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Autism Community Research Network @ Southampton (ACoRNS)


We work with leading organisations and experts.

Collaboration is at the core of ACoRNS as Mark Fry, Director of Education at New Forest School comments: 

“The value of ACoRNS comes from the research that we do together. It is a real and trusting partnership, and we were able to gain insights into our practices as the research took place” 

As well as work with local partners, we are collaborating with professionals, practitioners, and academics nationally and internationally. For example, staff from the Educational Psychology Service in Neath Port Talbot, South Wales are applying the ‘I am’ Digital Stories methodology in early years settings and primary schools. We are also collaborating with academic partners in Sweden and Australia respectively on projects relating to the voices of autistic children in resourced provision, and a scoping review on what recently diagnosed autistic adolescents need and want from post-diagnostic support programmes.  

We are delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with industry partners. For example, with Autek CIC we worked on the ESRC-funded ‘Our Stories’ project to co-create Virtual Tours for supporting young people’s transitions to new schools or sites and a set of animations and downloadable guides for creating ‘I am’ Digital Stories and ‘We are’ Virtual Tours in practice. With Widgit Software and Coleg Gwent in South Wales we are evaluating the use of Widgit Symbols in transition materials for supporting young people’s move from school to Further Education. We are also working with Cogniss to develop an ‘I am’ Digital Stories app that will be transformative for enabling children and young people to have their voices heard within their transitions in education, health and social care.