Zarah is a passionate advocate for neurodiversity and special education. She joined the As I Am team in July 2021 as the Bridge Forward Project Coordinator, where she works tirelessly to create inclusive environments for autistic individuals. In 2014, Zarah founded Sparkability CLG, a social enterprise dedicated to supporting autistic children. She holds a Bachelor of Philosophy in Special Education, Autism, and Children from the University of Birmingham, graduating in 2015.
Throughout her career, Zarah has designed strengths-based community projects for Autistic young people in Kildare and Dublin. She has delivered workshops nationwide and spoken at international conferences, sharing her expertise in the field. Zarah’s dedication to education led her to work in adult education and training with Colleges of Further Education. She also served as a placement tutor with Dublin City University, contributing to undergraduate degrees in early childhood education.
Zarah furthered her education by completing a Master’s of Education in Early Intervention at Trinity College Dublin. Her research focused on understanding the living experiences of families with autistic children and young people, a topic close to her heart. The data from this research has been included and presented at the Educational Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI) Annual Conference: Reconstructing education: What matters? Marino Institute of Education, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland, April 2022..
Recently diagnosed as autistic herself, Zarah’s personal experience adds a unique perspective to her work and advocacy efforts.
In addition to her professional achievements, Zarah is a devoted parent to three children, one of whom is autistic and has an intellectual disability. This firsthand experience has deepened her understanding of special education and fueled her advocacy for neurodivergent individuals. Through her work and personal journey, Zarah continues to make a significant impact on the lives of autistic individuals and their families.
Zarah started her role as Training Manager with AsIAm in 2022, she manages the autism friendly accreditation programme and works with a team of training officers. The team deliver Autism specific training supports nationwide in a multitude of settings in health, education, community, and business.