University through the eyes of autistic students and staff
Martin, N. (2020). University through the eyes of autistic students and staff. in: Milton, D. (ed.) Neurodiversity Reader
Work related experiences of autistic university staff receive scant research attention and this contribution seeks to slightly reduce the size of a very large hole into which this area of enquiry seems to have fallen. Research which aims to identify barriers to higher education participation identified by autistic students is a little more prolific and examples are discussed here. Striking overlaps between the narratives of autistic people working and studying at university emerge in this review. Conclusions are drawn from the available evidence about common approaches which could benefit autistic employees and learners alike. These shelter largely under the universal design (UD) umbrella and are generally obvious and uncomplicated. UD can potentially benefit everyone because the approach involves planning for diversity rather than being surprised that the mythical norm is actually imaginary. The ethos of UD is congruent with the anticipatory anti-discriminatory duty of The Equality Act (2010). A model which has acquired the acronym REAL is discussed as a way to conceptualize good autism practice within a UD paradigm with the potential to benefit everyone. The approach is informed by a commitment to equality as a social justice concern. REAL stands for: reliable, empathic, anticipatory and logical.
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|26 Oct 2021
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