Thank you to all who took part in my doctoral research. Your input has been invaluable to understanding how higher education leaders, faculty, and staff can enhance services and outcomes for autistic students in higher education in Canada. A total of 108 interviews and questionnaires were completed by autistic students, Deans, faculty, and accessibility staff across Canadian universities. The next stage is to analyze the data, categorize it, establish themes, and develop theories. Following that will be the writing of the last 3 chapters of my dissertation which will lead to the final defence of my research in 2020.
I am currently conducting doctoral research to explore the ways in which higher education leaders, faculty, and staff can enhance services and outcomes for autistic students in higher education. This study aims to map the effectiveness of current policies and practices available to Autistic students in higher education and to identify the ways in which services and outcomes can be improved for Autistic students through a better understanding of autistic students’ needs. The research has two components, a quantitative questionnaire and qualitative interview. There are three main groups taking part in this study. The groups are as follows:
1st Group: Autistic adults diagnosed or self-diagnosed, who have attended a Canadian university. This study is limited to Canadian universities only therefore attendance at colleges or trade schools even with university level courses, is not included in this study.
2nd Group: Faculty members of universities across Canada who have recent experience teaching in a university setting.
3rd group: Professional staff who have experience with day-to-day practices that affect autistic students in roles such as student accessibility services staff, equity & inclusion services, human rights on campus, student advocacy etc. who work or have worked in universities in Canada. If you are diagnosed or self-identify as Autistic, please let the researcher know.
4th Group: Provosts, Assistant Provosts, Deans and higher education leaders in Canada because they have a unique perspective as leaders who influence and integrate policies that affect autistic students and their educational outcomes. If you are diagnosed of self-identify as autistic, please let the researcher know.
Research is set to close on October 20th, 2019.
It’s official! Candidacy has been accomplished and the research has officially begun. The purpose of the study is to explore the ways in which higher education leaders, faculty, and staff can enhance services and outcomes for autistic students in Canada. This study aims to map the effectiveness of current policies and practices available to autistic students in higher education and to identify the ways in which services and outcomes can be improved for autistic students in Canada through a better understanding of autistic students’ needs.
Participants are currently being interviewed and data collection continues. I am grateful to all my research participants for their time, wisdom, and courage in speaking up and allowing their voices to make a difference.
Grateful to be one of five people from around the world invited to speak in Montreal for Story Collider…’the TED Talks of science’ & Spectrum News…news and analysis of advances in autism research. We comprised of autistic individuals, autistic researchers carrying out autism research (like myself), and non-autistic scientists who have been affected by autism.
Though I speak regularly about leadership, this was my first time speaking about my personal experiences as a late-diagnosed autistic woman who is also doing research on autism for a doctoral degree. I am grateful to Story Collider and Spectrum News for this opportunity. https://www.spectrumnews.org/features/story-collider-presents-stories-spectrum/
As part a long-term commitment to my larger community, I am honoured to be chosen to take part in a series of credited certifications to assist in improving quality, safety, and value in healthcare in my community through an approached called the Science of Improvement. Though this program is rooted in the medical environment, its application crosses organizational and leadership boundaries.
The Science of Improvement is an applied science that emphasizes innovation, rapid-cycle testing in the field, and spread in order to generate learning about what changes, in which contexts, produce improvements. It is characterized by the combination of expert subject knowledge with improvement methods and tools. It is multidisciplinary — drawing on clinical science, systems theory, psychology, statistics, and other fields.As part a long-term commitment to my larger community, I am taking part in a series of accredited certifications to assist in improving quality, safety, and value in healthcare through an approached called the Science of Improvement.
- Improvement Capability – How to improve with the Model for Improvement, Testing and measuring change with PDSA cycles, Interpreting data, Leading quality improvement, Planning for spread: Local improvements to system-wide change, Building safer more reliable systems, Quality improvement practicum
- Patient Safety – From error to harm, human factors and safety, teamwork and communication in a culture of safety, Responding to adverse events, Root cause and system analysis, Building a culture of safety, Partnering to heal (teaming up against healthcare-associated infections,
- Leadership – An introduction to heath care leadership
- Person and family-centred care – Introduction to patient-centred care, Key dimensions of patient and family-centred care, Incorporating mindfulness into clinical practice, A guide to shadowing (seeing care through the eyes of patients and families), Having the conversation (basic skills for conversation about end-of-life care)
- Triple Aim of Populations – Introduction to the triple aims of populations, Improving health equity, Increasing value and reducing waste at the point of care
- Graduate Medical Education – Why engage trainees in quality and service? A guide to the clinical learning environment review program (CLER), The faculty role: understanding and modelling the fundamentals of quality of safety, The role of didactic learning in quality improvement, Aligning graduate medical education with organizational quality and safety goals, Faculty advisor guide to the quality improvement practicum
- Educator’s toolkit
Great working with both Team A and B on managing, mediating, and resolving conflict in the workplace. Excellent insights and learning points from both teams. Always a pleasure to work with high functioning teams.
I am pleased to announce the imminent publication of my co-authored literature review in the Journal of Educational Thought issue which is presently in press as Volume 51, No. 3. The manuscript was co-authored with the esteemed Dr. Marlon Simmons of the University of Calgary.
Title: Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Implications For Higher Education: A Literature Review
Please note that while we normally use the term Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), ASD is used in this literature review title in order to ensure easy location of the article in academic search engines. The term autism spectrum condition (ASC) is not yet in common use in academia.
ABSTRACT: This literature review focuses on the experiences of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) students in higher education. We pay particular attention to how ASD students transition from high school into post-secondary education and what supports are beneficial to their educational careers. Our purpose is to understand how autistic students can experience greater success in higher education. Guiding questions for our review are: 1) What factors might contribute to how autistic students learn in the context of higher education? 2) How do autistic students experience post-secondary education? Findings of the literature review point to transition plans; person-centred supports; and innovative leadership, policies, and actions as factors that contribute to ASD students’ learning in higher education.
A great gathering of leaders coming together to share ideas, innovations, and best practices. It was a pleasure to teach and learn with all of you!
Grateful to be a part of this large conference in Rotterdam both as a doctoral student with my own autism research underway and an Editor on the Board of the Autism in Adulthood scientific journal whose launch happened at this conference.
May 2nd…in Calgary co-speaking at this conference. Thank you team…great job!