Autism Friendly Initiative
IT Sligo are working with AsIAm to become an Autism Friendly Institute of Technology.
There are 8 principles of an autism friendly campus:
- Encourage and enable autistic students to transition and participate in IT Sligo’s programmes.
- Support and build capacity to equip autistic students to meet the academic challenges of everyday life at IT Sligo.
- Support and build capacity to equip autistic students to meet the social challenges of everyday life at IT Sligo.
- Seek to establish an autism friendly operational environment, for both on campus and online students.
- Seek to combat the stigma around autism and recognise the diverse experiences of those with the condition.
- Develop understanding and relevant knowledge and skills within the community at IT Sligo.
- Establish channels so that autistic students can have a voice in various aspects of life at IT Sligo.
- Increase the employability of autistic graduates through a range of initiatives that will develop their soft-skills, supporting their transition to access employment, training, or other educational options.
Our journey has only recently begun, but some of our main updates are listed below.
Linda Mulligan was appointed as the Inclusion Support Worker in September 2021. This role is to support our neurodiverse student body. This role was made possible through funding by the iNote project in IT Sligo.
Linda Mulligan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autism awareness training has been provided to staff and further events will be held across the year. Autism Awareness Month in April 2022 will include a campaign by the Students Union.
The sensory environment, navigation of physical spaces and engagement with digital interfaces can all pose challenges for students on the spectrum so audits will be carried out to highlight these challenges. Please see below for links to complete Sensory Audits yourself!
Focus groups were held to explore the needs of students. They identified to need for an Autism Friendly Space to be integrated across the campus.
A Working group involving staff from all across IT Sligo and autistic students meets to further the ’autism-friendly agenda’.
Students have been invited to become ambassadors for the autistic community at IT Sligo
A Neurodivergent Society has been established. You can find more information about this below.
Pathways to support students in potentially being assessed for an autism diagnosis have been established .
IT Sligo have partnered with Specialisterne Ireland to support students in gaining employment .
We want to hear from you!
Please let us know what challenges you experience and solutions you might have through the surveys we have linked below. This could be anything from the way certain lights affect you, to noise or even smells.
If you have 8 minutes and would like to complete a more detailed submission please complete the Sensory Survey.
Autism Friendly Space
Are you neurodivergent, or think that you might be?
The Neurodiversity Society is an inclusive space where people who think differently can meet others who think differently too.
This a new club that will be run by neurodivergent people, for neurodivergent people (whether they have a formal diagnosis, or not). The main aim of this society is to create and maintain a dedicated meeting space for neurodiverse people of all types, whether they be autistic, dyslexic, have ADHD, or are neurodivergent in other ways. If you’re a divergent thinker, this could be the place for you!
The Neurodiversity Society meet every Thursday during term at 5pm in a room on campus. For more information, please contact Linda: email@example.com .
If you are interested in becoming an Ambassador for the Autism Friendly Campus Initiative, or would like further information about the Neurodiversity Society, contact Linda Mulligan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Neurodiversity is a term to cover a collection of cognitive processing differences such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyscalculia, dysgraphia, autistic Spectrum and Tourette syndrome.
For many the terms neurodiversity and neurodivergent advocate an embracing of the gifts that different thinking can bring and a move away from negative labels.
Autism and Uni IT Sligo Toolkit
Autism&Uni helps young adults on the autism spectrum to gain access to Higher Education and to navigate the transition successfully.
The Toolkit gives students information and strategies for overcoming the challenges they typically encounter during the transition to University.