The Australian Autism Research Council (AARC) is looking for community members to join its focus groups.

In 2019 over 1,000 people responded to the AARC’s community consultation survey. This helped the AARC to define 10 broad research priority areas for autism research in Australia. Now the AARC is conducting focus groups for 5 of the 10 research priority areas to help better understand some of the specific questions or topics the community would like researched in each area.

The focus groups will bring a range of community members together (including autistic people, family members and relevant professionals) and involve a combination of online discussion groups and short surveys.

We are accepting EOIs from anyone 18+ who lives in Australia and has an interest in 1 or more of the 5 focus group areas selected (Communication, Education, Employment, Health & Wellbeing and Justice).

The focus groups will be conducted by ORIMA Research on behalf of the Australian Autism Research Council. More information about the study (including the application process and your privacy) can be found via the Expresion of Interest form.

Express your interest

Expressions of interest close at midnight on Tuesday 1 September 2020.

Priority Perspectives

The AARC would like to see a range of perspectives represented in each of the focus groups to get a good sense of what research questions and topics are important to the community.

For all focus groups the AARC particularly welcomes Expressions of Interest from:

  • Autistic individuals who communicate in a non-traditional way (e.g. AAC or keyword sign);
  • Individuals living in regional or remote areas; and,
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people

There are also specific perspectives and kind of expertise the AARC feels would be particularly relevant to individual focus groups.

  • Autistic people (or their family members) who have experienced challenges due to a lack of communication supports or misunderstandings in this area
  • Autistic people (or their family members) from non-English speaking backgrounds
  • Professionals working with members of the autistic community in relevant fields

  • Perspectives relevant to different stages of the education journey
  • Perspectives relevant to different models of education
  • Autistic people (or their family members) who have experienced school refusal and/or accessed an alternative form of education

  • Autistic people (or their family members) who have worked or are working in different kinds of employment
  • Autistic people (or their family members) who have been unsuccessful in finding sustainable employment or who are underemployed
  • Employers who currently employ at least 1 autistic staff member and professionals working to assist autistic people to obtain and/or maintain employment

  • Autistic people (or their family members) with 1 or more co-occurring health conditions, including mental health conditions
  • Professionals who have worked with members of the autistic community in relevant fields

  • Autistic people (or their family member) who have had previous contact with police and/or the justice system
  • Professionals with experience working in the justice field

Contact us

If you have any questions, or would like to be kept informed about future opportunities to be involved in the work of the AARC you can email us:

AARC Secretariat