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Debra Costley

Debra Costley, Ph.D. –Director, Education Development & Research, Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)

Debra is a special educator with over twenty years of experience in special education teaching and research.  Her Ph.D. was a policy analysis and evaluation of the introduction of a national curriculum in England and Wales and the impact of that intervention on children with learning difficulties.

Debra has worked in special schools, further and higher education in the UK, USA, and in Australia.  Before joining Aspect she was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Sydney, and a Principal Research Fellow at the University of Warwick in the UK.

Debra is currently the Director of Education Development and Research at Aspect, with responsibility for research and development of models of best practice for the teaching of young people and adults with an autism spectrum disorder.

Debra is currently coordinating and conducting a multi-site action research project to document and develop the Aspect Comprehensive Educational Approach, which is the model used in all Aspect Schools and Services.  In addition, she is responsible for a project to evaluate the Aspect Educational Outreach model; educational models and interventions for senior high school students; and a student voice project.  Other projects are in the planning stages with key research partners.