It’s a new year and our Co-creation workshops are at full swing in all our partner countries. We are gathering information for our 3 intellectual outputs. But what has happened before that? Let’s have a look at the last six months of 2019.
Partner Meeting in Helsinki
In June we had our second Transnational Partner Meeting in Helsinki. The Helsinki meeting had two focus areas 1) Initial findings from the collected research data and 2) planning the next phase of the IMAGE project: Co-Creation.
First partners responsible for analysing the research data presented the initial findings. From the data rose both enabling factors and possible barriers for employment of autistic graduates. Demand for self-directedness was one of the biggest hurdles for autistic students. To get help with questions related to employability they needed to be active themselves. Poor person-centred support and feelings of difference from peers without autism where also raised.
During the two days partners had couple of workshops where data findings and their implications for the three intellectual outputs of IMAGE project where processed. Partners also got to know a little bit about Finnish cuisine and our midnight sun. It’s quite a curious thing when the sun doesn’t really set during summer in Finland. We had very fruitful two days with lots of activities and can’t wait for the next meeting in Toulouse at the beginning of March 2020.
IASSIDD 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland
During autumn partners have visited couple international conferences representing IMAGE project itself as well as the findings from the research data. In August Marc Fabri, Mitzi Waltz and Henri Pesonen where at The World Congress of the international Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Glasgow. There they facilitated a roundtable session on the topic “Autism and Employment – How can we close the gap?”
Glasgow was a beautiful city and partners enjoyed their time there. They also got quite a lot work done involving the IMAGE project and e.g. a publication plan for the findings was created at Glasgow.
Autism-Europe Congress in Nice, France
In September Henri Pesonen presented research results at the Autism-Europe International Congress in Nice. He spoke about enhancing the sense of belonging for students with autism spectrum disorder during higher education and transition to employment.
IMAGE partners Dr Marc Fabri (Leeds) and Prof Bertrand Monthubert (Toulouse) also attended the Autism Europe conference in Nice. Marc presented a poster on the IMAGE project.
“We found the conference very inspiring! I also felt thankful how many people showed interest in our project! I could not believe my eyes when a big lecture room was packed with people when I spoke about IMAGE!”, said Dr. Pesonen, project partner from Helsinki.
Dr. Henri Pesonen spoke about the initial findings based on the student interviews. Henri highlighted that there is still much room for enhancing sense of belonging for autistic students, which in turn can improve the employability. Dr. Pesonen mentioned that a scholarly paper about the students’ sense of belonging is in progress.