Through research, advocacy and a range of supports and initiatives we seek to build a more inclusive society where autistic people are supported to reduce barriers and recognise and celebrate strengths.
Autistic people experience a number of barriers to inclusion and to reaching their potential, with some of the most significant barriers experienced in education and employment. Many of these barriers are social and environmental in nature and are predictors of low self-esteem, exclusion, and course drop-out.
As our understanding of autism increases – and we slowly break down the barriers to disclosure and inclusion – it is increasingly clear that a growing number of autistic people can and do thrive at university with the right support mechanisms in place.
At ACU we seek to explore, understand and implement those mechanisms within and beyond our university. We do not seek to change autistic people, but rather to build a more inclusive society where autistic people are supported to reduce barriers and recognise and celebrate strengths.
The Autism at Uni program aims to address the challenges experienced by autistic students attending university and help ease the transition into the higher education environment. We recognise that every autistic person is an individual, with different strengths and challenges, so we offer a diverse range of supports and initiatives. Students are encouraged to use different aspects of support, depending on their individual interests and needs.
We are committed to providing inclusion equity to our students and have established the Autism Inclusion Equity Scholarship. This $4,000 scholarship will benefit autistic students commencing studies at our Blacktown Campus.
In April of each year we celebrate Autism Awareness-Acceptance-Appreciation Week at ACU. During this week we celebrate the strengths, and acknowledge the challenges, of our autistic students, staff and community members. Throughout the week we share materials and resources about autism and autistic peoples lived experiences, set up information displays on campus with free merchandise and announce the winners of our Autism Inclusion Awards.
Our Autism Inclusion Awards recognise ACU staff members that have made the university a more inclusive and autism friendly place to work and learn. Autistic students and staff of ACU are invited to nominate a non-autistic staff employee who has demonstrated a commitment to inclusivity for our autistic students or staff. Winners of the award are announced during our Autism Awareness-Acceptance-Appreciation Week celebrations.
EYE on Autism is a series of online panel sessions that offer an open space to explore everything you ever wanted to know about autism with a panel of autistic people. These sessions are open to all and audience members are encouraged to submit their own questions for the panel. Our autistic panellists are keen to help expand knowledge of autism and autistic people. No question is too big or too small, too dumb or too smart.
Autism is a spectrum and each autistic person is an individual with different strengths and challenges. Our Autistic Voices video series offers a platform for autistic people to share their experiences and stories and for our university community to learn more about autism and how to support our autistic staff and students.
Through research, advocacy and a range of supports and initiatives we seek to build a more inclusive society where autistic people are supported to reduce barriers and recognise and celebrate strengths.Learn more
Our research into public understanding and acceptance of autism and autistic people’s lived experiences is helping to develop inclusive approaches that enable autistic people to thrive.Learn more
It is estimated that 1 in 70 Australians are autistic. Learn more about autism and download fact sheets and other resources.Learn more
Our program is unique in being conceived and guided by autistic people to ensure we are meeting their needs. We also work with industry partners to share knowledge and influence policy.Learn more
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