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Webster, Amanda A. Dr

Senior Lecturer: Autism and Inclusive Education

Overview


Dr. Webster is currently the Academic Program Director for the Autism postgraduate programs where her research and teaching is focused on creating inclusive learning communities to support the achievement and self-determination of individuals on the autism spectrum. 

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • Dr. Webster's research focuses on creating inclusive education and community environments to support the achievement and self-determination of individuals on the autism spectrum. Dr. Webster is a researcher with Australia’s Autism CRC where she and other researchers recently completed a nation-wide study on different perspectives of parents, educators and students on the needs of students with ASD in schools. In another major project she has recently completed three major studies, which focused on the role of school leaders, staff and parents in establishing effective school cultures and practices that will enable students with autism to achieve high quality outcomes across the lifespan. Dr. Webster has also been involved in extensive research on empowering families of children with ASD to engage in critical decision making and advocacy for their children, which has been published in the book, Empowering Parents of Children with ASD and is chief investigator on an ARC research project examining the processes that schools use to make decisions about the types of adjustments they will use to support students with disabilities, and another project examining the ways that secondary schools utilise adjustments in assessments for students with disabilities.

Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p></p><p>The number of people on the autism spectrum has risen steadily over the past few decades.  Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal that approximately 1 in 63 Australian school children currently have an autism diagnosis.</p><p>Dr Amanda Webster is helping to bring together the different perspectives of parents, educators and students on the needs of these students, whilst creating inclusive education and community environments to support the achievement and self-determination of individuals.</p><p>Dr. Webster is currently the Academic Program Director for the Autism postgraduate programs at UOW, but her career began as an educator and autism professional before the move into academia.</p><p>The combination of professional and academic experience placed her in the unique position to develop expertise and knowledge in autism leadership and curriculum, as well as help to establish connections with some of the world’s best autism researchers. </p><p>Her established networks saw her find a place on the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) - the frontline of Autism research which takes a whole-of-life approach to the disorder with a focus on diagnosis, early intervention, education and adult life.</p><p>“Since commencing my academic career in 2011, I’ve developed a clear and cohesive research focus on building inclusive communities, environments and strategies that empower individuals on the autism spectrum to achieve their goals. I want to work on projects that have a meaningful impact on their lives and the lives of their families.”</p><p> She aims to merge teaching and research for sustainable impact, which she believes can’t be achieved without engagement from the autism community and industry partners. </p><p> She has forged alliances with several autism advocacy groups including the I Can Network, r ASPECT, Amaze (the peak autism organisation in Victoria), Autism Queensland, Autism Tasmania and also Queensland University of Technology. She is also engaged in a collaboration with the NSW Department of Education on an Australian Research Council project focusing on decision-making and support for students with disability in schools.</p><p> As well, she is a consultant for Autism Educators Australia, which provides advocacy and instruction for autistic individuals and their families.</p><p> Dr. Webster’s work within the community is what inspires her and motivates her to keep striving for impact with her own research.</p><p> “In my career, I’ve been fortunate to get to know many parents, children, and autistic adults who have impacted me and helped me to grow. My inspirations are the people who have a vision, who utilise research and their own voice to provide new insights and innovations that are creating a more inclusive society for all.”</p>

Available as Research Supervisor

Potential Supervision Topics


  • Experiences and perceptions of individuals on the autism spectrum
    Supporting parents of individuals on the autism spectrum
    Leading inclusive learning communities for individuals with autism and other diverse needs
    Supporting social emotional development of students on the autism spectrum
    Supporting self-determination of individuals on the autism spectrum across the lifespan

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Master of Philosophy Professional Learning Programs for Mainstream Teachers to Implement Evidence Based Practices for Students with ASD in Inclusive Classrooms Morton, Kia
    Doctor of Philosophy Higher Education Experiences of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Facilitators, Barriers and Support Needs Ward, Danielle
    Doctor of Education TBC Bell, Stephen
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Exploring Special needs: Teacher's Identification and Challenges of special needs students in Saudi Arabian Mainstream Classes. Almutairi, Wafa
    Doctor of Philosophy Women with Autism Vine Foggo, Rebecca
    Doctor of Philosophy Influential Factors of Bullying for Secondary Students on the Autism Spectrum Rowland, Susannah
    Doctor of Education Understanding How School Leaders Engage Teachers in Data-based Decision Making Gallo, Shirlee
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) How does the attitude of general education teachers and parents support inclusion of children with ASD differ in Australia and Pakistan. Adnan, Sadia
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Parent Perceptions of Self-determination Skills Development by Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Case of Saudi Culture Aba Alkhayl, Saleh
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Parents Perspective on the use of technology to help students with reading difficulties from first to fourth grade Alshammari, Saud
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Using the Econlogical Systems Theory to Analyze How Chinese Immigrant Partnts of Children with Disabilities Make Decisions at Times of Educational Transitions Lu, Luyao

