Posted on 28th August 2014

Introducing Autism&Uni at Autscape

↑Image above: Interaction badges used at the Autscape conference. (Photo by Caroline Hearst)

My name is Heta Pukki, and I work for the Autism&Uni project in Finland. I have an M.Sc. in biology from the University of Helsinki and an M.Ed. in special education from the University of Birmingham. I received an ASD diagnosis at age 32. Over the past 17 years I have worked in numerous roles, both volunteer and professional, with autistic adults and children.

Recently I had a chance to present a workshop on our project at the Autscape conference, a unique event that took place at an idyllic venue near Ditchingham, Norfolk. Autscape is organized and run mainly by autistic adults, having taken shape over the past ten years as a residential conference dedicated to creating “autistic space” – a situation where autistic people’s preferences and characteristics are considered and catered for in every possible way.

Besides providing an ideal forum for a presentation on the ethics of research involving autistic adults, this offered me the personally satisfying experience of seeing how the event had evolved. I had the good fortune of participating in an Internet discussion group around 2004, in discussions that lead to the establishment of the first Autscape. Since then, the conference has grown in size and become more sophisticated in the range of accommodations it offers, while continuing to inspire impressive dedication among its volunteer organisers.

Feeling lonely and want to make new friends? Come join the MDM Club for free. Our Club members include people with autism, depression, anxiety, mental illness, blindness, deafness and many other disabilities.

The Autism&Uni project shares certain important…

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