Posted on 23rd December 2020
Falmouth Exeter Plus adopts the Autism&Uni toolkit
Nikki Brown, Inclusive Learning Manager at Falmouth Exeter Plus, explains how the Autism&Uni Toolkit was implemented at her institution.
Falmouth Exeter Plus is a shared Student Services provider for Falmouth University and the University of Exeter in Cornwall. Our Accessibility advisers contact applicants with ASC, set up Individual Learning Plans, advise on Disabled Students’ Allowance, allocate specialist support workers as appropriate and organise Buddy Support to help with settling in and orientation. However, before adopting the Autism&Uni toolkit, we did not have much information specifically tailored to students on the spectrum.
When we heard about the toolkit, we found it full of helpful, clear advice and welcomed the chance to adapt it for our setting. Despite being WordPress novices, we found the content creation and editing process very straightforward and Marc Fabri provided support and guidance whenever needed. Having existing blogs that we could edit to include information about our own locations, support and services meant we were able to set up the site far more quickly and ensure we included the relevant information in a clear, consistent and accessible format.
We launched our version of the toolkit in the summer of 2019, initially sending out the link to applicants and new students who had declared ASC on their UCAS forms. Our non-medical helpers who supported students with autism shared the toolkit with their students and it was promoted within the Autism Society Facebook group. More recently, we have moved the toolkit to a prominent location on a new Accessibility and Inclusion website, where it is more easily accessed by students and staff.
Jake Durn, a Falmouth student with ASC was interviewed in Spring 2020 and provided insights into his experience of starting at university, which was then adapted into a student story entitled Alternative Guide to Freshers. We hope to include more student and staff stories over time.
We are very grateful to Marc Fabri and all the staff and students who have shared their ideas and experience so generously.