A society fit for autistics

‘A Society fit for autistics’ (2017-19) is a research project funded by the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund (BLF). The project is called ‘an Auternative’ and aimed to answer the following two questions:

  1. How do autistic people use strategies, including logic, reasoning and rules, to understand social situations and other people’s reactions, and to empower themselves?
  2. What are the barriers –including stereotypes, misconceptions and systemic issues– to autistic people using their strengths and appropriate strategies to participate in decision making, the economy and the community?

The project uses multi-methods ranging from surveys and interviews to diaries to capture autistic adults’ experiences of living in a world not necessarily designed for them, and the types of strategies used to navigate society. It broadly covers the areas of experiences and practices relating to education, employment, health, benefits system, and home-life and personal relationships. The project is an autistic-led group consisting of autistic people, and people with experience supporting autistic people, and all aspects of the project are managed by autistic people. The project has produced a series of reports that include a list of some of the strategies used by autistic people and a list of recommendations for decision makers and service providers.