Professor Sylvia Rodger AM is an occupational therapist with more than thirty years' experience as a clinician, academic and researcher. She is the Director of Research and Education at Autism CRC where she oversees the research direction and educational activities that ensure capacity building of a new generation of autism researchers. She is well known nationally and internationally for her work in ASD and educational leadership.

Prof Rodger will present in the Day 2 Morning Plenary session with Dr Liz Pellicano.

Incorporating Inclusive Research Practices and Building Research Capacity within the Australian Autism and Research Communities
Presenting Author Sylvia Rodger 1
Co-Authors Judy Brewer1, Kate van Dooren1, 2, Wenn Lawson1, Olivia Gatfield1. (1Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autism CRC); 2 School of Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland.

Phrases such as "nothing about us without us" have been prominent in recent times both within service delivery and in terms of research. But what does this really mean in practical terms? Pellicano et al. (2013) have highlighted the need to engage with individuals on the spectrum in the research arena, and have called for a move beyond tokenism towards co-production. However, there is limited understanding about how to engage with individuals on the Autism Spectrum (AS) and /or their families in research endeavours.

In this presentation, we will describe the benefits of inclusive research and outline key inclusive research practices, developed from the literature and our research and the experience of individuals with AS and advocacy group members. At Autism CRC we have worked with adults with AS in developing a Statement on Inclusive Research Practice as well as a series of Inclusive Research Practice Guides and Checklists ( A key aim of the Autism CRC has been and continues to be to assist researchers to more effectively and meaningfully engage with individuals with AS at different levels – as research participants, advisory group members, co-presenters and co-producers of research, as well as recipients of research findings.

In this presentation we will provide some concrete examples of how researchers can become more inclusive in their research practices. Additionally, we will discuss the development of the Autism CRC Research Academy for both adults with AS who wish to improve their research literacy and researchers who wish to enhance their inclusive practice knowledge and skills. By the end of 2015, we aim to graduate our first cohort of peer research ready adults with AS and researchers who have the skills to work together as peers undertaking research co-production. This implies mutual respect and value for each other's skills and expertise, as well as a shared understanding about how they might work together in partnership.