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Eastleigh College marks World Autism Acceptance Week 2023

Many staff across Eastleigh College have gathered together in a show of support for World Autism Acceptance Week.

World Autism Acceptance Week is now in its 16th year of operation, with the theme for this year’s edition being colour. This worldwide campaign is run by the National Autistic Society, the leading charity for autism in the UK, supporting autistic people and their families across the country. Established in 1962, they have recently celebrated their 60th anniversary and now employ over 3,000 people all working to transform lives and change attitudes towards autism by improving public understanding.

Inclusivity is at the heart of Eastleigh College values and we offer a wide range of Supported Learning programmes that focus on developing skills and behaviours needed to be successful in a workplace and to support independent living skills. The curriculum is planned with high ambition for learners to enter employment, ideally as paid employees or by securing a sustained voluntary placement. This is driven by the individual learning goals of our young people. All course pathways lead towards our Supported Internship Programme so there is a clear direction and expectation from the outset. 

Sharon Baxter, Head of Delivery for SEN at Eastleigh College, said: “As a Supported Learning department, a large number of our learners are neurodiverse. We have a keen interest in celebrating the skills that people bring and improving confidence and pride in all our learners. We have a well-established network of local employers sharing our passion for inclusivity in the workplace, and we regularly get feedback from them about the hard work and commitment that our young people bring - there is a huge value in local employers recognising the productivity and contribution of a SEN or neurodiverse workforce.”

Mickiela Blake, Director of People and Talent at Eastleigh College, and Becki Allman, HR Business Partner at Eastleigh College, said: “As a College we strive to be an inclusive and diverse destination for learners and employers. The College has a culture where mutual trust and respect are the foundation for working relationships between staff and learners, which is the basis upon which the College seeks to ensure individual talents are recognised, utilised and valued.”

For more information on the National Autistic Society, please visit their website here.

For any further queries please contact the College at