NRC receives Autism Impact Award

Northern Regional College has been awarded an Autism Impact Award in recognition of its work supporting students with autistic spectrum disorder and ongoing efforts to provide a fully inclusive learning environment.

The award, presented by Autism NI, recognises organisations who excel in creating a more ‘autism friendly environment’.

Northern Regional College is understood to be currently the only FE college in Northern Ireland to be recognised in this way.

Stephen McCartney, the College’s Head of Student Services, explained that the award is an important acknowledgement of the valuable support available at NRC for students who are autistic. He said: “I hope the Autism Impact Award will encourage prospective and current students to feel more comfortable about disclosing that they are autistic. Only in this way can we make them aware of all the appropriate and discrete support that we can offer to ensure that they are feel comfortable in the College environment. Achieving the Autism Impact Award involved a considerable amount of work behind the scenes to ensure that relevant staff had completed the appropriate autism awareness training.

Stephen McCartney, the College’s Head of Student Services,

“Staff have received autism training and we have introduced autism friendly information and orientation sessions and ID cards. We also have a designated ‘Autistic Champion’ on each campus. Reception, library and canteen staff are all JAM (‘Just A Minute’) compliant, so they will deal with anyone with autism or other processing difficulties in a friendly and confident way,” he said.