Posted on 13th January 2020
Ireland’s leading autism charity AsIAm endorses Autism&Uni toolkit as part of the Autism Friendly University Award
AsIAm’s Katie Quinn introduces the Autism Friendly University Award which promotes good support practice for autistic students. The Autism&Uni toolkit is an example of good practice, endorsed as part of the award.
Here at Ireland’s leading autism charity AsIAm (www.asiam.ie) we undertake a range of programmes and campaigns to work towards bringing about a more inclusive Ireland for those who are autistic. One of these initiatives is the development of the AsIAm Autism Friendly University Award.
As part of AsIAm’s engagement with universities, we are delighted to work with Autism&Uni and Dr Marc Fabri. We endorse the Autism&Uni toolkit as an example of good practice.
Within Ireland, Higher Education Institutions are now placing a greater emphasis on ensuring that autistic students have access to more general and specific student support services. There is an increased recognition that autistic students need and benefit from supports that complement the standard services offered.
As part of AsIAm’s engagement with universities, we are delighted to work with Autism&Uni and Dr Marc Fabri. The Award provides a common understanding and good practice in Third Level institutions who teach autistic students, and we endorse the Autism&Uni toolkit as an example of good practice.
We look forward to supporting universities who are achieving the AsIAm Autism Friendly University Award to adopt the Autism&Uni toolkit. The toolkit helps students with the transition into university and it helps universities to create a more inclusive environment.
Universities which attain the Autism Friendly Award are understanding of the needs of autistic students, open to making adaptations to be more accessible and have a positive, celebratory culture towards Autism. These Universities will not only ensure autistic students can thrive while studying but also serve as a springboard to employment opportunities after their study.
The first university in Ireland to achieve this award is Dublin City University. We are currently creating short films with autistic students talking about their experience at DCU. These will be featured DCU’s version of the Autism&Uni toolkit. Since the launch in 2018, DCU have provided the blueprint for others to follow, with the implementation of the 8 Principles of an Autism Friendly University:
- Encourage and enable autistic students to transition and participate in university programmes.
- Support and build capacity to equip autistic students to meet the academic challenges of everyday university life.
- Support and build capacity to equip autistic students to meet the social challenges of everyday university life.
- Seek to establish an autism-friendly operational environment.
- Seek to combat the stigma around autism and recognise the diverse experiences of those with the condition.
- Develop understanding and relevant knowledge and skills within the university community.
- Establish channels so that autistic students can have a voice in various aspects of university life.
- Increase the employability of autistic graduates through a range of initiatives that will develop their soft-skills to support their transition beyond university.
Youth Engagement & Programmes Officer
To find out how your university can benefit from the Autism&Uni toolkit visit http://www.autism-uni.org/toolkits/
More information about AsIAm’s Autism Friendly University Awards is available at https://asiam.ie/autism-friendly-university-award