University does more in community than people think

REACHING OUT Alistair McDermott
REACHING OUT Alistair McDermott
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ANY large organisation can seem, at times, like a faceless giant, with people on the outside – and on the inside -- not knowing much of what goes on in each department.

The University of Portsmouth is no different, and it wouldn’t surprise me if people in the city weren’t aware of all the work we do within the community.

One important example of this work for me is our Autism Research Network.

The network, which includes scientists, healthcare workers, people with autism and their parents, was formed after staff at the university talked to people in the community.

Its primary aim is to create a forum to promote a genuine line of communication between researchers, practitioners, carers, parents and individuals with autism spectrum disorders in order to improve the lives of all those who are affected by the condition.

The network disseminates findings from across the world, and runs events to raise awareness of autism, including this year, an art exhibition, Artism, which featured the work of local adults with autism. It is hoped that this will become an annual event. Anyone can ask to be on the mailing list for these summaries.

More recently, with Hampshire Autistic Society, the network started developing an online directory of autism services available across Hampshire.

The project is being funded by local authorities and is well under way, with an anticipated launch of September this year.

If you would like to become a member of the network, or if you have any comments or questions, please contact Dr Beatriz López via