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Stephen Connolly

Lecturer in Autism and Education


Stephen is an autistic academic and has a keen interest in all things autism with particular focus on Emanciparticipatory research methods, research ethics and inclusion in Higher Education. He comes from a Physical Education and Developmental Psychology background.

  • About

    My interest in autism and HE began while navigating university life as an autistic student studying Physical Education at Leeds Met. The challenges and success I experienced sparked an interest into how other autistic students experience HE. 

    Moving to Sheffield Hallam to gain my MA Autism Spectrum degree has led to a career researching autism and HE.

    My work is heavily influenced by the "Actually Autistic" movement and Emancipatory and Participatory movements. I strive for accessible involvement in the full research process and firmly believe that autistic people should be the main stakeholders in autism research.

    My PhD research is titled "Inclusion of students that identify as autistic in Higher Education" 

    I am a member of the Sheffield Hallam Autism Research Partnership, SHU Disability Research Forum and the Equality and Social Justice Research Group.

    Course Leader MA Autism Spectrum

    Leading, teaching and tutoring on MA Autism Spectrum

    Module leading, teaching and tutoring on undergraduate elective modules in autism and challenging behaviour as part of BA Childhood Studies and BA Early Childhood Studies

    Tutoring for Postgraduate Certificate in Autism and Asperger's Syndrome

    Dissertation supervising on BA Education Studies & BA Education, Psychology and Counselling.


  • Teaching

    Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion

    Social Sciences and Arts

    Currently working on projects with South Yorkshire Police and Humberside Police on police training, sensory challenges and specialist interviewing.

    Autism, Education, Research methods, Ethics

    MA Autism Spectrum

    BA Education Studies

    BA Education

    Psychology and Counselling

    BA Childhood Studies/Early Childhood Studies

  • Research

    Inclusion of Students who identify as Autistic in Higher Education.

  • Other activities

    ESRC Festival of Social Science 'My Autism Soapbox' November 2017 funded by ESRC

    ESRC Festival of Social Science 'Autistic Voices Tell All' November 2016  funded by ESRC

    ESRC Festival of Social Science 'A Letter to my autistic self' November 2015 funded by ESRC

    The National Autism Show presenter 'transitions and best practice' June 2014 funded by AskAutism

  • Media

    Have worked with the BBC training presenters and crew around autism and sensory issue. 

    Consultant for BBC radio Sheffield presenter of Nowt So Strange As Folk!

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