The Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER)

The Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) carries out extensive research into educational interventions for those on the autism spectrum.

ACER Research
ACER combines decades of experience across health, social services and education, within the state, voluntary and independent sectors, working with both children and adults. Find out more

Forthcoming Events

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Autism Resources

ACER has developed a number of online resources which may be useful to you.

Members of ACER 

ACER, a Centre for Autism Research and Education, is a member of the Department for Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs which is in the School of Education, University of Birmingham.

Professor Karen Guldberg

Professor Karen Guldberg is currently Director of the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) and a Reader in Autism Studies. Karen is passionate about ensuring there is synergy between her teaching and research. She has a paricular interest in online learning and  developed the first blended learning programme in autism, which was launched in 2002. 

Dr Glenys Jones

Dr Glenys Jones is a Chartered Psychologist, honorary lecturer and researcher in the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) at the School of Education, University of Birmingham. She has worked in the field of autism for over 30 years and is particularly interested in educational interventions and evaluation. 

Professor Rita Jordan

Professor Rita Jordan is an Emeritus Professor in Autism Studies and a self employed Autism Consultant. She has written about and researched many aspects of autism and has been involved in training events, consultations and conferences all over the world. She has served on national and international task forces and working parties to review evidence and offer advice in relation to autism. 

In 2007 she was awarded an OBE for her services to special needs education and in 2013 she was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the National Autistic Society.

Dr Lila Kossyvaki

Dr Lila Kossyvaki is a lecturer in Severe Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities. She is a chartered psychologist and a SEN teacher. She has a strong interest in school and home-based interventions to promote social communication and play skills in children with autism and learning disabilities. 

Dr Andrea MacLeod

Andrea MacLeod is a Lecturer in Autism. Before joining the University Andrea worked in the voluntary sector, supporting adults with disabilities. She developed and managed models of support (including supported living, employment, peer support and community inclusion) for adults with Asperger syndrome within the West Midlands region.

Dr Despina Papoudi

Dr Despina Papoudi is a Lecturer in Autism. Prior to joining ACER she was as an Assistant Professor in Developmental Psychology and Psychopathology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Faculty of Early Childhood Education. She approaches autism from a developmental perspective, which includes issues of educational provision and educational practices.

Autism Courses

Our programmes on autism and education in the University of Birmingham focus on developing real insight and encouraging reflective practice. You will be tutored by recognized experts in the field and have access to an extensive library and research materials. Find out more

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Latest news

Posted 29 March 2018

ACER Residential Weekend

The latest ACER residential weekend proved to be very successful with students describing it as 'amazing'.

more news...


An ableist approach to disabled students?
Dr Andrea Macleod       It’s a lot of work being a disabled student. Disability legislation in the UK entitles students who have additional needs to a range of reasonable adjustments and support whilst they are studying, but they have to work for it. First, they need to provide evidence of diagnosis to support … Continue reading An ableist approach to disabled students?

Autistic participation: a question of ethics
Dr Rebecca Wood is a former teacher and autism education practitioner who has recently completed her PhD on the inclusion of autistic children in the curriculum and tests in mainstream primary schools. She is currently an honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, and was the project manager on the Transform Autism Education programme, a tri-national … Continue reading Autistic participation: a question of ethics