A few people have pointed out that all the information about our #InsideOutAutism conference is written in academic language which isn’t accessible to some people who might be interested in attending. So this thread is an attempt to explain what we’re up to in plain English.
On the 4th and 5th of July we’re holding a conference at the University of Kent at Canterbury, we’re hoping lots of very different people will come so we can all learn from each other. One theme of the conference is the involvement of autistic people in how autism research is done (participatory research).
Another theme is gender, we’re interested in what people have to say about autism and gender. We’re going to have conversations about things like autistic experiences of pregnancy and gender fluidity.
The last theme is creativity and this ties in with the other two themes as we want to hear about research that involved creative ways of working with autistic people of all genders.
The conference is a collaboration between the Playing A/Part project and the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC).
Should I come?
If you’re interested in any of the themes and want to talk about them with other people who are also interested then yes, you should come! While the conference is an academic event so there will be many academics there we’d also love it if lots of autistic people came (and autistic academics of course!) We don’t want a group of people who all already agree with each other, we want (respectful) debate about these ideas. Please note that we have asked everyone to use identity first language, that is to say ‘autistic person’ rather than ‘person with autism’.
Can I get involved?
Yes, we’d like people from all sorts of backgrounds to contribute, you don’t need to have done anything like this before to do so. People can get involved by making posters about what they’d like to say or bringing objects (artefacts) which represent their ideas.
What will it be like?
We’ve put some photos of the venue where it is all happening here and the schedule can be found here. Everyone is free to come and go as they wish. On day 1 posters will be shared and will stay up throughout the conference, on day 2 the artefacts will be added.
What is a poster?
A poster is an opportunity to give other people an overview of your work or what you are passionate about that relates to the conference themes. Here is an example of what an academic poster looks like (photo of our poster). We’ve also got guidance on the sort of thing we’re looking for here
What do you mean by artefacts?
Artefacts are a slightly different way of telling others about your work, we’re particularly looking for creative or educational things that you might use to work with people (autistic and non-autistic). This might include things like objects you use or photos of what you do, you can also include a written explanation. Here’s an example of the sort of thing we mean (insert photo of flashcards). More guidance on what we are looking for can be found here.
How do I tell you I want to contribute a poster or artefact?
To tell us you want to contribute something you need to write 150 words about what you plan to do. This should explain why you are doing it and what it will be like. You then need to email this to us at firstname.lastname@example.org by FRIDAY 7th JUNE 2019. We know this deadline is very soon, we may be able to consider ideas submitted after this date if you email us to let us know.
Is it accessible?
Yes the campus is fully accessible, more details can be found here and do get in touch if you have any questions about accessibility.
Is there a quiet room?
Can you meet my dietary needs?
Yes, please let us know what your dietary requirements so we can make sure we have the right amounts of everything, there is a section on the booking form for this. People are also welcome to bring their own food if they would prefer.
Where do I book?
Booking is now open here. If you would like to apply for a fee waiver please get in touch with us before booking.
Do you have any information on where I could stay?
We have accommodation available on the university campus which can be booked here.
There are also a number of hotels and B&Bs in Canterbury city centre.
I would like to come but I can’t afford it…
We’ve kept the cost of this as low as possible but if this is more than you can afford do get in touch by emailing us at email@example.com. We have a limited number of free places available for autistic people, their carers, students or anyone else who would struggle to meet the cost of this.
Will there be any autistic space there?
Yes, we will have a room nearby where autistic people attending the conference and other autistic people who aren’t attending can come together.
Why is there so much focus on women and girls? Doesn’t this exclude other marginalised genders?
Our project is looking specifically at autistic girls, that’s what we’ve got funding to research but we believe the things we’re learning aren’t in any way exclusive to girls but rather apply to many different autistic people. More on this question here.
Got a question we haven’t answered? Please do ask! You can @ us on Twitter @PlayingA_Part or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to those whose feedback prompted this page, particularly Kieran Rose and Ellie Tait.