Autism allies celebrated in inaugural awards

Autistic students and staff at ACU have applauded their “autism allies” in a new award recognising the inclusive efforts of non-autistic university employees.

Autistic students and staff of ACU were invited to nominate a non-autistic staff employee who has made the university more autism friendly for the inaugural Autism Inclusion Award.

AskACU Centres coordinator Timothy Ly, based on North Sydney campus, and director of the ACU’s Institute of Child Protection Studies, Professor Daryl Higgins, were named winners of the Award for supporting ACU staff.

Associate Professor of the ACU School of Arts, Professor Mark Chou, and Professional Practice Educator Educator (Speech Pathology) Prue Corrigan were the winners of the Award for supporting autistic students.

The judging panel also awarded Commendations to sessional academic of the Peter Faber Business School (Sydney), Greg Baynie, and Remy Andrews from ACU’s Global and Education Pathways.

The Autism Inclusion Award winners were announced during ACU’s Autism Awareness-Acceptance-Appreciation Week, held between April 24 to 30.

Autistic advocate and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Impact) Professor Sandra Jones said the Autism Inclusion Awards recognised ACU’s remarkable “autism allies”.

“I sincerely congratulate the winners, our autism allies, for your acknowledgement of our needs, support and thoughtfulness. Your inclusivity contributes to a healthier, more positive work and study environment here at ACU.

“The inspiring nominations for the 2022 Autism Inclusion Awards show us that the experience of our autistic students and staff is one of inclusivity, encouragement and ongoing support.

“As an autistic professor myself, I am extremely proud to be part of a university that supports the needs of neurodiverse people so that they may excel in their profession or academic pursuits.”

ACU supports autistic students through the Autism at Uni program, an initiative that launched in March 2020 to coincide with World Autism Awareness Day.

Autism at Uni was developed in collaboration with autistic students and staff from ACU and other higher education institutions, and is designed to enhance the learning environment for people with autism.

Learn more about about ACU’s Autism Inclusion Program at Autism at ACU.


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