Posted on 19th February 2019
University of Portsmouth adopts the Autism&Uni toolkit
Dr Beatriz Lopez, Director of the Autism Centre for Research into Employment (ACRE), has incorporated the Autism&Uni toolkit into a new university-wide resource designed to help autistic students with the transition into university.
Beatriz said: “The adaptation of the Autism&Uni toolkit has opened a much needed communication between the autism centre, disability and well-being services. It will be advertised to students well before they come, to help them get an idea of what UoP is like, and to help them with their transition into university.”
When adapting the Autism&Uni toolkit to the UoP context, Beatriz involved current autistic students. This allowed her team to include unique local knowledge and real experiences, which new autistic students can directly relate to. The positive effect of using such role models and previous experiences is well known. The toolkit’s use of questions and direct calls to action works well in this context as it can help students to reflect on their own experiences, and decide what action to take.
ACRE has long been at the forefront of research into the employment gap that exists for autistic people. The new resource will complement this research, and there are plans to further adapt the Autism&Uni toolkit so that it does not only cover the transition into university, but also the transition from education into the world of work.
Beatriz Lopez: “The original Autism&Uni toolkit serves as a model for the Autism and Employment toolkit we are creating, which will also have a mixture of information, prompts and questions. This is designed to help parents, teachers and careers advisors to guide their children’s career options, and later for autistic adults to search for jobs and stay in work.”
The University of Portsmouth will launch the Autism&Uni toolkit in Spring 2019, ready for the new cohort of students who will start their study in September 2019. For more information about ACRE visit http://www2.port.ac.uk/department-of-psychology/facilities/autism-centre-for-research-on-employment/