Qld PremierA new education centre to support students with autism and reading difficulties has opened in Brisbane. The centre, which is a first for the country, is located in Woolloongabba. It will provide online and face-to-face professional programs for teachers and parents as well as specialist advice to educators and parents on how to teach reading and includes strategies for students with reading difficulties.

The aim of the $2 million autism hub is to improve educational outcomes for students with autism by providing links with parents, schools and the community by helping them to access services, Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszcuk said. “It will ensure support for these students is streamlines, co-ordinated and responsive to individual needs.”

As well as providing evidence-based support and advice to state and non-state schools, the hub will work with universities and community organisations in addition to holding workshops for parents to assist them with managing complex and challenging behaviours.

In another project, the Queensland Government has partnered with James Cook University (JCU) to develop disability engagement tools. The initiative is part of the ‘Knowledge Transfer Partnerships’ program that is offering grants of up to $50,000 to small and medium enterprises to employ a university graduate to develop online tools for use in regional communities. The JCU project will focus on researching and addressing communication challenges when providing services to customers with a diverse range of needs.

Caption: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk with Autism Hub executive director, Chris Lassig.