The Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership In Research and Education (AASPIRE) brings together the academic community and the autistic community to develop and perform research projects relevant to the needs of adults on the autism spectrum. Our partnership adheres to the principles of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), whereby academics and community members serve as equal partners throughout the research process.
Despite great increases in the amount of research conducted on autism, there has been little focus on how to improve the lives of adults on the autism spectrum. Adults on the spectrum are not usually included as resources or partners in autism research, despite having a wealth of information, experience, insight, and skills to offer.
AASPIRE was started by academics and autistics who recognized the need to work together to develop and implement research studies that truly benefit the autistic community. Using a Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach, researchers, autistic adults, and people who support individuals on the autism spectrum work together as equal partners throughout every phase of the research process.
- To encourage the inclusion of people on the autism spectrum in matters which directly affect them.
- To include people on the autism spectrum as equal partners in research about the autism spectrum.
- To answer research questions that are considered relevant by the autistic community.
- To use research findings to effect positive change for people on the spectrum.