Autistic students as partners in the design of tailored employability provision


  • Keren Coney Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)



A recent study of the destinations of graduates found that of all disabled graduates, autistic individuals are least likely to be employed (AGCAS, 2022). These outcomes for autistic people in the UK are widely recognised in literature (Remington and Pellicano, 2019, Vincent, 2020,) and highlight the way in which these individuals are marginalised. This article outlines the participatory action research project conducted at a UK university over the past two years that explored how to provide effective careers and employability support for autistic students. Understanding that it would be important to involve individuals whom this employability support would seek to benefit, a careers practitioner recruited autistic volunteers to act as consultants. With the exception of the final analysis, these autistic student consultants were engaged in all stages of the project, from analysing an initial survey of all autistic students in the university, to co-designing the careers-related programme and evaluating the effectiveness of these activities. This participatory methodology not only provided the careers practitioner with a deeper appreciation of the lived experience of being autistic and real insights into what provision to include in the future, but was also perceived to have an emancipatory impact on some of participants involved, with signs of a ‘ripple effect’ within the university. This article concludes with recommendations for careers practitioners and researchers who are eager to bring about change at their own educational institutions, resulting in more positive employment outcomes for autistic individuals.


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Author Biography

  • Keren Coney , Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)

    AGCAS Research and Knowledge Director

    Careers and Employability Consultant

    Student Futures: LJMU’s Careers, Employability & Enterprise Service







How to Cite

Autistic students as partners in the design of tailored employability provision. (2023). Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 14(2), 16-32.