Post 3 in the series…. I applaud Ann’s determination to go to something that I know would be at the very least uncomfortable, but I do wonder at the NAS’s ideas for the conference.
Clearly it wasn’t intended for autistics to be there and was almost aggressively pushing them out from the start. I got the feeling of “We’re talking about you, not to you” from everything that Ann has recounted in the three posts.
I hope that’s not true, but I suspect that we (autistics) are still considered a burden to society instead of being considered the creative, emotional people we are.
“Until everyone understands” proclaimed the slogan on the front of the conference pack for the National Autistic Society’s one-day conference on Autism and Mental Health.
I sat, during the afternoon tea break of this conference, which I’ve already described in some detail in My Conference Day and Content Report, and pondered exactly who “everyone” was, and, perhaps more crucially, exactly WHAT everyone would, ideally, understand about autism and autistic people. My experience, at a conference supposedly designed specifically to promote understanding about autism and autistic people had indicated that understanding was still distinctly lacking!
First off, there were the practical arrangements at the conference itself as far as autistic people attending were concerned. The worries caused by the initial e-mail about the parking were just the start of a really stressful and difficult conference that seemed to have almost ignored the access needs of the very people it was…
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