This essay is, ultimately, a plea for more autistics to enter into the field of public sociology. To the best of my knowledge, I am presently the only autistic activist/self-advocate involved in the field. I also maintain the PublicSociology.com website.
Although I am not aware of any entirely online, or distance learning, public sociology programs and courses, there are some on-campus ones. Examples include the University of California at Berkeley, American University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ithaca College, the University of San Diego, the University of Massachusetts Lowell,
Birmingham City University, the University of Minnesota (where it is called civic sociology), Northeastern Illinois University (also civic sociology), and North Carolina State University (engaged sociology).
The American Sociological Association's Public Sociology website offers some examples of public sociology practices. Additional information can be obtained at my site and by visiting its links sections.
The following is a revision of a message I posted on the subject of public sociology to an email list:
I think that there are really two different public sociologies. First, there was, of course, twentieth-century public sociology, as the term was coined by Herbert Gans in his ASA address (PDF). Second, there is twenty-first-century public sociology, as the term was redefined by Michael Burawoy in his ASA address (PDF).
Gans' public sociology would be reflected in Contexts magazine. Burawoy's public sociology is seen in Sociologists without Borders.