The project started in 2019 with an online survey, launched by Dr Rebecca Wood, for autistic school staff who work or have worked in schools in the UK. Professor Francesca Happé was the project mentor at this time.
The survey was live for four weeks and there were 149 participants. They carried out, or had carried out a range of roles in schools, and included teachers, teaching assistants, SENCos, deputy Head teachers, Head teachers and visiting professionals. You can download a summary report of the initial findings from the survey here. A journal article based on our Phase 1 findings has been published in Disability & Society. Other outputs are on our Publications page.
Phase 2 of the project started in October 2020 and will run for 12 months, generously funded by the John and Lorna Wing Foundation. The project Principal Investigator is Dr Rebecca Wood; Professor Francesca Happé and Dr Laura Crane are Co-Investigators, Alan Morrison is the project consultant, and Dr Ruth Moyse is the Research Assistant. Interviews have been conducted with 33 of the Phase 1 participants: a summary report of our findings can be accessed here. An edited book based on the project has been developed during this time: this is due to be published in 2022 and other outputs, including journal articles and some free access resources, are also planned.
The John and Lorna Wing Foundation have again kindly agreed to fund our project so that from October 2021, we can develop the ASSP into its international phase, with project partners in Poland and the US. We will be joined by Dr Anna Gagat-Matuła, Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Special Needs Education of the Pedagogical University of Kraków and Dr Kristen Bottema-Beutel, Associate Professor of Special Education in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College. Dr Damian Milton, Lecturer in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at the University of Kent, Director at the National Autism Task Force and Chair of the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC Network) will also be joining our team.