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New hub aims to improve employability of neurodiverse students

Media release

— Curtin University and DXC Technology establish Neurodiversity Hub in Perth —

A Neurodiversity Hub that will focus on promoting employment opportunities for students with autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression will be established in Perth after an agreement was signed between Curtin University and DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC).

The hub will be run by the Curtin-based Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance (AASQA) and the Curtin Autism Research Group (CARG) in partnership with DXC Technology, the world’s leading independent, end-to-end IT services company.

AASQA Founder and Director Professor Tele Tan, from the School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at Curtin, said the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) would explore collaborative opportunities for the benefit of neurodiverse students.

“By signing this MOU, we are committing to establishing a Neurodiversity Hub in Perth that will help improve the employability of and employment opportunities for students with autism, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,” Professor Tan said.

“Under this partnership, we will work together to help students gain important work experience and internships with DXC Technology and its partners with the ultimate aim of building a pipeline of young talent for neurodiverse friendly employers.”

CARG Director Professor Sonya Girdler, from the School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech Pathology at Curtin, said the MOU would have a particular focus on students on the autism spectrum and those living with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“This agreement will offer new opportunities to further develop Curtin’s research in the area of neurodiversity, particularly students living with autism, and help drive innovation with our partners, clients and collaborators,” Professor Girdler said.

DXC Technology Australia and New Zealand Dandelion Program and Neurodiversity Hub executive Mr Michael Fieldhouse said: “It is a privilege to work with like-minded organisations such as Curtin University and the Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance that want to promote inclusiveness and employment for students who are neurodiverse. The hub provides hope for neurodiverse students and assists them with skills development and opportunities for employment. It is also a vehicle to help DXC and our partners such as SAP, ANZ Bank, the Australian Federal Government, Peoplebank and Westpac to share our knowledge with other employers who want to participate in this journey.”

The MOU was signed by Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Chris Moran and DXC Technology Manufacturing and Education Director Richard James last month.

The Neurodiversity Hub is expected to be established in Perth later this year.

 Notes to Editor:

 About AASQA:

The Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance is the flagship project of CARG and was established in early 2016 with the joint support of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University. Its mission is to enable individuals with autism to leverage their unique talents via an introduction to the realms of programming, robotics, and automation through training, and mentoring programs, to create pathways to valued, long-term employment.

 About CARG:

The Curtin Autism Research Group is dedicated to finding evidence-based, innovative, and effective approaches to supporting all individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families, across the lifespan.

About DXC Technology:

DXC Technology is the world’s leading independent, end-to-end IT services company, serving nearly 6,000 private and public-sector clients from a diverse array of industries across 70 countries. The company’s technology independence, global talent and extensive partner network deliver transformative digital offerings and solutions that help clients harness the power of innovation to thrive on change. DXC Technology is recognised among the best corporate citizens globally. For more information, visit dxc.technology.