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Why

For some autistic students and their families who live in remote and rural areas or who find that traditional schooling does not meet their needs, distance education is the preferred way to learn.

Distance education is one option that is supported by Australian departments of education; however, existing programs may not take into account the learning needs of students on the autism spectrum.

Aspect launched Australia’s first autism-specific distance education program in February 2020.

What are the experiences of students, parents and teachers involved in the Aspect Distance Education Program?

Are there ways that the Program can be improved?

The research

Interviews with students and their parents and teachers involved in the Aspect Distance Education Program will investigate:

  • What worked well
  • What were the challenges
  • Participants’ expectations and whether these were met
  • Suggestions for improvement.

Making a difference

This is the first research study to explore the experiences of students and their parents and teachers involved in an autism-specific distance education program. The insights will provide new information about the benefits and challenges of distance education.

Findings from this study will be used to improve Aspect’s Distance Education Program and may provide useful information for other education providers interested in offering distance education for autistic students.

Research team

Lead researchers

Vicki Gibbs, Manager Research & Assessments, ARCAP

Associate Professor Mark Carter

Started

2020

Ends

2021

Funding

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)

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