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Autism Training To Promote Inclusion at Northern Regional College

Autism Training To Promote Inclusion at Northern Regional College

As part of its ongoing commitment to raise awareness about autism and promote social inclusion and autism acceptance, Northern Regional College invited internationally renowned autism advocate, Jude Morrow to deliver interactive training workshops to staff, students and external stakeholders.

Jude, who is now in his ‘thirties, was diagnosed as autistic as an eleven year old.  He is the founder of Neurodiversity Training International, an important autistic-lead training and consulting firm for global non-profits and Fortune 500 companies. He has also given TedX talks and written three best-selling books, ‘Why Does Daddy Always look So Sad’, ‘Loving Your Place on the Spectrum’ and ‘The Ghosts of Riots Past’. He crusades for change to break down the sigma around autism and help autistic people shape their own future so that, instead of conforming and being a square peg in a round hole, they just make their own hole.

Stephen McCartney, Head of Student Experience at Northern Regional College, said the workshops were organised in response to the growing number of students at the College presenting with autism.

“We have previously organised autism training for staff, students and parents but this time, decided to do it a bit differently and look at autism from the perspective of a successful person who had been through the education system here and who just happens to be autistic.

“Jude grew up in Northern Ireland and is a powerful and inspirational storyteller. By sharing his own personal and very relatable experiences, he helps promote a greater understanding and acceptance of autism.”

Stephen continued: “Jude spoke about how he came to accept his own diagnosis and his decision to crusade to change how we, as educators, see neurodiversity.

“His interactive presentation was designed to challenge our current thinking and approach to working with all our students. The bottom line is, we shouldn’t expect them to fit in, we should ask what we can do to give them a better learning experience at the College.”

The workshops were well attended by College staff and colleagues from external stakeholders, including Dunclug and Slemish Integrated Colleges and the Livestock and Meat Commission.

Stephen added: “The training certainly had the desired effect as it challenged the way we view autism, and we received very positive feedback. Through his keynote speeches, Jude is having an important impact, not only on educators like ourselves, but on the business world as his strategies for creating inclusive cultures and celebrating diversity have proven to be game-changers for many organisations. 

“By incorporating neurodiversity and autism acceptance into business practices, companies demonstrate their commitment to social impact, diversity, and equality, which in turn make positive changes in the community and promote a more inclusive society. “

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