Saturday, February 28, 2009

Autscape 2009 Call for proposals

We wish to explore these key concepts of autistic being in many different fashions. This can be through formal presentations or workshops, and may be theoretical or practical. Many different types of input are welcome: traditional lectures, creative expression, physical activity, interactive workshops and more.

____ Audience _________________________________________________

Although we welcome non-autistic professionals and family members, the aim of this event is primarily for autistic people, not about us!

Workshops geared towards parents and professionals may be accepted, but must be positive in their support for autistic people and their right to be different.

____ Examples _________________________________________________

For some examples of what has been presented at Autscape in the past, see last year's presentations at:

We are also likely to enjoy similar workshops to those that have been presented at Autreat, in the USA. See:

____ Non-verbal workshops _____________________________________

Although many of the autistic people who are attracted to an event such as Autscape are highly verbal, others may have difficulty with an event so centered around language. However, we want to welcome and fully include all kinds of autistic people, including less 'wordy' ones. We are also seeking workshops which are not primarily focused on the spoken word. (Presenters may still use speech; it is just not the main content of this type of workshop.) Examples: dance, relaxation, music, art, construction of some kind. These workshops are different from casual leisure sessions in that they have more structure, preparation (from the presenter), relevance to autism and the event's theme, and duration.

____ A few notes of caution ___________________________________

* Cures:

Workshops about curing or preventing autism are likely not to go over well at all and are best avoided altogether, unless it is from an advocacy standpoint.

* Problems:

The problems of non-autistics coping with autistic people could inadvertently reinforce negative attitudes.

* Personal Experience:

We all have personal experience of autism. If your presentation is primarily based on your personal experience, think carefully about its relevance here; the story needs to be one which can help attendees to find new understanding of their own situation. Please let us know what you're hoping those present will gain from your presentation.

* Suitability:

Every workshop, no matter who it is targeted towards, should be suitable for autistic people to attend without feeling objectified or put down.

____ What do we expect from you? ______________________________

* Attendance:

If you submit a proposal, we do expect you to be there! Please be prepared to attend Autscape and give your presentation on the day and time scheduled. If you choose not to attend Autscape for the whole 3 days we will do our best to fit the schedule around your needs.

Travel is the responsibility of each individual presenter. We cannot subsidise travel or off-site expenses for anyone. If your proposal is accepted, we will send you a formal letter of invitation if this will help you to secure your own funding.

* Discussion groups:

Presenters may be expected to run an evening or afternoon discussion group on their topic, for those who would like to explore the issue further. If you may have problems with this, we will try to find a volunteer to help you.

* An article:

We would like an article about your presentation for inclusion in a proceedings booklet to be prepared and printed at a later date. This booklet will be sold to raise funds for Autscape.

* Presentation materials:

Please send copies of any handouts and computer presentations (e.g.

powerpoint) ahead of time. These will be made available for download by Autscape participants and printing for those who require it.

* Archive:

We would like to include your presentation summary, biography and any electronic handouts you provided in our website's archive area.

* Recording:

Please allow us to video or otherwise record your presentation. These records may be made available to others by Autscape. If you submit a proposal we will assume you are happy with these expectations. If you have any questions or objections, please let us know so we can discuss it.

____ What can you expect from us? _____________________________

* Attendance:

Presenters will be accommodated on-site for the day of their presentation including the night before or after. Only one place can be subsidised for each presentation, regardless of the number of presenters. Unfortunately, due to the funding situation we cannot offer free attendance at all of Autscape this year.

* Participation:

Whenever you are not presenting you can enjoy the event, including other workshops and the setting, just as any other participant.

* Involvement:

One thing you can expect by joining us is the opportunity to shape an emerging self-advocacy event and autistic community. There will be opportunities at the event to get involved in the future of Autscape.

* Audience:

A rare opportunity to be heard by a significant number of autistic people. A chance to have some influence and get some feedback from the people who matter most in the field of autism.

____ How to submit your proposal ______________________________

To submit your proposal, please use one of the following:

* online form:

* e-mail:

* or post to: Autscape, 4 Falcon Street, London, E13 8DE, UK

All proposals must be received by 1 May 2009.

Please include the following information.


a. Name

b. Country

c. At least one of:

o e-mail address (preferred)

o phone number

o postal address

d. Experience (A summary of your relevant experience, including

any presentations or other education/advocacy activities

elsewhere, and the nature of your interest in autism and/or in

general disability issues.)


a. Your name or alias (for public use)

b. Biography (50-150 words)

c. Presentation title (1-12 words)

d. Summary (100-200 words)


a. Type of session (choose one)

o Lecture (audience mostly listens)

o Workshop (audience participates verbally)

o Hands-On (audience participate physically)

o Other (please describe)

b. How does your presentation relate to this year's theme

'Effective Living'?

c. Please describe your presentation or activity for the decision makers.

4. Other comments not addressed above



Autism Reality NB said...

Will you be inviting some of those autistic people who lack understanding of language, some of those who live in institutional care and have limited engagement with the world, the severely autistic?

K said...

I think what might be an interesting presentation would be parenting/advocating while on the spectrum. It doesn't appear from past presentations I could locate that this topic has ever been done.

laurentius rex said...

Harold I fail to see the point you think you are making.

I cannot see anywhere, where it states that Autscape is for "High Funtioning" people only.

