I made a request on Twitter for people working or studying in academia to share what adjustments or accommodations work to make things better for them. As usual, #AutisticsInAcademia came through, and made some great suggestions. I’ve compiled them into a list below.
You can find the original thread (including some wider discussion of relevant issues) here: https://twitter.com/LoomesGill/status/1147086537210904576
You can follow me on Twitter @Loomesgill
And you can keep in touch with autistic people working/studying in academia internationally via the hashtag: #AutisticsInAcademia
Here are the things that #AutisticsInAcademia have found useful:
- Having someone outside of the institution to provide advice and support.
- Attending meetings and events via video-conferencing.
- Clear expectations.
- Captions for video/audio.
- Option to work from home.
- Following things up in writing, as verbal instructions/discussions can be forgotten.
- Using (noise-cancelling) headphones in open-plan or shared offices.
- Working part-time.
- Using lamps instead of strip-lights.
- Having a designated desk, rather than hot-desking.
- Context and detail when people ask questions.
- Having unspoken/unwritten rules written down.
- Flexible working.
- Having a mentor.
- Mental health support.
- Access to quiet space.
- Autism training for colleagues.
- Prior notice, and support during changes.
- Warning about any noisy/crowded events on campus.
- Accessible parking.
- Support with admin and form-filling.
- Recording meetings and classes.
- Completing work orally, rather than in writing.
- Access to a note-taker.
- Access to pdf documents to read with screen-reader.
Do you have any further suggestions? Or any comments about being #AutisticsInAcademia? Feel free to respond in the Comments Section. I’ll update this article periodically to expand our discussion.