Despite increasing numbers of autistic people entering third-level education, the number of autistic students who complete their course is comparatively small. Furthermore, those who do graduate are likely to experience unemployment or underemployment. Cultivating an autism friendly environment on campus can go a long way towards alleviating these challenges.
In 2018 Dublin City University (DCU) became the world’s first autism friendly university through a collaboration between DCU, AsIAm and Specialisterne Ireland.
DCU’s designation as Autism Friendly marked the conclusion of an 18-month research project, led by Dr Mary Rose Sweeney (the summary of which can be read here.) Through this research, AsIAm and DCU developed the nine principles of an autism friendly university (seen in the image to the left)
DCU served as an excellent project pilot of Autism Friendly Universities and while the college continues to develop, AsIAm has begun the process of assisting other colleges, Irish and abroad, to become part of this exciting new project. For more information on the Autism Friendly University Award, check below.
This project was approved by the Government of Ireland with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund.