Agenda for January 2014 meeting

Agenda for January 2014 board meeting

Meeting to be held at 2pm on Sunday 15th December at #autscape



1. Ratifications: None

1.1 The decision made on the board mailing list to use as our main address and on our website (cost £60).
Review in September 2014.

1.2 The decision made on the board mailing list to pay the extra £20 a year
to payasyougopost to also use the above as our company address.

2. Proposals:

2.1 Theme

Proposal: Autscape adopts one of the following shortlisted themes for the
2014 conference.

A. Independent Living/Living in the Community
B. Autistic empowerment
C. Autistic autonomy
D. Mapping the world of autism
E. Expanding autistic horizons/Expanding autistic futures
F. Autism through the lifespan
G. Autistic Cultures
H. Autism and Culture

2.2 Formal Programme Budget

Proposal: That Formal Programme has a budget of GBP 1000 to cover (See
Appendix A for breakdown):

1. presenters' accommodation (one night per presentation)
2. up to two essential carers for presenters
3. invited presenters' travel expenses
4. other exceptional expenses for any presenter
5. other costs directly related to the formal programme which are
reasonable in the opinion of the formal programme coordinator

Rationale: Programme is one of the biggest expenses Autscape has, therefore
deciding on the budget is important for the setting of the fees. This
budget has worked well for the past two years.

2.3 Registration dates

Proposal: Autscape adopts the following registration dates for the 2014
a) Registration opens on Thursday 8 May, ie 13 weeks before the last day of
b) Registration closes (advertised deadline) on 01 July 2014.

2.4 Registration Deadlines

Proposal: Autscape implements a hard deadline for accepting paid-up
bookings. (See Appendix B for background)

2.5 Capacity

Proposal: Autscape should not attempt to fill venues to maximum capacity.
(See Appendix C for background)

2.6 Place allocation

Proposal: Autscape reserves some conference places for random allocation
instead of first come first served with draws being held each week. (See
Appendix D for rationale and method)

2.7 Fee structure changes

2.7.1 To have the following three fee categories:

En-suite: The person booking choose the type of room (single/double/family)
with en-suite facilities

Standard: The person booking choose the type of room
(single/double/family), but bathroom facilities are shared.

Flexible: Autscape chooses the type of room, which may be shared with up to
three people of the same sex in any part of the site.

Flexible booking benefit the registrar by imposing fewer constraints on the
room plan, and they benefit the participants by providing a cheaper option.
This is better than making a certain room type cheaper as that tends to
make that room type sell out early so people who need them can't have them.

Carers have reduced prices as usual. The price for 'standard' place carers
will be the one that is at or near cost.

2.7.2 Children are not charged an en-suite fee provided they are sharing
with at least one adult.

2.7.3 The large non en-suite rooms at this venue are difficult to fill. The
fourth and subsequent people filling these rooms should get a £20 discount

2.8 Venue Size

Proposal: The board makes a decision regarding the potential size of the
2015 venue.
This is needed so the research subcommittee knows what it is researching.

2.9 Fidelity Insurance

Proposal: That Autscape extends its insurance cover to include fidelity

2.10 Fundraising

The fundraising subcommittee chair proposes we add Autscape to Give as you
Live. (See Appendix E)

2.11 Sensory Room Budget

The chair of the  purchasing working group proposes we dedicate a separate
budget for the sensory room of either
A. 200 GBP or
B. 500 GBP

Rationale: We still need to rebuild our sensory equipment. A budget of 200
GBP would allow us to buy some larger items and a variety of smaller items.
However, a large expensive item such as a projector would make a big
difference to the quality of our sensory room. Unfortunately a good
projector can cost anything from 200 GBP so this would take all of a
smaller budget. The board therefore needs to consider the merits of buying
a projector.

3. Follow ups:

3.1 DBS checks

4. Role reports (if applicable):

4.1 Chair (Martijn)

4.2 Treasurer/Outgoing Interim Treasurer (Peter/Stephen)

4.3 Company secretary (Debbie)

4.4 Venue co-ordinator (Elaine)

4.5 Web systems (Martijn)

5. Subcommittee, working group and any other reports (If applicable)

5.1 Formal Programme subcommittee (Martijn)

5.2 Alternative Programme subcommittee (Trish)

5.3 Fundraising subcommittee (Liz)

5.4 Research subcommittee (Peter)

5.5 Publicity subcommittee (Alastair)

5.6 Purchasing working group (Elaine)

5.7 Anybody else


Closed portion of meeting

7 Roles and responsibilities

7.1 Registrar (last year: Kalen)
Candidates: Debbie

7.2 Assistant Registrar (last year: Debbie)
Candidates: Stephen

8 Proposals

8.1 Bank account

The treasurer proposes that we a) Change bank account signatories and b)
add at least one more person to the web interface.

