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Newbury college and businesses team up for autism awareness



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Newbury College and University Centre Newbury have teamed up with Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce to encourage employers to help create a society that works for autistic people.

As part of the 60th World Autism Acceptance Week, West Berkshire’s primary providers of career-focused education and training have used their social media channels to promote change and highlight some of the strengths that autistic people can bring to business.

Autism is a lifelong disability that affects how people communicate and interact with the world.

Electrical installation teacher Angharad Kerr
Electrical installation teacher Angharad Kerr

There are approximately 700,000 autistic people in the UK, however, only 22 per cent of autistic adults are in employment.

Director of business and partnerships at the college and university centre, Dr Jo Houghton, said: “We believe that disability should never be a barrier to meaningful employment.

“Through our network of partners and our social media channels, we are challenging some of the traditional practices that employers use to recruit staff, and supporting them to hire in new and innovative ways.”

Angharad Kerr, electrical installation tutor at Newbury College, said: “As an autistic employee of Newbury College I've found nothing but support from everyone.

“I especially love teaching, as it gives me a level of communication with my neurodivergent students that allistics don't get.”

A free online course in Understanding Autism is available via Newbury College’s distance learning provision Study Online.

This free programme can help employers and their employees to adjust their existing practices and learn how to support autistic people in the workplace.

To sign up for the free online understanding autism or for more information see bit.ly/SOAutism.

It covers the person-centred approach, influence of positive communication methods, how to support positive behaviour and how individuals with autism can be supported to live healthy and fulfilled lives.



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