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Research into Autism in Information Technology

Title: Exploring the experiences of employees on the autism spectrum working in information technology: an interpretative phenomenological analysis


My name is Sabrina Ellis, I am the Operations Director here at GRE Solutions, I'm also a student at the University of Wolverhampton. The purpose of this post is to introduce the idea to you and enquire whether you could support the research project going forward. I am working on a dissertation focusing on the lived experiences of employment, work place stresses and coping strategies of working age adults on the autism spectrum.

Autism has started to become a diagnosis people have heard of but perhaps do not understand. There are 16% of adults on the autism spectrum in part time work with an overall of 32% of working age adults in some form of paid work in the UK. These statistics have remained static over the past 10 years, despite government strategies implemented and updated regularly since 2010. As no two people on the autism spectrum are the same, my idea is that more in-depth research is required to understand similarities or differences individuals on the autism spectrum experience during employment.

The study will focus on potential stresses experienced at work, coping strategies utilised, any lived experience of feeling judged by others and how this may have affected their job performance, relationships at work and social inclusion/exclusion. As no two people on the autism spectrum are the same, this approach will explore, describe and interpret how participants make sense of their experience’s that cannot be elicited through numerical statistics in reports or articles.

Participants will be asked to volunteer to take part in the research project and provide written consent before the study commences. They will be involved in a face to face interview which will involve 11 pre set questions to explore their employment experiences, perceptions and what it feels like to them to manage work place stresses, relationships and individual coping strategies. All participants can gain access to the final dissertation at the end of the project.

Expected outcomes will include the successful data collection and analysis, of interview transcriptions highlighting possible themes to the employment stresses and coping strategies experienced by adults of working age on the autism spectrum.

If you are aware of any individuals who may wish to volunteer to take part in the project, I can be contacted by email at S.Mcfarlane@wlv.ac.uk.

Warmest Regards,

Sabrina Ellis
Researcher
Email: S.Mcfarlane@wlv.ac.uk

Dr. Christopher J. Cockshott
Lecturer in Psychology
Institute of Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing
University of Wolverhampton, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)1902 518943
Email: C.Cockshott@wlv.ac.uk

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