Resources launched to help autistic university graduates

Resources to help plug the employment gap for autistic university graduates have been launched by the IMAGE Project, which is an EU-funded partnership involving Leeds Beckett University.

The evidence-based resources were created using a participatory design approach and they focus on promoting a strengths-based view of autism. All resources, which are freely available, were developed over three years and four months of research, analysis, many conversations, design and development.

Three sets of resources are available:

  • IMAGE Good Practice Guides for professionals – Aimed at individuals who teach or advise autistic students on their careers options, and employers wanting to recruit and retain autistic graduates. Co-created with professionals, students and graduates, the guides share inclusive support practice from across Europe, all based on a strengths-based view of autism.
  • IMAGE Training Material for Careers Advisors – For use by universities or individuals to understand the best ways to advise students on their career options and the process of applying and securing a job. A good understanding of autism is at the heart of this training. The resource provides hands-on exercises and shares tips that careers advisors can easily adopt.
  • IMAGE Employability Toolkit for students and graduates – Provides information about the steps and challenges involved in choosing a career, applying for a job, and settling into the workplace. The toolkit includes “How to…” articles and case studies from across Europe. There is an interactive profile builder that turns strengths, challenges and preferences into templates to print or email.

IMAGE aims to improve the employability of higher education graduates on the autism spectrum by developing self-advocacy and employability skills in students, promoting high-quality support practice in HE professionals and developing employer awareness and recruitment practices. Its members are: Leeds Beckett University, University of Helsinki, Free University Amsterdam, Medical School Berlin and the University of Toulouse.