Portsmouth autism centre wins award for hard work

St Michaels Building, the University of Portsmouth. Picture: University of Portsmouth

Portsmouth university helps graduates earn higher salaries

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A CENTRE that finds employment for people with autism has been recognised for its work.

The Autism Centre of Employment has won first prize for outstanding adult services in the national Autism Professional Awards.

It is a partnership between the University of Portsmouth, councils including Portsmouth city and Hampshire county, and Autism Hampshire and was set up with funding from the Department of Health.

Unlike other employment services for people with autism, it primarily targets employers and the results include better job retention by providing a satisfactory experience for both employers and employees.

Judges highly praised the Autism Centre of Employment’s work in helping 
those with autism and employers understand each other’s needs and strengths.

It is run by Dr Beatriz Lopez, of the university’s department of psychology.

She said: ‘We are very pleased with this award and we would like to thank the National Autistic Society judges for believing in our innovative approach, which focuses on helping employers to make work settings more autism-friendly.

‘We would also like to thank all the employers and employees that have taken part in our programme.’

According to a report by the National Autistic Society, only 15 per cent of people with autism are in full-time employment.