2012 Presenters

This page about Autscape 2012 is of historical interest only. Go to the home page for current information.


  1. Larry Arnold
  2. Jay Blue
  3. Malcolm Hamilton
  4. Caroline Hearst
  5. Josh Hennessy
  6. Damian Milton
  7. Dinah Murray

2012 Presenters' Bios

Larry Arnold

Presenting: Vive la difference: does how others describe us matter?

Larry has played a pivotal role in the Autism Rights movement in the UK, serving on the board of the NAS and facilitating a local neurodiversity group amongst other things. He has presented at Autscape before, and at various conferences. He comes from a background of disability rights and specialises in video, this being the topic of his PhD research in Autism and Education at the University of Birmingham. He claims the right to be called neuro-diverse by virtue of more than one neurological diagnosis; however, autism is one he is happy to use as a positive affirmation of who and what he is.

Jay Blue

Presenting: Dating and romance – have more success and less heartbreak

Jay Blue is a female autistic writer and author of “An Aspie Girl’s Guide to finding love in the Neurotypical World” which has been circulating around the autism community since December 2011. She is a linguist who has overcome many challenges as a result of living in various places overseas and learning new languages. After 15 years of dating neurotypical men, she now believes that with openness, courage and integrity and by getting in touch with our own humanity, it is possible for us to learn to communicate well and thus have healthy, long-lasting relationships with the people around us.

Malcolm Hamilton

Presenting: How to get the best out of your Dentist

Malcolm is a Senior Dental Officer with NHS Highland in Scotland, he treats Special Care patients and has written the Guidance for patients with an Autistic Spectrum disorder for the NHS Highland Dental Department. He previously worked as the Special Care Senior Dental Officer in NHS Orkney before moving to the Highlands.

Malcolm qualified as a Dentist from Dundee University in 1989 and first worked as an Army dentist before becoming a partner in an independent practice in Orkney. He joined NHS Orkney in 2003. He has a special interest in those with an Autistic Spectrum Condition and been involved in providing treatment for over 20 years. He also has been involved in the training in Autistic Spectrum Conditions for the last 10 years.

Caroline Hearst

Presenting: Exploring personal responses to similarity and difference in the context of autistic community

Caroline has a degree in fine art and postgraduate qualifications in art psychotherapy and librarianship. She brought up two sons and worked as a librarian, consumer advisor and teacher of adults before beginning to suspect that some of her difficulties might be due to an autistic spectrum condition. This hunch was confirmed with a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome three years ago.

Since her diagnosis Caroline has participated in online and real life autistic communities in both NZ and the UK. She has published articles about autism in general and mental health publications. She served on the board of ASK (Autism Spectrum Kiwis) and the NZ Government Advisory Group on Autism. She is currently working to devise and deliver training sessions about autism from an insider perspective. She believes increasing awareness about autism will enable those with Autism Spectrum Conditions to have a greater opportunity to live fulfilling lives and contribute to society.

Josh Hennessy

Presenting: Support workers: What are they supposed to do and how do I get them to do it?

I have worked as a support worker for an autistic adult for three and a half years and have been involved with recruiting and training other support workers in that time. The person I support employs me directly as her support worker. I have had informal training from my employer during that period. Previous to that I was self-employed for about six years doing building work, and previous to that I was an electrician. I also have a degree in philosophy.

Damian Milton

Presenting: Perceptions of diversity and the parent/self-advocate divide

I am currently studying for a doctorate with the Autism Centre for Educational Research at the University of Birmingham. I am a member of the steering group for this department, and a member of the programme board for the Autism Education Trust. I have a number of academic qualifications and a number of years of experience as a lecturer in both FE and HE. I have also formally presented papers at academic conferences. My interest in autism began when my son was diagnosed in 2004 as autistic at the age of two. I was also diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2009 at the age of thirty-six.

Dinah Murray

Presenting: Interests, people and autism

Dinah is a co-founder of Autism and Computing (mid 90s), APANA (Autistic People Against Neuroleptic Abuse –- late 90s), Autreach and LARM (London Autistic Rights Movement) and Autreach IT . She curated the work of several autistic contributors, including Autscapees, to the video Something About Us. She’s a tutor on Birmingham University’s Distance Education Autism Adults course. She’s been assessed as on the autism spectrum and has written, researched and published about it extensively including editing and contributing to Coming Out Asperger’s and co-writing Getting IT (JKP).

With Mike Lesser and Wendy Lawson, she co-wrote Attention, Monotropism, and the Diagnostic Criteria for Autism, ‘Autism’ 2005. She has presented in Australia, Greece, Finland and Denmark as well as the UK. She’s spent thousands of hours working one to one with non-speaking autistic adults. Dinah has a BA in Linguistics and Anthropology, an MA in Philosophy, and a PhD in Linguistics, all from the University of London.