Spreker(s): Damian Milton
Organisatie(s): n.v.t.
Vorm (form): Lecture (lezing)
Taal: English
Basis/verdieping (basic/advanced): Advanced
Max. aantal deelnemers: n.v.t.
Moet je als deelnemer iets meenemen? (Do you need to take something with you?): No (nee)


The terms ‘inclusion’ and ‘community’ conjure meanings that are contested and are interpreted in numerous and divergent ways.  A simple definition of inclusion would be that a person participates within a social group or structure, leading to many using the term as analogous with where a person is placed within a social setting, e.g. in a mainstream school, or in a job role.  In such a narrative, people are seen to then be included within society as a whole.  Yet, to what extent are such normative notions a hindrance to those who for whatever reason are often excluded from accessing such structures and cultures?  What does it mean to be a part of a group when one is autistic?

This presentation would look to explore the issue of inclusion for autistic people and belonging within communities, from the small to a large scale.  In doing so, issues such as the social stigma of those deemed outside the social norm, and what is meant by inclusion, belonging and community participation, will be examined.  This will be framed within current ideas regarding ‘communities of practice’ and will lead on to a discussion regarding notions of autism-friendly and autistic-led space, giving both positive and negative examples from the UK experience.

The presentation would fit the theme of Autminds 2015, by exploring the diverse experiences of people on the autism spectrum in community life, from autistic-led spaces to navigating normative expectations in autism-unfriendly social spaces, and at all times would be respectful of the huge variety of experiences and dispositions that the autism spectrum encompasses.


Damian Milton – Inclusive community space