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Autism workforce development

Understanding and supporting the full autism spectrum

Meeting the needs of people with autism and their whānau

In 2014, Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People changed eligibility criteria for disability support services to include anyone on the autism spectrum, regardless of learning ability.

Demand for services continues to increase and the workforce requires the necessary skills to deliver high quality support.

Autistic people are adamant that anyone working in disability support should have a basic of understanding of the autism spectrum and how it impacts on the person they are supporting.

Alongside, there is a clear need to enhance knowledge around supporting people without learning disabilities, individuals who may also be experiencing mental health issues and people with complex behaviour and communication support needs.

Te Tau Tītoki: A framework for supporting people on the autism spectrum

Te Tau Tītoki is a framework to support organisations and individuals to provide services that meet the expectations of autistic people and whānau. It describes the essential knowledge, skills and indicators of quality autism support.

It’s critical to have a workforce that provides services reflective of the standards in the framework.

Te Tau Tītoki e-learning

Te Pou has created a series of e-learning modules designed to improve understanding and support the implementation of Te Tau Tītoki.

This series is made up of three modules:

  • Part 1: Te Tau Tītoki: How to use this series of e-learning courses
  • Part 2: Introducing Te Tau Tītoki: A framework for supporting. people on the autism spectrum.
  • Part 3: Te Tau Tītoki: Understanding the full autism spectrum in Aotearoa.

Please note, the e-learning is now hosted on Moodle at On your first visit to the site, you will need to create an account using your email and a unique password.

If you previously accessed e-learning modules on, your account information and record of learning have been transferred to Moodle. You will be prompted to set up a new password when you first log in using the same username (that you used on If you have any problems accessing your account, please email

Workforce development needs

In late 2015, Te Pou undertook an analysis of the workforce development needs of New Zealand’s autism workforce. The resulting report, Determining the workforce development needs of New Zealand’s autism workforce, describes the then-current learning and development activities that were in place across New Zealand for the workforce supporting children and adults with autism through funding from Disability Support Services.

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