Between September 27 and 29, 2023, David Ruttenberg took on the roles of chair, panel participant, and presenter at the Multimodality and Future Landscapes event at ICOM-11, delving into topics like Meaning Making, AI, Education, Assessment, and Ethics. The presentation focused on data extracted from his thesis, which outlines improved approaches to alleviate sensory sensitivity experiences, attentional challenges, and mental well-being disturbances in autistic adults. This information was shared with an academic audience, emphasizing an ethical perspective geared towards protecting at-risk autistic individuals from security and harm issues when gathering their personal data through environmental and psychophysiological sensors.
After completing a 3-year term as Chairperson for the Florida Atlantic University’s Centre for Autism and Related Disabilities (FAU-CARD), David Ruttenberg was re-elected to the Executive Board for an extended 5-year term. FAUCARD, a community-based program, provides direct assistance to 7,500+ individuals with autism spectrum disorder and related disabilities, offering support to families, schools, and community agencies. Services include training for family members, professional development for educators, support groups, community education, information dissemination, referrals, newsletters, and email updates. The center also supports businesses working with individuals with autism, among other initiatives.
To mark World Autism Awareness Day, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society (formerly the Institute of Education) rounded up a selection of the many ways our researchers, lecturers, and students are working to transform the narrative around autism in a recent twitter post. The DevDivLab was featured also featured in a Q&A Article featuring David Ruttenberg’s research.
PhD Student Researcher David Ruttenberg recently contributed to the UK Parliament’s Office of Science and Technology (POST) by helping to author a POSTnote entitled Invisible Disabilities in Education and Employment. This work provide an overview of invisible disability in the UK and outlines types of invisible differences and relevant legislation and policy. It also discusses the experiences of adults with invisible disabilities, and strategies aimed at increasing access and inclusion for adults with invisible disabilities, focusing on employment, and higher and further education. David drew from his research, and in particular, his focus group and questionnaire data that were part of his Patient and Public Information studies.
The Fragile X Society hosted an in-person conference at the Midlands Art Centre (Birmingham) for families and carers of people with FXS. They invited researchers from England and Scotland to talk about previous and current work with people with fragile X syndrome and their families.
Kat organised a research workshop with Prof Gaia Scerif hosted at St. Catherine’s College (University of Oxford) bringing together UK researchers interested in fragile X syndrome to share expertise, discuss current work and form future collaborations. There were a range of interesting sessions, including a talk by Prof Jonathan Herring on the law and practice of gaining consent from people with learning disabilities, quick fire updates on current research from UCL, University of Oxford, University of Surrey, University of Warwick and University of Edinburgh. We were also lucky enough to have a brilliant session with two young people who told us all about what it is like to have fragile X syndrome. Some family members and carers of those with fragile X syndrome joined us online and shared their ideas on how families and researchers can collaborate to shape future research.
The Institute of Healthcare Engineering (IHE) exists to improve lives through technology. From 3D-printing prosthetics limbs to developing AI that can spot cancer, our scientists are focused on making a real-world impact.
On 12 and 17 May, a fast-paced lunch presentation occurred with scientists taking no more than 5 minutes to present their research (without PowerPoint screens!), with a bit of silliness delivered by comedian/scientist Dr Steve Cross.
Our own David Ruttenberg presented his SensorAble Project, detailing how individuals with autistic diagnoses contend with sensory, attention and mental health (e.g., anxiety and fatigue) issues at school, work , and in social scenarios.
The DevDivLab is pleased to welcome Lina Erilli and Lucie Vigreux as our newest interns. We’re also very pleased to welcome Imogen Krell as a research assistant. All lab members are sad to say goodbye to Hannah Partington and Beth Jones, but wish them well in their new posts. Hannah is starting work as an assistant psychologist and Beth has left to pursue a PhD with Dr. Jo Moss, our collaborator at University of Surrey. Congratulations to Hannah and Beth!