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2014 Press Releases

Ace result for Autism Spectrum Cert

20 Feb 2014
L-R: Dr Seamus O Tuama, director ACE, UCC, Stuart Neilson, co-author, Deirdre O'Shaughnessy, editor of the Cork Independent, Diarmuid Heffernan, co-author and Liam Ronayne, City Librarian, attending the launch of 'Living with Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Ireland' in November 2013 (Picture: David Keane)

The Certificate in Autism Spectrum Studies, a partnership between The Centre for Adult Continuing Education, UCC and local agencies who provide autism support, has been shortlisted for an Aontas Star Award.

The awards take place as part of the Adult Learners’ Festival, a nationwide celebration of adult learning running from 24th February-1st March 2014 and coordinated by Aontas, the National Adult Learning Organisation.

The STAR Awards seek to recognise the contribution of adult learning initiatives in the community. Five awards in total will be granted to adult learning projects on the island of Ireland on 24th February- four regional awards (Leinster, Munster, Connaught, Ulster) and one nationwide award. There are seven other nominees shortlisted within the Munster category, including Mahon Young Unemployed Men’s Group and E-Learning@The Library, a digital literacy initiative by Cork City and County Libraries (for list in full see

The Certificate in Autism Spectrum Studies at UCC currently has 122 students enrolled in a course that caters to parents, nurses, teachers, special needs assistants and others wishing to develop an understanding of issues affecting the lives of those with autism.

This course has been developed in response to a major training deficit that exists in Ireland in terms of private and public responses to ASD and the support provided for families, health professionals and other groups. The course team have presented startling figures on the ever-increasing number of people, now estimated at some 50,000, who along with family members and others, are affected by ASD.

UCC Adult Continuing Education lecturers Dr Stuart Neilson and Diarmuid Heffernan recently published an acclaimed book called 'Living with Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Ireland'

For further information on the Aontas Star Awards, see

For more on the Certificate in Autism Spectrum Studies, see

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