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‘I’m teaching the teachers about equality’

Stephen Connolly

Stephen Connelly
PhD on inclusion of students that identify as autistic in higher education

I’d planned to do teacher training, but I had 17 interviews and every question was about me being autistic. So I decided to become one of the people who teaches the teachers about equality and fairness in education.

The theory is that anyone involved in my PhD has to get a positive impact from it. 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 director of studies is really supportive and accessible. He often forwards me insights from events I haven’t attended, and he helped me get some guest speaker slots. 

Like every PhD student, I suffer from imposter syndrome, and that drives me to learn more and more about my field. I feel like I ended up reading everything there was to read, but now it’s often me imparting the knowledge to academics, and that’s amazing.

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