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Northern Ireland’s leading voice for autism sufferers and their families is being honoured by the University of Ulster today.

Arlene Cassidy, Chief Executive of the charity Autism Northern Ireland, will be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of the University (DUniv) for her services to autism.

She joined Autism NI in the early 1990s having previously worked as a social worker in both statutory and voluntary sectors.

In her role as Chief Executive of the charity, she has provided outstanding strategic leadership and helped Autism NI become the lead voice on autism issues in Northern Ireland – and a major catalyst for policy and procedure change with statutory, voluntary and government sectors.

The encomium to Ms Arlene Cassidy will be delivered by Professor Roy McConkey, Professor of Developmental Disabilities.