Why inclusion needs to be more ordinary

In planning learning activities and courses in higher education, we can broaden the range of approaches that fall within our business-as-usual teaching. In schools, the term OAP (Ordinarily Available Provision) is used to define what approaches, interventions and activities are built into the processes and structures of the school to support pupils with additional needs.  

Ways of thinking

For this project, we are taking a neurodiversity approach in which the ways of thinking associated with autism are explored as part of a naturally varying broader population. This means that we’re interested in a range of differences in the ways that students experience and think about their learning as well as the types of learning environment and activity that suit them best.

What does it mean to be an autistic student?

It’s common for students to explore an autism diagnosis whilst at university. This can be as a result of experiencing difficulties and being referred to university support services. Student can also become aware at university that their style of thinking and learning may align with the characteristics of autism without experiencing particular difficulties – by having more flexibility to explore their own preferences and by meeting other autistic students.