most basic. Many people with autism reports that they avoid going to stores and into public places because it is too overwhelming. These places are often loud and bright. There is so much going on that it becomes a place filled with more anxiety than anything else for them. Due to this, people with autism avoid many public spaces overall, furthering the exclusion they already face by society.

A remedy to one area of this problem is a Quieter Hour. This is when a grocery store dims their lights, turns off the background music, turns off the checkout sounds and posts signs indicating that it is a Quieter Hour for one hour per week. While these changes may seem small, they make a large difference for someone with autism. This changes the environment from one that is too overwhelming to one that is manageable, maybe even pleasant.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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