The IMAGE project concludes at the end of 2021 and to celebrate and share the project outcomes, we hosted a free virtual conference in Amsterdam, attracting more than 160 registrations.
The conference brought together professionals and autistic people wanting to reduce the employability gap faced by autistic university graduates. The programme featured talks by autistic and non-autistic speakers from across Europe. Following each talk, the presenter took part in a live questions&answers discussion. You can watch the videos below.
Dr Marc Fabri, IMAGE project lead, gave a preview of the tools and resource created by the IMAGE team, which will be freely available from January 2022 (see further below for details).
The conference was organised and run via Zoom by the IMAGE project team at Free University Amsterdam, led by Dr Mitzi Waltz.
A note on language and subtitles
The conference speakers come from a range of cultures and backgrounds, and for the majority English is not their native language. All speakers are either autistic themselves or highly respectful to autistic people, yet the choice of words to express this differs in each culture. Please consider this when listening to the talks.
All talks are available with subtitles in English, Finnish, Dutch, German and French. These were translated automatically and then checked manually. Sometimes the subtitle wording was changed slightly to bring the meaning of a statement across, rather than a word-for-word translation.
Conference programme and video recordings
All times are Central European Time (Amsterdam timezone)
|SESSION 1:||Chaired by Dr Mitzi Waltz, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam|
|11:00-11:30||Dr Marc Fabri, IMAGE Project Lead|
Welcome to the conference and introduction to the IMAGE project and outcomes
|11:30-12:00||Fabyenne Borloz, France|
A reverse mentoring scheme and the Aspie-Friendly project
|12:00-12:30||Kate Dean, Engage, UK|
The transition of autistic graduates into employment
|10 minute break|
|SESSION 2:||Chaired by Prof Timo Lorenz, Medical School Berlin|
|12:40-13:10||Keren Coney, Liverpool John Moores University, UK|
What should be done to ensure autistic graduates succeed in the workplace?
|13:10-13:40||Dr Beatriz Lopez, University of Portsmouth, UK|
Development of profiling tools to support autistic students in HE and employment
|20 minute break|
|SESSION 3:||Chaired by Prof Bertrand Monthubert, University of Toulouse|
|14:00-14:30||Roy Houtkamp, Netherlands|
The student support scheme at Fontys University of Applied Sciences
|14:30-15:00||Lars Backstrom, Auticon UK|
No jobseeker is an island
|10 minute break|
|SESSION 4:||Chaired by Dr Henri Pesonen, Helsinki University|
|15:10-15:40||Dirk Mueller-Remus, Germany|
Economical Added Value through neurodivergent people
|15:40-16:10||Heta Pukki, Finland|
Autistic people’s organizations and employment: Contributions to research and ethical perspectives
|16:10-16:30||Dr Marc Fabri|
Closing remarks and event evaluation
IMAGE project outputs
We also presented the 4 Good Practice Guides we have created for Careeers Advisors, for Academics, for HE managers and policymakers and for Employers. From 2022, these guides will be available in 5 languages and with the option to personalise their content. The guides include examples of good practice, detailed case studies, tips for improving one’s professional practice, and links to further resources.
We have created training materials for careers advisors to learn about, and teach others, the best way to advise student on their career options and the process of applying for and securing a job. We provide tips that careers advisors can easily adopt.
Finally, we will launch an online toolkit for autistic students and graduates, to learn about the steps and challenges involved in choosing a career, selecting and applying for a job, and settling into the workplace. The toolkit includes “How to…” advice for various situations, case studies and first-person accounts from other graduates. It also includes tools for drafting emails and letters to employers.