You probably noticed that last week was World Autism Awareness week – there were hundreds of awareness raising events going on across the UK and a lot of the UK press published associated articles. The overriding message during this week from the National Autistic Society (NAS) is that better understanding will mean autistic people are better able to lead the lives they choose. To promote the event NAS also produced this video to raise awareness of how some autistic people can be overwhelmed by too much information.

It’s interesting to see however how ‘raising awareness’ can take different approaches depending on the charity/ pressure group involved and even the country it takes place in.

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“Why be ‘normal”? – Rosie King


Finding work interactive eBook – free resource from the National Autistic Society

I recently came across this workbook in the NAS online shop work – our blog readers may find it of interest.



“This digital workbook is designed to help autistic adults prepare themselves for employment.

Developed by employment experts at The National Autistic Society, it will support you through the job finding process with information and activities at each stage.

Topics include understanding your autism better, choosing a suitable role, applying for roles, preparing for and getting through interviews, finding work experience, working on your communication and social skills, managing anxiety and preparing for the workplace.

How to use this digital workbook

To have the best experience of this workbook, you’ll need to view it using Adobe Reader software, which you can download for free.”

Download your free workbook copy at:

Alison Skellern, AGCAS Disability Task Group, De Montfort University


What you might have missed in 2016…

As a last minute festive treat (!) in the vein of so many TV shows this time of year, I thought I’d give a bit of a roundup of some interesting articles from a range of publications and websites that you may (or may not) have spotted this year.

So go grab a mulled wine coffee (mince pie optional) and enjoy a read…


Not more mince pies?


Mental health

HR and disability



And just to add … have a very merry Christmas break and a Happy New Year from the Disability Task Group – see you in 2017!

Claire Byron, AGCAS Disability Task Group, Newcastle University

Training course

Ready to explore autism & ADHD with a free online course?

Some of you may be interested in the following MOOC.

The University of Derby has designed a free online short course to help raise awareness and encourage communication and education about these complex conditions. The course is also endorsed by the ADHD Foundation, is free and widely available for anyone to take part in regardless of age, location or education status, but spaces are limited.

Image: ADHD Foundation

‘ADHD is one of the most common childhood conditions that can continue through adolescence and into adulthood. ADHD is thought to affect between 3-9% of school age children and young people in the UK (NICE, 2013).

Likewise, around 700,000 people in the UK are on the autism spectrum. Together with their families they make up around 2.8 million people whose lives are touched by autism in the UK alone (National Autism Society, 2016).

The exact cause of both autism and ADHD is poorly understood, and there is currently no known cure although much can be done to support people with these conditions.’

You can register online until 17 July 2016 at:


Saiyada Fazal, AGCAS Disability Task Group, University of Bath

Training course

Not sure what is meant by the term “Non-visible Disability”?

Lacking knowledge or confidence when supporting students with a non-visible disability? Then this is the course for you!

Embed from Getty Images

This AGCAS East Midlands Regional Training event will explore some of the issues facing students with a non-visible disability, and enable participants to share good practice and information resources.

The aim of this event is to increase participants’ confidence and knowledge when working with students with non-visible disabilities, and will cover the following –

  • What is a “non-visible” disability?
  • Positive self-marketing for students: role models, and examples of strengths and attributes of those with a non-visible disability.
  • Signs and symptoms of some of the more common non-visible disabilities.
  • Hints and tips for supporting students with a non-visible disability, including information resources.

There will be contributions from two university careers services (De Montfort University, Leicester and the London School of Economics) and a speaker with experience of overcoming a hidden disability to succeed in the workplace.

Some interactive group work will be included as well as the opportunity to share good practice and useful resources.

See the AGCAS website for booking details:

Alison Skellern, AGCAS Disability Task Group, DMU



What Happens Next 2015 Report

The latest edition of ‘What Happens Next: A Report on the First Destinations of Disabled Graduates’ is now available. This report compares the employment outcomes of disabled and non-disabled university leavers six months after graduation and draws upon the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey.

In the report (attached) we looked at:
– Disabled graduate destinations
– How they found their jobs
– Their reasons for choosing their jobs
– How well they felt university prepared them for their next career step

You can download the report here on the AGCAS website.

We hope you find it interesting and useful.

Mark Allen, Careers Consultant, Imperial College London



Autism and sensory sensitivity

For those who haven’t seen it before, I thought I’d share this video from the National Autistic Society which illustrates how distracting sensory sensitivity can be for people with autism and other neurological differences (this condition is common in people with autism, though of course not every autistic person has it – as you’ll see by the comments posted below the video!)

This video mainly illustrates sensitivity to sound, but as you may know, sensory sensitivity can also involve sensitivity to vibrations, light, colour, taste, smell, touch, texture, sight, etc. – or a combination of these.

However, just to complicate things, some people with autism also have hyposensitivity, which is when someone is “under-sensitive” to stimuli and has trouble processing information through their senses. Again you can have a combination of hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity within an individual, and this can be impacted by context (e.g. stress).

Of course some people are able to take advantage of the sensitivity that neurological differences can bring, however I think the video cleverly highlights how difficult it can be to concentrate for some people with autism, and why you might find yourself repeating yourself many times to a student or graduate with autism, or why they might find job interviews, job fairs, assessment centres or careers meetings particularly stressful.

It’s very brief and you’ll need headphones on for the full effect.

NAS video – Autism and sensory sensitivity.

Claire Byron, AGCAS Disability Task Group, Newcastle University