Posted on 28th June 2021
What inclusivity means – Brilliant interview with Harriet Cannon of the University of Leeds
I’ve just been listening to Harriet Cannon, Disability Support Team Leader at the University of Leeds, talking about how autistic students can best be supported at university. Harriet is a force of her own, having founded the Autism Practitioners mailing list and representing the interest of autistic students on several national panels and advisory groups.
I had the pleasure of working with Harriet during the early phase of the Autism&Uni project, and more recently she contributed to this blog with a piece on studying remotely during Covid.
Harriet was interviewed for a podcast series by NADP, the National Association of Disability Practitioners. It’s an insightful, thoughtful interview, covering plenty of challenges and aspects of support.
I really liked her approach to making exams more inclusive. The Autism&Uni Best Practice Guide for Lecturers covers this to some extent, and Harriet goes a step further: after finding that reasonable adjustments had to be considered for more and more autistic students, a new approach was needed. Eventually, exam questions were changed for all students at Leeds, whether autistic, otherwise disabled, or not. This made exams more accessible for everyone, and it also increased academics’ understanding of what inclusiveness means in practice.
You can listen to the interview here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1776590/8720260
Marc Fabri, Autism&Uni Project Lead