Call for proposals

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

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Autscape 2012: Similarities and Diversities

Monday 23 July — Thursday 26 July 2012
Belsey Bridge Conference Centre, Ditchingham, Bungay, Suffolk, NR35 2DZ

We are now accepting proposals for lectures and workshops to be presented at Autscape 2012.

Please submit your proposal by 12 February 2012

Submission form

Suggestions and proposals for informal activities will be called for in the near future. These may include leisure sessions and discussion groups.


  1. What is Autscape?
  2. Theme
  3. Presentation requirements
  4. Examples
  5. A few notes of caution
  6. What do we expect from you?
  7. What can you expect from us?
  8. How to submit your proposal

What is Autscape?

Autscape is a conference run by and for autistic people. Non-autistic people are also welcome, but the environment and content of the event are centred around autistic people's needs, interests and sensitivities. Presentations in the formal programme, for which this call is seeking proposals, are all relevant to autistic people. The alternative programme includes discussions and leisure activities which are more flexible. Regardless of the topic, everything in the programme is suitable for autistic people.

Although we welcome non-autistic professionals and family members, 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 our right to be different.


The theme for this year's Autscape is 'Similarities and diversities'.

While the diagnosis of autism spectrum conditions would suggest that all autistics share certain characteristics, it is also clear that autistic people differ from one another at least as much as we are similar. In this year's programme, we wish to explore these "similarities and diversities" both within the autistic spectrum and between autistic and non-autistic people. This may include any aspect of autism in which we may be similar to or different from each other, e.g. emotional or sensory experiences, memory and information processing, social interaction styles, communication, management of home and personal lives, personalities. It may also include understanding non-autistics, theories that unify or divide the autistic spectrum, explaining autism to people who know little - or a little too much - about it, autism and co-morbid conditions (e.g. mental or physical health issues), and many other topics.

The theme is meant to inspire presenters as well as to provide some coherence to the programme, not to be overly restrictive, so feel free to be creative in its application. Presentations which seek to develop this theme will be given priority; however, any suitable topics will be given consideration.

Presentation requirements

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 an event such as Autscape are highly verbal, others may have difficulty with an event centred around language. We want to welcome and fully include all kinds of autistic people, including less 'wordy' ones. Therefore, 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 leisure sessions in that they have more structure, preparation (from the presenter), relevance to autism and the event's theme, and duration.

Remember that whatever the format, in order to be included as part of the formal programme, your presentation must be structured, informative, relevant, and impart some expertise of the presenter. If it lacks any of these, it may still be included as part of the alternative programme.


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

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

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.

Personal Experience: We all have personal experience of autism. If your presentation is primarily based on your personal experience, think carefully how it 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?

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 (e.g. powerpoint) by the date requested (to be confirmed, approx 2 weeks before Autscape). These will be made available for download and printing by Autscape participants. In addition we can printed a limited number of pages for handouts.

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

Permission to record: As a reasonable adjustment under the Disability Discrimination Act, some audience members will audio record your presentation for personal use. If your proposal is accepted, we will also seek your permission to video or otherwise record your presentation. These records may be made available to others by Autscape. If you have any questions or objections, please let us know so we can discuss it.

Discussion: Presenters giving lecture-style presentations are encouraged to run a discussion group on their topic later in the day, for those who would like to explore the issue further. If you may have problems with this we will try and find a volunteer to help.

What can you expect from us?

Accommodation: You will receive a 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. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding, we cannot offer free attendance at all of Autscape this year. Whenever you are not presenting you can enjoy the event, including other workshops and the setting, just as any other participant.

(Please note, this rebate is not given for those running informal activities such as leisure sessions however for these we will pay reasonable expenses for materials required.)

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.

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.

Respect and consideration: We will let you know as soon as possible if your proposal has been accepted and will try our best to accommodate you at a time that suits you.

How to submit your proposal

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

Please include the following information:

At least one way to contact you of:

Name or alias you wish to be known by publicly.

Your session's title.

The type of session you are proposing: lecture, workshop, hands on workshop, other.

How does your presentation relate to this year's theme "Similarities and Diversities"?

A description of your presentation or activity for the decision makers.

A summary of your personal experience and qualifications for running this session.

If your presentation is accepted, you will also be asked for a bio summarising your experience and qualifications and a summary of your presentation.

The committee will decide which presentations to accept for Autscape and will inform everybody who has made a proposal of their decision by 11th March.

Remember, all proposals must be received by 12 February 2012.