Background: We have had two signing out of four for some time, and the
treasurer sees no reason to change this. We do need to replace the two
signatories who are no longer on the board.

9 AOB (For private part of meeting)

Appendix A

Breakdown of how the budget has been calculated:
1. 8 x £58 = £464
2. 2 x £58 = £116
3. 2 x £200 = £400
4. £50
5. Any surplus from the above.

Appendix B

Background for 2.4

Every year, we have late bookings and we submit several 'final plans' to
the venue in quick succession. This causes the venue extra work, which is
unfair on them since they often have volunteer staff themselves, and they
often give discounts for our booking.

We should respect the venue staff's time by having a hard deadline that
honour unless there are exceptional circumstances to do otherwise. The
advertised deadline can be before this so we can still allow for people who
wait until the very last moment before deciding whether or not to

Appendix C

Background for 2.5

Autscape aims to widen access to as many people as possible. The registrars
have therefore attempted to accommodate people no matter what the cost.
Part of their job is to make a room plan that takes into account people's
individual preferences such as sensitivy to noise etc.

The work to generate a room plan that satisfies everyone's requirements is
small when the venue is lightly occupied, but escalates very rapidly as the
venue approaches full capacity. Towards the end, adding a new person can
cause dozens of changes and takes many hours of work.

A simple simple solution is set a limit in advance for how full the venue
should be, and to close booking when that limit is reached. As a
side-effect, this change gives some allowance for the minor disasters that
cause rooms to become unavailable (flooding, building works, etc.)

Appendix D

Rationale and Method for 2.6


A subgroup of Autscape participants that we would like to target find it
very difficult to make decisions which means that they book late. In a
first come first served system, they will always lose out. To rectify this,
random draws will be held as follows:


1) The first 60 places will be booked on a first come first served basis.

2) The remaining places are rationed so that a certain number of places
become available each week, such that all places are available by the time
booking closes.

3) At the end of each week, bookings are selected at random to fill the
available places. People who booked during that week will be given a higher
weighting so that late booking are favoured.

4) If there are more bookings than available places, the unselected
bookings will be automatically rolled forwards into the next week's draw.

5) If somone does not pay for their booking, their place will be made
available in the next draw.

6) If there are unfilled places after the advertised closing date and the
board decide to extend registration, the system reverts to come first

Appendix E

Rationale for 2.10

Give as you Live is a fundraising platform for UK charities and their

Retailers (like Amazon, John Lewis etc.) sign up to the platform to donate
a percentage of what shoppers spend with them to the charity of their

Charities sign up to the platform to receive automatic donations from
shoppers who have signed up themselves. The charities receive the funds
raised in a scheduled monthly payment.

To make donations on purchases, shoppers just need to sign up to Give As
You Live, select their favourite charity (e.g., Autscape), install a Give
as you Live program on their computer, start shopping, and the money (up to
5% of the total online purchase) is donated to charity.

I have used it for a few Amazon purchases and it is very easy to use.
Having downloaded the Give as you Live program, the Give as you Live bar
comes up on those retailers who have joined the fundraising platform. You
click on that and purchase your products you would normally do.

Why sign up? Autscape will generate funds from people shopping online from
retailers who have signed up to Give as you Live. It is a very easy way to
generate some additional funds. The amount of money per purchase is
relatively small but is nevertheless one easy way to generate income.

Why Give as you Live? There are other platforms available but this one won
several awards in 2013 (‘Best Giving Platform’ and ‘People’s Choice Award’)
and is easy to navigate and use.

Are there any risks? As far as I can tell, there are no risks. If we decide
to sign up, we only need to enter our charity details once. There is
nothing to maintain, unless we change our details, of course. You can find
the full terms and conditions here:

Is there a charge? There is no charge for charities and there is no charge
for shoppers to join Give as you Live.

What do we need to do to sign up? This is the form that we would need to
complete to sign up:

Once signed up, we would then need to promote our presence on Give as you
Live to the Autscape membership to encourage them to join Give as you Live
and raise money for Autscape as they shop online. Give as you Live provide
marketing resources and support with marketing if we need or want them.