Completed Projects

Title: Job Coach for persons with disabilities: developing european standards for training
Funder: Erasmus+ 
Duration: 2015-2018
Collaboration: Grone-Schulen Niedersachsen, Germany with Grone-Bildungszentren NRW Gmbh, Germany; Stowarzyszenie Wsparcie Spolecze JaTyMy, Poland; Stowarzyszenie Niepelprans dla srodowiska EKON, Poland; Beroepsvereniging Jobcoaches Nederland, Netherlands; Cordaan, Netherland; Les Genéts d’Or, France; University of Applied Sciences, Münster, Germany

Standardization and recognition of Job Coach training across Europe. Development of competency framework and training materials, to improve competence and job coach mobility. Jobcoaches are employed to support adults with disabilities to be successful in employment. Jobcoaches may coach the adult with disabilities directly on the job, for example, by helping them communicate with co-workers or manage their time, or they may help develop skills prior to employment. Jobcoach training is not commonly available in Europe and this project aims to develop common standards and competences that will allow European countries to develop training programmes.

Title: Matching person with technology for children with ID/ASD (IMPT-ID/ASD)
Postdoctoral Fellow: Dr Trish McKeown
Duration: 2015-2018
Collaboration: Dr John Gilligan (Dublin Institute of Technology; DIT)

Developing a multimodal assistive technology assessment tool for children with mild to moderate intellectual disability (id) and autistic spectrum disorder (asd) through a universal design framework. More information about this project can be found on the ASSISTID website.

Postdoctoral Fellow: Dr Anita Yakkundi 
Duration: 2015-2017
Collaboration:  Prof Lizbeth Goodman (University College Dublin, UCD)

The ability to read influences not only the academic success but importantly impacts on the communication ability, employment prospects and quality of life. However, most students with learning difficulties acquire limited reading skills by the end of their school education. Students with autism are skilled at decoding but lack comprehension skills, necessary for the sustainable progress and application of reading skills in daily living.

We will to use the MimioSprout early reading program in a cohort of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and co-occuring learning difficulty. Participants with minimal reading skills will be chosen for this study. Teachers, parents, teaching assistants will be trained to use the software and record data. Any adaptations, e.g., touch screen, eye gaze technology that may be required for individuals with greater challenges will be developed. More information about this project can be found on the ASSISTID website.

Title: Empower Young People with Autism who are at risk of Educational Exclusion (2013-2016) Funded by the Lottery, in collaboration with PEAT and UU, we are involved in the evaluation of this project and facilitate professional training workshops.  More>> 
Funder: National Lottery, Peat and UU
Duration: 2013 - 2016

Title: Loss and Bereavement and autism: Reports of children on the Autism Spectrum wandering off and drowning have focused attention on the question of what help can we offer in situations of loss and bereavement to families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In addition, trauma and bereavement have profound effects on education and learning. More>>
Funder:Pilot Study TBA
Duration: 2014-2015

Title: ASSISTID COFUND: The focus of this project is to maximise the impact of assistive technologies research for autism and intellectual disability.  More>>
Funder: EU Commission Marie Curie COFUND  

Title: Benchmarking Autism Service Efficacy (BASE):Helping the most vulnerable out of the poverty trap and reducing inequality: Policies, strategies, and services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, including intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities. More>>
Funder: OFMdFM 

Autism in the Air: In collaboration with City Airport, Aer Lingus, and PEAT we are helping children with autism to go on holidays. Going on an airplane can be a difficult and scary time for children with autism.  more>>

NAAAS was announced by Minister Poots at the launch of the Autism Strategy and Action Plan in January 2014. NAAAS was the first pilot of such a service in NI. This project evaluates the NAAAS that took place in Ballymena during 2014. Online surveys and interviews were conducted with a number of services users who availed of NAAAS during its first year.
Funder: Centre for Behaviour Analysis
YOUNG LIFE AND TIMES (YLT) SURVEY: Recently the Northern Ireland Life and Times (NILT) Survey established that autism awareness in the general population in Northern Ireland is 81% and that 51% of the sample of n=1204 participants knew someone with autism personally (Dillenburger, Jordan, & McKerr, 2013; 2014). The KLT and YLT surveys were conducted to establish autism awareness, attitudes and knowledge for 11-year-olds and 16-year-olds (respectively). The KLT and YLT survey results will be launched on 13 May 2015.Funder: Centre for Behaviour Analysis Duration:2014-2015 Download full report here.

PROJECT  ABLE: Evaluation and development of good practice strategy: This project was funded by Orchardville (Lottery funding). Orchardville provides employment support to individuals with autism aged 16+ through Project ABLE (Autism Building Links to Employment).  The aim of this Belfast wide programme is to assist in the development of employability and social skills, Funder: Orchardville (Lottery funding) Duration:2013-2014 Download full report here.

NORTHERN IRELAND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: Needs and Rights of Carers.  Duration 2013-2014 

STAMPPP II: Science and the treatment of autism: A multimedia package for parents and professionals. Funder: Leonardo da Vinci; Transfer of Innovation.  Duration: 2011-2013

OFMDFM/NISRA: Childcare issues for disabled children, especially with regard to caregivers as they grow older £24,000. Download full report here.

KTP:Knowledge Transfer Partnership: With PEAT: Development of an evidence-based research and social economy strand. £41,313

STAMPPP: Science and the treatment of autism: A multimedia package for parents and professionals. Funded by Leonardo da Vinci; Transfer of Innovation. With University of Applied Sciences Muenster, Germany; University of Oviedo, Spain; Akershus University College, Norway; UU; PEAT; ANTAM) (2008-2010). €399,000

COGWORKS - The Cognitive Health and Wellbeing Hub. funded by Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Network, administered through Medical Research Council (MRC). (with multi-disciplinary team from QUB, Karim Hadjri, PI; UU; Brunel University; University of Stirling; Oxford Brooks University). (2009-2010)  £50,000

SCoTENS. Conference organization support: Facing Autism 2009 funded by Standing Conference of Teacher Education North and South (2009)  £3000

CAP: What the future holds: Older people as carers of adult dependant children with disabilities. Funded by Changing Ageing Partnership (CAP). Research Seed Grant. (2008-2009). £10,000. Older Carers Report (funded by CAP partnership/AtlanticPhilatrophies)

PEAT: Young people’s participation project. Funded by Big Lottery Fund, Young People’s Fund –Change UR Future. With Parents’ Education as Autism Therapists Charity (PEAT). (2007-2010). £150,000.

SIMPLE STEPS: Project Grant. Funded by Big Lottery. Voluntary and Community Sector Scheme. With PEAT. (2006-2008). £236,000.

RIA: Meeting the needs of families living with children on the autistic spectrum disorder . Funded by Royal Irish Academy; Developing Charity Strategy Through Partnership – (DCSP). With UU and PEAT. (2006-2008). €71,200.

RIA Autism Report (Funded by Royal Irish Academy)

BBC: Child Support Programme. Funded by BBC Children in Need. With PEAT. (2006-2007) £50,000

PAVE: Evidence based practice for people affected by community violence. Funded by Strategic Implementation Fund (Office First Minister and Deputy First Minister, NI) Good relations and Reconciliation Division (2005-2007). £153,000