2014 Presenters

This page about Autscape 2014 is of historical interest only. Go to the home page for current information.

The Formal Programme for Autscape 2014 is not yet ready.

You can take a look at last year's presenters to get an idea of what to expect.

Want to present at Autscape 2014? See the Call for Proposals.


  1. Alistair de Gaetano
  2. Diederik Weve
  3. Elaine
  4. Lyte
  5. Yo
  6. Dorit Ben Shalom
  7. Alastair B. Cooper
  8. Heta
  9. Damian Milton and Susy Ridout

2014 Presenters' Bios

Alistair de Gaetano

Presenting: The Autism Genome Project and Genocide: The Unbearable Uncertainty of Being (Autistic)

Alistair is reading for a full-time PhD in Law at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. His main areas of interest are disability law and human rights, with a particular focus on the nexus between autism and the law, fuelled by the personal experience of growing up with Asperger Syndrome, and wanting to devote his energies to the field of autism. He is a qualified lawyer who aims to become properly involved in the field of disability and autism self-advocacy, and promote the concept of neurodiversity through his work. He currently represents ‘Hidden Impairments’ on the Malta Disabled Persons' Advisory Committee (DPAC).

Diederik Weve

Presenting: Do engineers make good advocates?

Diederik Weve is an engineer by birth and Asperger by diagnosis. In 2011 he started a project at Shell to promote disclosure and acceptance of autism as a normal aspect of life. His regular job as a safety engineer brings him around the globe and over 800 colleagues world-wide participated in his workshops 'Autism as a Diversity'.
He chairs the Shell NL employee network for people with impairments, is member of the governmental taskforce on autism and started training Autism Ambassadors in other organisations. He has two children, studying and growing up with a neutral and diverse image of autism.


Presenting: How to make a successful claim for ESA/PIP

Elaine has been a member of Autscape and served on the board for the last four years. She first became interested in autism 17 years ago when her young son was diagnosed and went on to make friends with several autistic adults. Using her knowledge gained from helping with benefits applications while volunteering at the Carers Centre, she started to help autistics she knew to make successful benefits claims. She wrote a booklet about how to claim Disability Living Allowance for autistic people and prepared the casework for appeals tribunals although the majority of the work she does today is on ESA claims and mandatory reconsiderations as well as the new PIP. More recently she has undergone extensive training to become a volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureau. Elaine is a self employed personal assistant who works for autistic adults, helping with benefits paperwork and other administrative tasks.


Presenting: ‘Here be Dragons’ – the lifeJourney and the Quest

(bio to follow)


Presenting: Accessing formal support through the lifespan

Yo has been involved in advocacy work on behalf of herself and others which has often involved attempting to secure and retain formal support through the existing social care system for both adults and children. Recently, she has been studying the emerging legislation and policy in this area and keeping up with analyses of the changes underway.

Yo has a PhD in educational research which involved a significant proportion of social policy analysis. More generally she considers herself a legal/procedural obsessive and she loves learning about and decoding regulatory systems and legal frameworks.

Dorit Ben Shalom

Presenting: Integration problems in high functioning autism

Dorit Ben Shalom is a cognitive neuroscientist who works at the Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience in Israel. She works on language, autism, and ADHD.

Alastair B. Cooper

Presenting: Neurotypical Awareness

Alastair is a high-functioning autistic person. He is presently on the board of directors of two autism-related organisations, Autscape, and also Creatovators - a community interest company based in East Dunbartonshire that runs a play scheme and one to one social skills sessions for autistic children.

He worked for just over a year at Specialisterne, a specialist autism employer. Whilst there part of his role included acting as a trainer and mentor for potential future employees who were also autistic.

Heta Pukki

Presenting: Autistic adults and projects: Ethical and respectful treatment of participants

Heta Pukki has been involved in autistic self-advocacy in Finland since 1997, moving from establishing peer support groups to organising peer-run conferences and initiating an Empowerment Project for autistic adults. She completed an M.Ed. in special education, with a focus on autistic adults, at the University of Birmingham in 2009. Since then she has mainly worked as translator and educator, speaking to audiences of both autistic people and professionals on current topics in autism research. She is now working for the EU project Autism&Uni, mapping the situation of autistic students in higher education to promote the development of tools and materials to support them.

Damian Milton and Susy Ridout

Presenting: Autistic identity, personal and collective

Damian is currently studying for a doctorate with the Autism Centre for Educational Research at the University of Birmingham. He is a member of the programme board for the Autism Education Trust, and a member of the scientific and advisory committee for Research Autism. Damian also works for the National Autistic Society and will also soon be working for London South Bank University. Damian’s interest in autism began when his son was diagnosed in 2005 as autistic at the age of two. Damian was also diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2009 at the age of thirty-six.

Susy is currently studying for a doctorate at the University of Birmingham (Autism Centre for Education and Research) where the topic of her research is around opening up discourse opportunities for the involvement of autistics in autism research.
With several family who are autistic, and herself identifying as neuro-diverse (reflecting her various neurological challenges), she has spent her adult life working across disciplines to inform and challenge practice which marginalises or disenfranchises communities, and has been involved in the development of policy work in this respect.
She has been active in establishing the Theorising Autism Project with autistic colleagues and has recently presented at the London Centre for Social Studies (LSE) Methodology Conference, and at the Troubling Narratives; identity matters Conference in Huddersfield.