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • Dr. Webster's research focuses on creating inclusive education and community environments to support the achievement and self-determination of individuals on the autism spectrum. Dr. Webster is a researcher with Australia’s Autism CRC where she and other researchers recently completed a nation-wide study on different perspectives of parents, educators and students on the needs of students with ASD in schools. In another major project she has recently completed three major studies, which focused on the role of school leaders, staff and parents in establishing effective school cultures and practices that will enable students with autism to achieve high quality outcomes across the lifespan. Dr. Webster has also been involved in extensive research on empowering families of children with ASD to engage in critical decision making and advocacy for their children, which has been published in the book, Empowering Parents of Children with ASD and is chief investigator on an ARC research project examining the processes that schools use to make decisions about the types of adjustments they will use to support students with disabilities, and another project examining the ways that secondary schools utilise adjustments in assessments for students with disabilities.

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p></p><p>The number of people on the autism spectrum has risen steadily over the past few decades.  Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal that approximately 1 in 63 Australian school children currently have an autism diagnosis.</p><p>Dr Amanda Webster is helping to bring together the different perspectives of parents, educators and students on the needs of these students, whilst creating inclusive education and community environments to support the achievement and self-determination of individuals.</p><p>Dr. Webster is currently the Academic Program Director for the Autism postgraduate programs at UOW, but her career began as an educator and autism professional before the move into academia.</p><p>The combination of professional and academic experience placed her in the unique position to develop expertise and knowledge in autism leadership and curriculum, as well as help to establish connections with some of the world’s best autism researchers. </p><p>Her established networks saw her find a place on the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) - the frontline of Autism research which takes a whole-of-life approach to the disorder with a focus on diagnosis, early intervention, education and adult life.</p><p>“Since commencing my academic career in 2011, I’ve developed a clear and cohesive research focus on building inclusive communities, environments and strategies that empower individuals on the autism spectrum to achieve their goals. I want to work on projects that have a meaningful impact on their lives and the lives of their families.”</p><p> She aims to merge teaching and research for sustainable impact, which she believes can’t be achieved without engagement from the autism community and industry partners. </p><p> She has forged alliances with several autism advocacy groups including the I Can Network, r ASPECT, Amaze (the peak autism organisation in Victoria), Autism Queensland, Autism Tasmania and also Queensland University of Technology. She is also engaged in a collaboration with the NSW Department of Education on an Australian Research Council project focusing on decision-making and support for students with disability in schools.</p><p> As well, she is a consultant for Autism Educators Australia, which provides advocacy and instruction for autistic individuals and their families.</p><p> Dr. Webster’s work within the community is what inspires her and motivates her to keep striving for impact with her own research.</p><p> “In my career, I’ve been fortunate to get to know many parents, children, and autistic adults who have impacted me and helped me to grow. My inspirations are the people who have a vision, who utilise research and their own voice to provide new insights and innovations that are creating a more inclusive society for all.”</p>

Potential Supervision Topics


  • Experiences and perceptions of individuals on the autism spectrum
    Supporting parents of individuals on the autism spectrum
    Leading inclusive learning communities for individuals with autism and other diverse needs
    Supporting social emotional development of students on the autism spectrum
    Supporting self-determination of individuals on the autism spectrum across the lifespan

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Master of Philosophy Professional Learning Programs for Mainstream Teachers to Implement Evidence Based Practices for Students with ASD in Inclusive Classrooms Morton, Kia
    Doctor of Philosophy Higher Education Experiences of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Facilitators, Barriers and Support Needs Ward, Danielle
    Doctor of Education TBC Bell, Stephen
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Exploring Special needs: Teacher's Identification and Challenges of special needs students in Saudi Arabian Mainstream Classes. Almutairi, Wafa
    Doctor of Philosophy Women with Autism Vine Foggo, Rebecca
    Doctor of Philosophy Influential Factors of Bullying for Secondary Students on the Autism Spectrum Rowland, Susannah
    Doctor of Education Understanding How School Leaders Engage Teachers in Data-based Decision Making Gallo, Shirlee
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) How does the attitude of general education teachers and parents support inclusion of children with ASD differ in Australia and Pakistan. Adnan, Sadia
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Parent Perceptions of Self-determination Skills Development by Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Case of Saudi Culture Aba Alkhayl, Saleh
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Parents Perspective on the use of technology to help students with reading difficulties from first to fourth grade Alshammari, Saud
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Using the Econlogical Systems Theory to Analyze How Chinese Immigrant Partnts of Children with Disabilities Make Decisions at Times of Educational Transitions Lu, Luyao
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