Barbara Sandland

Reasonable Adjustments. A tick box or life skill? – Barbara Sandland

Reasonable Adjustments are there to help, but do we know what to ask for? Do autistic people feel able to use them or is it just a tick box?

Reasonable Adjustments are there to help, but do we really know how to use them or what to ask for? Do those that provide them, take into consideration whether autistic people feel able to use them or do they just ‘tick a box’ by saying they were offered?

As an autistic researcher, I have used my own experiences as a springboard into researching reasonable adjustments. I will share the findings that suggest key factors that impact an autistic person’s ability or willingness to use reasonable adjustments, which are often directly correlated to the inclusive culture underpinning them from the provider.

I will show how the findings indicate that we shouldn’t assume offering reasonable adjustments equates to good systems of support. Instead, we should view them as a life skill to be taught and nurtured, to empower the autistic person to be an equal partner in their development and implementation. Gaining a skill that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Dr Barbara Sandland is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham and a higher education student mentor. As a neurodivergent individual and mother to neurodiverse children, she brings personal insight, alongside critical research, to her work. Barbara’s background is as a qualified secondary school teacher, with many years’ experience as a Special Educational Needs Coordinator.

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