You really do not understand about the alternatives to institutional care do you and what is so wrong with it?

Everywhere you are imposing your rather limited notions as to what language and understanding is.

You are quite like the guardians of the Deaf who did not believe that deaf people were capable of thought at all, and were thus only part human.

If you want to believe that all intellectually impaired people are mere automatons, then please keep that offensive opinion to yourself.

Autism Reality NB said...


The point I am making is simple and obvious. When you are talking about autistic persons speaking for themselves that is a good thing. Do not pretend though that those who write on the internet and communicate at a high level speak for severely autistic persons like my 13 year old son who has limited communication and limited understanding of language and the world.

My comments are not in the least offensive and I made none of the insinuations that you offer in your caricature of my comments.

I have a 13 year old son with limited communication that I care for every day and will do so as long as I live. YOU do not speak on his behalf. He cannot and I, as his parent, who cares for him, and know him better than anyone on this planet speak on his behalf. If you don't like that fact too bad.

I have also, as an autism advocate visited institutions and met with autistics who reside there and who have little or not communication skills. So please save your lectures for someone who does not know any better.

Your ideology does nothing at all to help those people. You have no basis in common sense or otherwise to speak on their behalf.

I find it offensive that you would pretend to speak on behalf of my son and others who share his challenges, challenges you do not share.

laurentius rex said...

Argument is pretty much pointless with you because you are grounded with a different paradigm that prevents you from seeing anything from outside of your own experience.

I am not claiming to represent your son as an individual, I am campaigning for better autism services.

Do you really think I am as ignorant as you suppose.

I am not suffering from the depredations of war at the moment, but does that mean only those who are war can speak for peace?

You have a flawed understanding of autism, because you observe no further than you can see, and do not think there is another way.

I don't face exactly the same issues as my equally high functioning student friend a few blocks away. I cannot, but we do have broad issues of concern which are the same.

What do you offer?

laurentius rex said...

And a question to you Harold.

Would you prefer someone who is qualified in autism to teach your son or not?

That teacher will never have the same perspective as you have on your son either, yet is that reason to reject there own specialist knowlege?

If I want a lawyer I will have to concede that my own skills are limited in that area and no matter how much I think I might have a good case, will have to accept counsel's word if I don't.

In addition to being on the autistic spectrum, I have recognised University qualifications in autism and education too. You don't get those through lack of application and study. You don't get them through saying the only autism is autism as I experience it.

I have spent several years with the NAS now. The NAS run a variety of schools, services and residential facilities, and I have to take responsibility as a board member for what happens there, do you think I know nothing?

I have met parents and autistic people at all points on the spectrum quite simply I would not be where I am if I were al"mouth and no trousers" as the saying has it.

There is much more I could tell you that you don't know about my life, because autism is not the be all and the end all of it by any means, I have been equally vocal on behalf of other disability causes, and legitimately too, because the pan disability social model applies to us all, yes even your son.

Autism Reality NB said...

No, you do not speak for my son. And you do not speak for any other low functioning, low communication skills person with autism in the absence of a PERSONAL relationship with that individual.

What do I offer? I offer the perspective of a parent who has fought very, very hard to ensure that my son receives the services he needs AND that other autistic children do as well.

I have, along with other parents, fought successfully for the delivery of government provided pre-school autism interventions by trained service providers.

I fought successfully, alongside other parents, for teacher aides and resource teachers who work with autistic students to receive autism specific training from the professionals and academics at the UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training Program. I also fought successfully for accommodation of the individual learning needs of my son and other autistic students in our schools based on their individual circumstances.

I have provided legal services, always pro bono, that is free of fee or charge, to adolescents with Aspergers who ran afoul of the law.

I have worked for, and continue to work for improvements in residential facilities for autistic adults here in New Brunswick.

I do this while practicing law and spending quality time with my family including my autistic son. The pictures on my blog site show the frequent times we spend together at home, out of doors and in public.

These are the things that I have offered and done LR. And I do not call myself Rex or king of anything for doing them. They are simply things that have had to be done and I set to doing them.

And I do not believe for a second that you, or any of the other internet high functiong persons speaks on behalf of my son or have any understanding whatsoever of his condition or challenges to offer. And I am also sure based on what you say on the internet that you have little to offer to the autistic persons that I have visited who live their adult lives in institutional care.

That is not a paradigm L R. That is reality. Try it sometime.

laurentius rex said...

Harold I have let that post through even if it is grossly innacurate and bigoted.

I have done so to staunch any accusations that I am censoring you, but now you can accuse away because that is the last post on this topic you are allowed.

Any further discussion would be pointless, as I have observed of you elsewhere, you never take the blinkers off and so your arguments go in circles. I hope your legal cases are better founded than your rhetoric on the internet else I would begin to worry about how you can make a living for yourself.

I have known people quite like you, and nothing you have said is new to me with regard to your perspective.

You have no appreciation of how things work in the political arena.

There are some who advocate one to one, and yes Harold I have done that, and there are those who band together to advocate at a different level altogether, which what our respective autistic societies do.

If there were no-one to serve on the boards of such organisations, do you suppose they would run themselves?

No don't waste your time answering, no more posts from you on this topic, you have had more than your say, and this blog is my kingdom after all, you have your own and I am severing diplomatic relations for the time being.