Supporting autistic students during the transition into employment.
About this event
On 10 November 2017, IMAGE teams from the UK and the Netherlands welcomed careers professionals from across Europe to attend a free online webinar. The webinar covered various topics relating to supporting autistic students:
- Understanding autism from a strength-based approach
- Opportunities and challenges when seeking graduate employment
- Good practice examples from around Europe
- How to offer the optimal guidance
- Principles for good co-operation
- Our free tools and guides for supporting autistic students and graduates
The webinar was popular – more than 80 professionals joined online to listen to the 6 speakers and get a first preview of the IMAGE project outputs: a Good Practice Guide and Video Training Materials for careers advisors.
|9.00-9.30||Welcome and introduction to the event|
Dr Marc Fabri, IMAGE Project Lead, Leeds Beckett University
|9.30-10.00||Co-designing career support with autistic student consultants|
Keren Coney and Jack Fitzpatrick, Liverpool John Moores University
|10.00-10.45||An introduction to the IMAGE Training Material |
Dr Mitzi Waltz, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
|15 minute break|
|11.00-11.15||Personal account of entering the world of work. Sandie Stewart|
|11.15-11.45||The IMAGE Good Practice Guide for careers advisors. Claire Aydogan, University of Huddersfield|
|15 minute break|
|12.00-12.30||Supporting disabled students through the transition into employment via collaborative work between Disability Services and The Careers Service|
Rachael Whittles, University of Huddersfield
|12.30-13.00||Closing comments and evaluation|
Dr Marc Fabri, Leeds Beckett University
Dr Marc Fabri, IMAGE project lead, will open the webinar and introduce you to the IMAGE project. Marc is Reader in Participatory Design at Leeds Beckett University. He has worked extensively with autistic university students on breaking down barriers to entering and succeeding in higher education. He previously led the Autism&Uni project and is editor of the Journal of Enabling Technologies.
Keren Coney is a Careers and Employability Consultant at Liverpool John Moores University and until last month was Co-Chair of the AGCAS (Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) Disability Task Group. She has a particular concern for autistic students and graduates and the challenges that exist when many of these individuals seek to enter and succeed in the workplace. Keren is currently studying for a PhD that seeks to explore what can be done to support autistic students to successfully progress to employment when they graduate, based at the Autism Centre for Education and Research at The University of Birmingham.
Jack Fitzpatrick is a 20 year old undergraduate third year student at Liverpool John Moores University studying Education Studies and Inclusion. Jack has a diagnosis of Autism and Dyspraxia and had an early diagnosis from the age of 3 years old. He has recently been a Diversity and Inclusion consultant with LJMU evaluating their approach to supporting Autistic students in association with Keren’s research. He is a member of a steering committee for a disabled students careers event later this month. As part of his studies Jack self-sourced a three week work placement and subsequent summer internship with a multinational construction company Aggregate Industries (owned by Holcim Group) within their HR division transforming their Diversity and Inclusion company culture. Jack is also the co-founder of Inclusive Environments LTD a diversity, inclusion and workplace strategy company which was founded in May 2021 as a result of research within FTSE 500 companies evaluating neurodiversity during the pandemic. Inclusive Environments LTD focusses on inclusive design of physical and remote workplaces to allow all to feel comfortable when in the workplace.
dr Mitzi Waltz is a Senior Researcher with the Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Previously she led the MA in Autism Studies programmes at Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Birmingham. She has been involved in research concerning education and employment for people with autism for over 20 years.
Sandie Stewart graduated from the University of Huddersfield in June 2020 with a first-class honours degree in Web Studies (Web Design). Now working at Huddersfield University as a VLE Developer, Sandie focuses on the blended learning courses run by Nursing and Midwifery. Sandie self-diagnosed with Autism after disagreeing with the Assessor – who said that “Autism is like a cake, you have a lot of this cake, but because you care what people think you are not autistic”.
Claire Aydogan is an experienced Head of Employability at The University of Huddersfield, with over 15 years of professional practice. Claire spent over 10 years gaining commercial experience and has a deep understanding of employer requirements. Claire’s research is in the field of Resilience and employability barriers. Claire is also on the board of directors for C&K Careers.
Rachael Whittles is a Disability Adviser at the University of Huddersfield. As part of this role she supports Autistic students to have an equal access to Education and co-runs an Autism lunch club. She has been involved with supporting disabled students into employment by working closely with the Careers Service. This has involved conducting research from the disabled student community to inform collaborative practice for tailored support for the specific needs of students including those with Autism. Results of this have included arranging a careers event aimed at disabled students which has now run annually for three years. There has also been an increased sharing of information between both teams and efforts made towards more inclusive practice. Past research has included looking at the role of Lecture Capture to support disabled student’s learning and she is about to embark on a Masters dissertation observing the experience of on-line learning for Autistic students.
From the event invite:
How to participate
Register for free now to secure your space. Before the webinar, you will be given details for logging into the online meeting environment.
Useful to know
No prior experience of working with autistic students is required. There will be some conversational parts during the webinar, and we encourage participants to take part in these since all experiences and thoughts are important to us.
We would like to know what you think of the event and our resources. Near the end of the webinar we will ask you to take part in a short evaluation.
Please note that the event will be hosted and recorded on MS Teams. If you have your camera switched on, you may be visibile in some of the recording. If you do not want this, simply keep your camera switched off.
We kindly ask you to keep your microphone switched off during presentations.
After the event you can request a certificate of attendance by emailing email@example.com.
IMAGE is an EU-funded partnership of 5 European universities: Leeds Beckett University, Helsinki University, Free University Amsterdam, Medical School Berlin and the University of Toulouse.
IMAGE aims to improve autistic graduate employment across Europe. We provide resources and tools for careers advisors, autistic students and graduates, academics and employers.
While researching the university journey of autistic students and graduates, we found that:
- More and more autistic adults are getting into higher education
- They study across the whole spectrum of subject areas (not just STEM)
- Many graduates are currently faced with unemployment or work that isn’t linked to their qualifications
- Autistic students benefit greatly from personalised careers advice
- Autistic employees benefit from collaboratively designed reasonable adjustments
- An understanding of autism is crucial to providing effective support
More about the project can be found at www.imageautism.com. If you have any questions, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.