EU Projects: Autism in Higher Education: Widening Access Project

The "Autism in Higher Education: Widening Access" Project is a European funded project which will research, design, build and evaluate materials, including an interactive software application, to help people with autism access, and succeed in, Higher Education (HE).

People with autism are capable of success at HE level but are grossly under-represented.

 Further, concerning the few students with autism who do enter HE, evidence suggests that they may be prone to drop out, as a result of the inflexible learning environments available. It is these issues that the project addressed.

The outputs of this project are a series of course scenarios, an interactive application to “run” the scenarios with user documentation; a Best Practice Policy Guide and evaluation reports that will be made widely available via the Internet. Both the application and the guide were made available in Partners' languages and available to all universities and students, thus contributing towards addressing the issue on a European basis.

The application was built using appropriate source tools, and hence can be customised and expanded as necessary by users. The project, then, addresses the autism community and the HE community.

It addresses the former by making people with autism more aware of the HE possibilities and by offering support as they apply for and enter into HE.

It addresses the HE community by helping them fulfil their legal and ethical responsibilities to support anyone with the potential to succeed at HE. The use of technological tools to support the learning of people with autism has been found to be a highly effective pedagogical approach, reducing the social and sensory information overload which often significantly reduces learning capacity in socially mediated teaching contexts. Such tools, however, have thus far not been developed in relation to HE contexts. This project addressed this omission.

Although the application is primarily aimed at people on the autistic spectrum, it will also be available to, and may be useful for, any student.

TFEI was the Project Coordinator/Compliance Partner.
Start Date - October 2013 - Duration 30 months

Programme: LLP Erasmus Multilateral Project

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AUTHEW Project Website

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