From education to employment


A new centre for students with autism will be officially opened at City of Wolverhampton College on Friday (December 1).

The self-contained unit – at the Wellington Road campus in Bilston – will enable students to study in a secure environment designed with their specific needs in mind.

The centre, which caters for up to 12 students aged 16-25, features a sensory room, interactive technology and breakaway spaces, as well as adapted lighting and a range of equipment suitable for students with high dependency needs including height adjustable tables and changing facilities.

The students attending the centre are all on a Futures programme which focuses on developing skills required for everyday life such as communication, social interaction and creativity, as well as the use of English, maths and IT. 

Paul Van Ommeren, provision manager for high needs, said: “Through discussions with parents and the city council, we identified a need for a local centre for students with complex learning needs and disabilities which would provide an alternative to out-of-area specialist colleges.

“The new centre has been specifically designed to meet the needs of students with autism and will enable them to learn in a safe and secure environment and develop skills in line with their individual goals, be it independent living, progressing to further learning or moving into employment.

Guests attending the launch will be served refreshments in the Futures café, run by students, before being given a tour of the centre.

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