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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 is a community-engaged researcher whose research is focused on creating meaningful social impact. Her research centres on leadership for inclusive education and community environments that support the achievement and self-determination of individuals diagnosed with autism or other disabilities and their families. Dr. Webster is currently a CI on both an ARC Linkage and an ARC Discovery Grant, which examine the ways in which school leaders utilise decision-making processes and pedagogies to support students with disability. Dr. Webster is a researcher in the Australian Autism CRC and a member of the Australian Society for Autism Research. She has recently led UOW to become a research partner in the CRC, which involves partnerships between researchers, autism organisations, and autistic advocates across Australia. Working with colleagues in the CRC. Dr. Webster recently completed a nation-wide study to gather the perspectives of parents, educators and students on the needs of students with ASD in schools, as well as another study examining the emergent literacy needs of children on the autism spectrum. She has been contracted to undertake consultative research with a number of groups and is involved in research to inform the government’s implementation of the NDIS. She is actively involved in research projects with departments of education in Queensland, NSW and Tasmania, and is conducting several major research initiatives focusing 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’s research has culminated in a number of peer reviewed publications including three research-based bookspublished by Springer and Routledge overviewing case studies and models of practice for empowering and supporting individuals on the autism spectrum in community and school settings.  

Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Investigator On


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, 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 is a community-engaged researcher whose research is focused on creating meaningful social impact. Her research centres on leadership for inclusive education and community environments that support the achievement and self-determination of individuals diagnosed with autism or other disabilities and their families. Dr. Webster is currently a CI on both an ARC Linkage and an ARC Discovery Grant, which examine the ways in which school leaders utilise decision-making processes and pedagogies to support students with disability. Dr. Webster is a researcher in the Australian Autism CRC and a member of the Australian Society for Autism Research. She has recently led UOW to become a research partner in the CRC, which involves partnerships between researchers, autism organisations, and autistic advocates across Australia. Working with colleagues in the CRC. Dr. Webster recently completed a nation-wide study to gather the perspectives of parents, educators and students on the needs of students with ASD in schools, as well as another study examining the emergent literacy needs of children on the autism spectrum. She has been contracted to undertake consultative research with a number of groups and is involved in research to inform the government’s implementation of the NDIS. She is actively involved in research projects with departments of education in Queensland, NSW and Tasmania, and is conducting several major research initiatives focusing 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’s research has culminated in a number of peer reviewed publications including three research-based bookspublished by Springer and Routledge overviewing case studies and models of practice for empowering and supporting individuals on the autism spectrum in community and school settings.  

Selected Publications


Investigator On


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, 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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