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Online workshops help trainers improve support for learners with autism

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Workplace training providers across Wales are connecting to online workshops during the Covid-19 pandemic to improve the way they support learners with autism.

Ninety people employed by 18 workplace training providers have registered for the last two workshops organized by Humie Webbe, Policy Officer for Equality and Diversity at the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW).

The workshops are led by the National Autism Team, which is funded by the Welsh government and hosted by the Welsh Local Government Association, in partnership with Public Health Wales. The team provides support and advice to help improve the lives of people with autism, their families and caregivers across Wales.

The team worked with autism leaders across Wales, ACT training based at NTfW and Cardiff, and people with autism to produce a workplace learning resource pack.

The pack contains two guides – one to help training providers understand and support people with autism, and one for learners with autism to help them complete their learning journey in the workplace.

It provides useful tips, information, tips and tricks for training providers to create autism-friendly environments for learners in the workplace, ranging from sensory and communication considerations to managing issues. tasks and support at work.

Trainers who log into the online workshop watch a film that explores what autism means to three people with autism, including social communication, patterns and routines, sensory experience, and how to make things better. Consulting psychologist Dr Elin Walker Jones adds a professional voice.

The film is designed to raise awareness and understand autism and its link to workplace learning, providing information and good practice.

After watching the film and viewing the resource pack, trainers must correctly answer a series of 20 questions to receive an Autism Awareness Certificate.

A training provider, North Wales Training, was awarded the Autism Awareness Certificate for the organization after 41 of 45 trainers and assessors successfully completed the workshop on June 3.

Ruth Collinge, contract manager for North Wales Training, said the company’s trainers and assessors had all benefited from the workshop.

“We have a lot of autistic learners and staff, as part of their continuing professional development, are always looking for new learning resources to support them,” she said. “The resources provided by the National Autism Team for staff and learners are really good and have sensitized everyone.

“Staff have learned to develop specific learning strategies to better understand and support learners with autism.”

Wendy Thomas, National Autism Professional Manager for the National Autism Team, said she was pleased with the interest in the virtual workshop.

“It shows that there is a real need for this learning resource,” she added. “We are delighted to see people using it and putting the advice into practice.

“It is important to make everyone aware that people with autism can access learning in the workplace. Everyone should have the same opportunity to have the career they want, whether they have autism or not. What is really important is finding the right person for the right job.

Humie Webbe praised the positive response to the online workshops from independent workplace training providers and higher education institutions in Wales and encouraged them all to achieve the Organizational Autism Awareness Certificate .

“Workplace training providers across Wales are very keen on making sure they have the right skills and knowledge to support neurodiverse learners,” she said.

“We will be holding follow-up sessions in the fall to receive updates from training providers on how they are using their new skills and learning resources. “