Dr Amanda Webster

Expertise: Autism and inclusive education

Contact Details

Dr. Webster's research focuses on creating inclusive education and community environments. Her work aims to support the achievement and self-determination of neurodivergent individuals including individuals on the autism spectrum or with other developmental and learning differences.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures (2015) reveal approximately 1 in 63 Australian school children currently have an autism diagnosis.

Dr Webster and other researchers with the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Autism recently completed a nation-wide study on different perspectives of parents, educators and students on the needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in schools.

She is an advocate for inclusive education and has worked extensively to create and lead inclusive programs in the USA and Australia and is passionate about engaging with community members and stakeholders to bridge translate research into sustainable practice that has relevance for those most concerned.

She is currently working with the autistic community to undertake research to facilitate awareness and implementation of strategies that support individuals on the autism spectrum to develop self-determination skills and to advocate for themselves in different settings.

She has recently completed studies, which focused on the role of school leaders, staff and parents in establishing school cultures and practices benefit students with autism.

Dr Webster has written a book to empower families of children with ASD to engage in critical decision making and advocacy for their children.

She is a chief investigator on a research project examining the processes that schools use to make decisions about how to best support students with disabilities.

In another project she has been examining the ways that secondary schools use adjustments in assessments for students with disabilities.

She has forged alliances with Australia’s leading autism advocacy groups.

Dr Webster is the Academic Program Director for the Autism postgraduate programs at UOW but she started her career in school education sector before she made the move into academia. Dr Webster has worked with students with a range of needs as a teacher in high school, primary, and pre-school settings. Her professional and academic experience placed her in the unique position to develop expertise and knowledge in autism leadership and curriculum.

Read Dr Webster’s view on How schools can meet the autism challenge via The Stand.