Autistic voices in our research
The Autism CRC Research Academy was established in 2015 and comprises autistic adults and autism researchers, seeking to work together as peers. This diverse membership helps to ensure our research is both appropriate for and relevant to those with the lived experience of autism.
To enable autism research to be underpinned by inclusive practices, Research Academy members learn about effective peer research, develop an understanding of its benefits and network with potential peer researchers from around Australia.
Our 2017 Research Academy took place in Melbourne in June with participants including seven autism researchers, 14 autistic adults and Autism CRC staff. Topics included research designs, ethics, power relationships, engaging in peer research and making it work, research translation and hands-on workshopping.
Reflections from autistic participants indicated that, for many, the Research Academy was their first opportunity to experience autistic space – a space where they feel welcomed, valued and accepted without judgement. Although it’s wonderful to have provided this space for our autistic participants, it highlights the need to provide more of these opportunities, and for more peer research to be promoted to engage and empower autistic researchers.