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A branch of the National Autistic Society

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NAS Avon Branch

A branch of the National Autistic Society

Autscape 2018: Exploring Inclusion



Tuesday 28 August – Friday 31 August 2018

Tonbridge, Kent, UK


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C A L L   F O R   P R O P O S A L S


We are now accepting proposals for all types of presentations for Autscape 2018.




Please use the proposal submission form if at all possible. If you have difficulty using the form, please e-mail Email submissions are not accepted unless exceptional access requirements apply.


The form and all the information below can be found on the Autscape website:


___ Contents ___


* About Autscape

* Theme

* What we are looking for

* Examples

* What do we expect from you?

* What can you expect from us?

* How to submit your proposal


___ About Autscape ___


Autscape is an autistic conference. It is run by and for autistic people. The environment and content of the event are centred around autistic people's needs, interests and sensitivities.


___ Theme ___


The theme for this year's Autscape is 'Exploring Inclusion'.


This is a broad theme that encompasses exploration of autism and inclusion from within every possible context. We invite proposers to interpret the theme freely and creatively.


Possible example topics include (but are *not* limited to):

- exploring the inclusion of autistics within various social environments (schools and universities, workplaces, leisure,

 sports and hobbies clubs, religious establishments, etc.);

- exploring how the autistic community can better accommodate autistics who have additional conditions/disabilities;

- applying the concept of autistic space to various additional social environments, in order to allow better inclusion of autistics in

 those environments;

- developing the concept of autistic space to allow better inclusion of various types of autistics within the autistic community;

- exploring how the autistic community could better accommodate autistics who belong to additional minority groups.


Presentations which seek to develop this theme will be given priority; however, any suitable topic, even if it is not directly related to autism, will be considered.


___ What we are looking for ___


We are looking for quality proposals by qualified presenters, but 'qualifications' don't have to be formal.


We wish to explore a broad range of perspectives on being autistic, both theoretical and practical. Many different types of input are welcome: traditional lectures, creative expression, physical activity, interactive workshops and more.


Although many of the autistic people who are attracted to Autscape are highly verbal, others may have difficulty with an event centred around language. Therefore, we are also seeking workshops which are not primarily focused on the spoken word.


Selected proposals are likely to have these features:


- The topic is relevant to Autscape. Although non-autistic people are welcome to attend, the vast majority of participants are autistic and the programme is for us, not about us. All presentations must be positive in their support for autistic people and our right to be autistic. There should be something about each presentation that makes it something you would find at Autscape, in autistic space, and not just anywhere.

- The presenter is qualified. This does not mean you need to have a long list of academic qualifications. It does mean that you should know what you are talking about and be able to demonstrate some expertise in it. Experience of presenting or teaching your activity is an asset. There should be a reason that we want you, not just anyone, to present about it.

- The presentation is structured, informative and relevant. It keeps the participants engaged. There is evidence that the presenter has taken care to prepare this topic for this audience. It is worth the participants paying their often very limited money for.


The sort of thing that may be selected:

- Lectures and workshops in the traditional style about topics that are of interest to autistic people and preferably fit with the theme.

- Physical activities such as yoga, martial arts, or other movement or exercise which have been specifically adapted for autistic


- Creative activities such as art, music or drama presented in a way that is relevant to, and adapted for, autistic participants.

- Practical activities that can help autistic people live better, for example, coping with sensory issues or using communication aids.


The sort of thing that is unlikely to be selected:


- Lectures about one's personal experience of being (growing up) autistic. We all have personal experience of autism. If your presentation is primarily based on your personal experience, think carefully how it can help attendees find new understanding of their own situation. Please let us know what you're hoping those present will gain from your presentation.

- Discussions on a topic of interest where the participants provide most of the material. These are an important part of Autscape, but don't require the sort of expertise and preparation we expect for presentations.

- Workshops about curing or preventing autism, unless it is from an advocacy standpoint.

- Undeveloped ideas or topics. If you haven't had time to thoroughly think through your proposal, it may be better to wait until next year. If you are sure of what you want to present, but are having difficulty describing it in words, we may be able to help.


Note: if your proposal is not selected for the main Autscape programme, you may still offer it as a participant-led activity. There will be an opportunity to submit these in advance so they can be timetabled, but you may also book them at Autscape itself.


___ Examples ___


For examples of what has been presented as part of the Autscape main programme in the past, see the presentations from previous years at:


___ What do we expect from you? ___


Reliability: you need to be able to assure us that except for unforeseen circumstances you will be there to present as agreed.


Presentation materials: please send copies of any handouts and computer presentations (for example, PowerPoint) by the date requested (to be confirmed, about two weeks before Autscape). These will be made available for download and printing by Autscape participants. In addition we can print a limited number of pages for handouts. You retain the copyright to your material.


Your details and presentation summary: the summary and bio you submit with your proposal will be published on our website. You may correct, modify or update them once after your proposal is accepted (except for any errors that are our fault).


Permission to record: as a reasonable adjustment for people with processing difficulties, some audience members will audio record your presentation for personal use. This is *not* optional. We may also seek your permission to video or otherwise record your presentation. These recordings may be made available to others by Autscape. This *is* optional. Denying permission will not prejudice decision makers against your presentation, and permission can be withdrawn at any time prior to

distribution. If you have any questions, please let us know so we can discuss it.


___ What can you expect from us? ___


Accommodation: you will receive one day's attendance at Autscape free of charge. Presenters will be accommodated on-site for the day of their presentation including the night before or after. Only one such place can be offered for each presentation, regardless of the number of presenters. Whenever you are not presenting you can enjoy the event, including other workshops and the setting, just as any other participant.


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.


Respect and consideration: we will do our best to meet any special needs or requirements you may have, as long as you communicate them to us with sufficient notice.


___ How to submit your proposal ___


To submit your proposal, please use the form here:


If you have difficulty accessing or completing the form, please email:


We do not accept submissions by email unless you have exceptional reasons for being unable to access the form (for example, learning difficulties or technical limitations).


Due to a high level of competition in recent years, late submissions will not normally be considered. If you think you will have any problems with the form, the deadline, or any other aspect of submitting a proposal, please contact us *before* the deadline. Submissions by other means or after the deadline should not be considered accepted until or unless they have been acknowledged by the Programme Coordinator.


The board will decide which presentations to accept for Autscape and will inform everybody who has made a proposal of their decision by 16 May 2018.