four students sitting at a desk with notepads

Webinar: Autism and Inclusion

  • Webcasts
  • 13 Oct 2020
WSS past event

This webinar will focus on how practitioners can improve provision for learners on the autism spectrum in their settings. In this session, hosted by Dr Laura Crane from UCL's Centre for Research in Autism and Education, you will hear from three young autistic advocates - Sam Ahern, Georgia Harper and Jack Welch - about their experiences of school. They will discuss the different challenges that school may pose and identify best practice. Throughout, they will reflect on key advice for educators and take questions from the audience.

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Georgia Harper

Georgia Harper is an autistic advocate, who now works in policy for the autism research charity Autistica and leads the day-to-day running of the Embracing Complexity coalition of neurodevelopmental organisations. During her three years on Ambitious about Autism's Youth Council, Georgia co-authored the research behind the Know Your Normal campaign on mental health and autism and co-presented the 2018 Channel 4 documentary "Are You Autistic?" alongside Sam Ahern and Anna Richardson.

Jack Welch

Jack is an autistic advocate and all-round volunteer expert for over a decade now. In that time, he has been actively working across employment, mental health and SEND support in schools. From 2015-19, he was a member of Ambitious about Autism’s Youth Council, where he became a Vice Chair. In 2018, Jack was appointed as Chairperson of Mencap’s Voices Council, which is made up of people with lived experiences to inform and support the governance of the organisation. Within healthcare, Jack sits as an advisor for NHS England on issues relating to learning disability and autism, as well as being a member of a patient/public forum for Dorset CCG. He has a degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Winchester.

Laura Crane

Laura is an Associate Professor at UCL Institute of Education, where she is Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE). Laura’s research focuses on understanding the educational experiences of autistic children and young people (in mainstream and special schools), and identifying evidence-based ways to support pupils, their parents and their educators. Laura is passionate about engaging education professionals in research - supporting them to identify priorities for research and co-designing research studies that positively impact on pupil outcomes and wellbeing. Central to all of Laura’s work is a commitment to the involvement of the autistic and broader autism communities in the research process; ensuring that research has a strong participatory ethos and is of direct and practical relevance to those it affects.

Sam Aherne

Sam Ahern is an autistic advocate and artist working in the mediums of film, sound, photography and illustration. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at the Red Gallery (Shoreditch), Camden Arts Centre and is currently part of the Barbican Young Visual Arts Group 2019-2020. She is a Youth Ambassador for Ambitious about Autism, and from 2015-2019 was the Vice-Chair for their Youth Council and the AET’s Youth Advisory Panel. In 2018, Sam was one of the co-presenters alongside Georgia Harper and Anna Richardson of Channel 4’s ‘Are You Autistic?’. Since then, she has spoken at the NAS Women and Girls Conference 2018, the Autism Show 2019 and AsIAm Conference in Dublin in 2019.

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