National Autistic Society (NAS), United Kingdom

The National Autistic Society (NAS) is the UK’s leading charity for people affected by autism founded in 1962 by parents of children with autism. We have over 20,000 members and 100 Branches throughout the UK and employ 3,500 staff. The NAS provides a wide range of advice, information and support as well as specialist services to 100,000 people each year.

We provide information and support to professionals working in the field of autism through Network Autism (6,000 members), training, conferences and consultancy.


Carol Povey
Carol PoveyDirector, Centre for Autism, The National Autistic Society (NAS)
Years of experience: 32

Carol Povey

  • BA (Hons)
  • CSS (certificate in Social Service)
  • DMS (Diploma in Management Studies)
  • Chair of editorial board for NAS professional conference.
  • 2013 – Workshop on Autism and Ageing – Autism Europe Congress, Budapest
  • 2012 – Network Autism. A presentation at ITASD conference, Valencia, Spain
  • 2008 – Training delivered in Libya to professionals from across the country including teachers, diagnosticians and other professionals. I also held a televised question and answer session with parents.
  • 2007 – Training delivered in Egypt and Jordan which included delegates from across the Middle East. This included meeting with government officials from both countries.
  • 2006 – Poster presentation at the World Autism Conference, Cape Town.
  • 2006 – Training delivered in China to both professionals and parents, plus keynote speaker at a conference held at Guangzhou University.
  • Carol started her career working for the City of Westminster, in a small specialist day service, then spent 12 years working for the Wirral Autistic Society, five years of which were spent establishing their training and development services. In 1996, she moved to Bromley Autistic Trust as Chief Executive where she developed their residential, day and supported living services and established a thriving family support service.
  • Carol joined The National Autistic Society as Regional Co-ordinator for London and the South-East in 2001 where she had responsibility for working with branches, parent groups, and local authorities. In 2005 she became Head of Adult Services for the NAS, developing a strategic and modernisation plan for the National Autistic Society’s adult services, as well as leading in the identification and transfer of best practice within the organisation. As “Responsible Individual” under the Care Standards Act, Carol held responsibility on behalf of the Board of Trustees for ensuring that the National Autistic Society services meet their statutory requirements.
  • In 2010, Carol was appointed as the Director of the Centre for Autism. The aim of the centre is to promote innovation, excellence and understanding across the autism sector and to provide a hub for greater collaboration both UK wide and internationally.
  • Carol is the chair of the editorial board of the NAS’ professional conference. She has contributed to a number of publications, and has trained and presented at conferences nationally and internationally.
  • Adult services
  • Service provision
  • Support for families
  • Skill development for professionals in autism


Tracey Sellers
Tracey SellersProjects Team Manager, Centre for Autism, NAS
Years of experience: 28

Tracey Sellers

  • BA (Hons)
  • Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Tracey joined the NAS in 1986 as the Training and Conference Manager.
  • In 1989 she was appointed Family Services Co-ordinator with responsibility for managing the delivery of advice, information and support services to people with autism and their families.
  • In 2001 Tracey joined the London and South East Area Team as an Area Development Officer working with NAS Branches, voluntary and statutory organisations to develop services and local projects.
  • In 2010 the role focussed solely on working with Local Authorities and Health bodies to implement the Autism Strategy following the passing of the Autism Act.
  • In 2013 Tracey was appointed Projects Team Manager for the Centre for Autism and manages a number of EU and statutory funded projects on Safeguarding, Brokerage, Exclusions, Transitions and Ageing.
  • Support for families, service development and policy implementation.

Melior Whitear Biog

  • BA Hons and post-graduate diploma in film studies
  • Head of PR and Media at the NAS since 2014.
  • Previously various roles including Interim Associate Director for Communications and Marketing at Rethink Mental Illness, Programme Manager for launch of Dementia Friends programme.
  • A communications specialist with a strong commitment to the voluntary sector’s role in achieving positive and practical change.
  • Extensive experience of leading integrated teams, projects and campaigns across media, digital and social, publications, events and campaigning.
  • Throughout her career, she has worked in charities concerned with social policy and health, covering fields including: autism, dementia, and mental health; adult and youth crime and justice; housing, employment and training.
Melior Whitear Biog
Melior Whitear BiogProjects Team Manager, Centre for Autism, NAS