During Autism Awareness Week (from 1 to 5 April 2019) the University Health, Safety and Environment Service held a highly successful speaker event about becoming an autism-friendly institution.

Our speakers provided enlightening views of how autistic people are valuable assets both in education and in the workplace, and how making simple adjustments to the workplace can benefit not only autistic people but the whole workforce.

Matt Brosnan and Chris Ashwin from the University’s Centre for Applied Autism Research (CAAR) gave an introduction to autism and other forms of neurodiversity, while Nigel Colston, a local Chief Inspector of police, provided us with a vivid snapshot of the autistic experience at work. Matt Trerise, a self-employed Autism and Neurodiversity Consultant and a project leader with Bristol Autism Spectrum Service (BASS), Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, followed on with an engaging overview of ways to support autistic people as students and in the workplace .

A lively question-and-answer session with all our speakers, with additional input from Human Resources and Student Services, was rounded off with Peter Lambert, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), providing a vision for the University becoming genuinely Autism-Friendly.

The speaker sessions and the question-and-answer sessions are now available to watch online.