Minutes of April 2014 meeting

Minutes of meeting of the Board of directors of The Autscape Organisation

Meeting date: Sunday 13th April 2014

Meeting time: 2.00pm BST

Meeting Chair: Martijn

Present: Alastair, Stephen, Martijn, Trish, Elaine, Debbie, Liz, Peter

Apologies: None

Meeting opened 14:15 BST.

1.  Ratifications


2.  Proposals

2.1.  Selection of proposals to the formal programme.

2.1.1.  The Formal Programme Coordinator proposes to select the following
        proposals for the Autscape 2014 formal programme:

          - Accessing formal support through the lifespan (Yo)
          - How to make a successful claim for ESA/PIP (Elaine)
          - 'Here be Dragons' - the lifeJourney and the Quest. (Lyte)
          - Mapping personal identity through the ... (Damian/Susy)
          - Neurotypical Awareness (Alastair Cooper)
          - The AGP and Genocide: The Unbearable ... (Alistair)
          - Do engineers make good advocates? (Diederik Weve)

        Proposals approved (7 for, 0 against).

2.1.2.  The Formal Programme Coordinator proposes to select either one or
        both of the following proposals for the Autscape 2014 formal

          a) Autistic adults and projects: Ethical and ... (Heta)
          b) An Introduction to the AUTHEW project (Penny Andrews)

        There followed a short discussion on the advantages of one or other
        proposal and the possibility of a joint presentation.

        Proposal a (Heta) selected, 5 votes

2.1.3.  The Formal Programme Coordinator proposes not to select the
        remainder of the proposals.

        Non selection of remaining proposals approved (8 for).

2.2.  Cancellation policy. The Treasurer proposes a revised cancellation
      policy with an admin fee of £20 on cancellation before close of
      registration and no refund on cancellation after this time.

      There followed a short discussion as to the reason behind this (the
      work involved and prevention of places being held whilst people make

      Cancellation policy approved (8 for).

2.3.  Payment policy. The Treasurer proposes a revised payment policy with
      cancellation of booking if no payment is received within two weeks of

      There followed a short discussion on timing and warnings (after ten
      days). It was suggested that wording "we appreciate you paying as soon
      as possible but in no more than two weeks" would encourage people not
      to leave it two weeks. It was also mentioned that not including a
      surcharge for Paypal had been a success and should be repeated.

      Payment policy approved (8 for).

2.4.  Registration fees. The Registrar proposes the fees and discounts as
      described for Autscape 2014. Please note it is requested that
      questions and comments be made prior to the meeting.

      Information on this is at https://www.autscape.org/board/registration/registration-draft
      and https://www.autscape.org/board/registration/registration-nonres-draft (restricted)

      There followed a short discussion on various aspects of fees and where
      incentives differ this year due in part to the venue rooms available.
      This was later followed up on list with clarification.

      Fees and discounts approved (8 for).

2.5.  Personal data retention policy. Martijn proposes that Autscape
      implement a personal data retention policy to ensure compliance with
      the Data Protection Act. For rationale, please see Appendix A.

      Proposal approved (8 for).

      Stephen, Martijn and Trish volunteered to work on this, aiming to
      produce an initial draft by the next meeting.

3.  Follow-ups

3.1.  DBS checks (Elaine). See Appendix B.

      There followed a short discussion confirming the difference between
      basic and standard (spent convictions). It was mentioned that Autscape
      believes everyone deserves another chance once they have suffered the
      consequences of their actions. It was confirmed that only Basic is
      available to us.

      Proposal: that trustees of The Autscape Organisation be subject to a
      Basic DBS check.

      Basic DBS checks for trustees approved (8 for).

3.2.  Outstanding minutes (Martijn). It was reported that there was no
      further progress with this. The missing November 2013 draft was
      discussed and has been emailed to the board.

3.3.  Website files. Alastair noted that there seem to be a lot of files
      from more recent Autscapes that aren't stored centrally on the web
      site files. A discussion began as to how to solve difficulties with an
      unworkable file system.

      Discussion deferred to wg-tech list.

3.4.  Dutch Autscape. Martijn reported no progress but agreed to contact the
      group soon and make sure to let them know we don't want them to use
      the Autscape name unless we're on board with it and approve. Initially
      he wants to clarify what they are asking of us.

