Across third level education, both in Ireland and internationally, an increasing number of higher education places are sought by students on the autism spectrum. This number is continually growing. (Barnhill, 2016)
Despite this increase in student enrolment, only a small number of autistic students complete their education. (Levy and Perry,2011).
How a University approaches being Autism Friendly makes a massive difference to Autistic students. You can access our Autism Friendly University Principles and some FAQs here.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about HEI’s gaining the AsIAm Autism Friendly University Award.
What are the Autism Friendly University Principles?
Frequently Asked Questions
Some areas that can be challenging for autistic students are:
- The transition into third level education
- The social and physical environment
- Academic challenges
- Accessing the correct supports
- Misconceptions and stigma associated with autism
- Gaining and transitioning into employment
HEI’s are now placing a greater emphasis on ensuring that autistic students have more access to support services. To equip universities who wish to create this learning environment, AsIAm have developed the Autism Friendly University Award, which provides a common understanding and good practice in Third Level institutions. It is drawn from a range of evaluations, policy guidelines and best practice from Ireland, the UK and internationally.
Universities which attain the AsIAm 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 study.
Why not start with gaining an understanding of what the process entails?
Here are webinars recorded for and by autistic students, as well as staff who support autistic students in Higher Level Education.
- Supporting Third Level Students During Covid-19 ft. Dr. Stephen Shore
- College 2020: What to Expect ft. Dr. Alison Doyle
- Managing Energy at University ft. Dr. Amy Laurent and Dr. JÂcqûelyn Fede
- An Autistic Student’s Guide to University ft Laocín Brennan
- Autism and Life After School: Education ft Dr. Fiona Earley and Billy Redmond