Department of Psychology

Autism Centre for Research on Employment

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ACRE was developed to first, address the gap in provision for autistic adults in terms of employment and, second, to facilitate job retention by developing tools to support employers in the process of making work adaptations tailored to their employees with autism.

In an interview for Autism Awareness month Beatriz Lopez explains about the work undertaken by the Autism Centre for Research on Employment which has been recognised by the National Autistic Society with the award for Outstanding Adult Services in 2016. See the interview here.

Our Mission and Values

We aim to empower and support autistic people to help them realise their full employment potential. Our values are the following:

  1. Autistic people have a right to contribute to our society.
  2. Support for autistic adults needs to be tailored to their individual strengths and needs.
  3. We are particularly committed to our regional community, but aim to share good practice with organisations nationwide.

Current research projects

Applying models of autism to the development of effective employment assessment tools

The aim of this project is to develop a cost-effective on-line platform to facilitate 1) the assessment of individual profiles of autistic people in terms of cognitive profiles, vocational preferences and employability skills, 2) the matching of individuals to jobs and 3) the provision of person-centred guidance for employers to aid the process of making minor adjustments. This project is funded by Research Autism.

Employability prospects of autistic UG students 

This project aims to identify the factors that may influence employment prospects in autistic undergraduate students. Specifically, the study will explore how the cognitive profile associated with autism links to factors known to enhance employment success so we can develop employability workshops tailored to students with autism. This project is a collaboration between Portsmouth Business School (Alex Tymon) and the Department of Psychology (Beatriz Lopez) and has received funding from the University of Portsmouth.

Enhancing employer and intern experience of a supported internship programme

This study aims to evaluate whether the assessment of individual employment profiles enhance the experience of employers and interns taking part in a supported internships for students with autism and/or Mild Learning Disability. This project is in collaboration with Portsmouth City Council, Portsmouth College, Highbury College and South Downs College.

Evaluating the effectiveness of the Autism Hampshire Employability Pathways project

This project aims to open the pathway to employment for autistic job seekers (AJS) and ensure Hampshire is a leader for much needed change in the area of employment support for autistic adults. The programme focus is to inform, inspire and connect local employers, organisations who provide volunteer opportunities and training, employment agencies (providers) and AJS.

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Our Services

Assessment: Individual Employability and Cognitive profiles

ACRE offers a comprehensive assessment service to autistic people in employment or actively seeking employment. The assessment covers different areas as Career Interests, Employability Skills, Executive functioning, Sensory Sensitivities and Social and Communication skills. The assessment tools have been developed by the ACE team specifically for work settings. The Individual Employment Profile report resulting from the assessment process offers information about the individual profile of the autistic person and also offers specific recommendations to employers regarding strengths and adaptations in the work place needed.

Employer training

We provide specialist training to professionals from employment agencies, local authorities and charitable organisations. The training provided can be tailored to the particular organisation but will always be based on the best evidence research practice available as well as providing practical tips for supporting this population.

We also provide person-centred training to employers with the aim to create a supportive and productive working environment, and help to overcome any potential challenges that may arise in the initial stages of employment.

If you would like to apply for our services or receive more information, please contact us by email at acre@port.ac.uk or call us directly at 023 9284 6344.

Research Reports

Barriers to employment

Barriers to employment

Preliminary report for Department of Health

Department of Health - ACE

In partnership with:

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