3.5.  Bulletin (Trish). Trish reported that the first Bulletin had been sent
      (with no response from members) and asked how soon we should produce

      A discussion ensued over how regularly we should produce bulletins.
      Three or four a year was suggested. Various options were mentioned:
      - When registration opens, to remind people 
      - When board posts change
      - Early spring to enthuse people
      - After Autscape - looking back, looking forward

      It was suggested they might not need to be so detailed in future.
      There was a reminder about the newsletter and that the working group
      needs activity.

      Liz offered to help with the bulletins.

      Trish said she would begin work on the next bulletin.

4.  Role reports

4.1.  Chair (Martijn).

      Martijn reported an improvement in board communication and that things
      seem to be on track to make the next Autscape happen. He thanked
      everyone for their work and dedication.
4.2.  Treasurer (Peter). The Treasurer had nothing to report.

4.3.  Company Secretary (Debbie). The Company Secretary reported that the
      Annual report draft has been completed by Elaine. The Company
      Secretary now has it to complete registration info and do a proofread.
      Then it will go to Peter for financial part and another proof read,
      then back to Elaine for a proof read.

4.4.  Venue Co-ordinator (Elaine). The Venue Coordinator has no progress to
      report at present but will start on menus after Easter.

      She did however report wanting to hold an informal on line meeting for
      anybody interested in working out the use of rooms sometime in the
      next couple of weeks.

4.5.  Web systems (Martijn). Martijn reported a considerable amount of work
      on new site layout and under-the-hood improvements as well as
      meticulous documentation of changes.

      He reported that one major thing coming up is an upgrade of the
      underlying operating system that runs our web systems, which by now is
      well out of date. Upgrading it basically means reinstalling everything
      from scratch on a different system. Since everything is either custom-
      programmed by Peter or heavily customized, that task is extremely
      complicated and changes will have to wait until after Autscape to
      begin, to avoid risking problems during registration.

      The new site layout (including an entirely new adaptive layout for
      mobile devices which is automatically activated for all narrow screens
      or browser windows) is nearly ready for prime time and martijn expects
      to activate it in the coming week.

4.6.  Honorary Secretary (Stephen). Stephen thanked Trish for sorting
      out the agenda whilst he was busy. Nothing else to report.

4.7.  Registrar (Debbie). Debbie reported she is working with Peter for
      technical changes to system. She also reported sorting out fees and
      making sure policies are in place etc. She plans to update the public
      registration fee page soon now we've voted.

4.8.  Childcare Coordinator (Debbie). The Childcare Coordinator reported
      that the treasurer has received notice for the deposit. First though
      we are awaiting a policy, delayed by email problems at the Childcare
      company. She is uploading details to the files area on receipt.

4.9.  Travel Coordinator (Peter). The Travel Coordinator had nothing to

5.  Subcommittee, working group and any other reports

5.1.  Formal Programme subcommittee (Martijn).

      The Formal Programme Coordinator had nothing to report. Now the
      decision has been made he will progress with:
      (1) contacting presenters; 
      (2) putting presentations/presenters on website; 
      (3) starting scheduling, in collaboration with Trish.

5.2.  Alternative Programme subcommittee (Trish).

      The Alternative Programme Coordinator reported that the Call for
      Alternative activities has gone out and she has had a few responses.
      She has also had offers to help with home groups and is expecting to
      follow up on this very soon (she and Elaine are hoping to do this by
      beginning of May and after Elaine has looked at room allocation).

      There was a short discussion as to the advisability of Martijn sending
      the Call out to the Announce list or whether it was better left to
      send to attendees once they have booked. Martijn agreed to give this
      some consideration.
5.3.  Fundraising subcommittee (Liz).

      The Fundraising Coordinator reported no progress on Give to Live
      instructions but agreed to try and do this soon and suggested it for
      the next bulletin. Trish requested text as did Martijn for the website
      and Liz agreed to do this by Thursday.

5.4.  Research subcommittee (Peter).

      Peter reported that Debbie has been looking for larger venues but
      without success.

5.5.  Publications & Publicity subcommittee (Alastair).

      Alastair reported concern at the lack of participation by non-board
      members of his subcommittee, particularly as larger documents require
      people reviewing them.

      Following a discussion and suggestion that people may struggle to
      access documents Martijn said he would look into solutions for this.

5.6.  Purchasing working group (Elaine).

      Elaine had nothing to report.

5.7.  Anybody else.

      No further reports.

6.  Any Other Business

    No other business.

Closed part of meeting

7.  Ratifications

7.1.  To send the final draft of the letter to (name redacted).

      Ratified, 8 for.

      It was noted that the letter has been sent.

Meeting closed 16:39 GMT.