Declan is a 20 year old student with ASD, ADD and Dyspraxia.

Declan has been at East Norfolk Sixth Form College for the past 3 years. He has Autism, Dyspraxia and Attention Deficit Disorder. Declan is studying Creative Media BTEC at Level 3 and Quantitative Methods (Maths) at AS Level and has been accepted to go to Anglia Ruskin University.   

When Declan started the Employability programme he was very quiet. We worked with him to build up confidence and then discussed his career choice (IT), the skills he had (programming), and looked at the industries where those skills could be applied. Writing HTML/CSS and other web design languages was identified as an ideal area where Declan could put his ability to good use.

He completed a CV and discussed work placements. This took some time and thought as only the right placement would provide Declan with a positive work experience. What was required was an employer with a small workforce who was sympathetic to Declan’s particular needs. A company called Astutech in Norwich seemed to fit the bill, offering him the opportunity to develop his existing skills and learn new ones. At the company’s office in Norwich, Declan had a very successful interview and impressed the company. As a result, Declan was able to work at the placement for several weeks, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience.

Here is what Astutech said about Declan:

'We use the Ansible configuration management system to manage our server infrastructure. However, due to the pressures of client work, we have not had the time to be able to use it to automate away as much as we would have liked. Declan has quickly picked up how to use Ansible, and in a short space of time has been able to :

  • Refactor our existing Ansible configurations to make the components more reusable .
  • Createda playbook for provisioning a new server with a Wordpress install, including dependencies such as MySQL, Apache and Varnish.
  • Create another playbook for provisioning a new server for a Laravel 5 application using PHP 7, including dependencies such as Redis and PostreSQL .
  • Create a playbook for spinning up a new server on Digital Ocean when needed ; in the long term, this is going to save hours of work provisioning new servers.

Generally Declan seems to have picked up every task he has been given without any problems whatsoever. He has surpassed our expectations, by a country mile.'

Celebrations and achievements

  • Achieved GCSE at College 
  • Completed The Talking Partners programme
  • Attended the Employability Programme 
  • Achieved AS qualifications at College