Life after Death Autism Forum 2019

Topic: How autistics can continue to thrive without their caregivers
Date: Tentatively on a weekend in September 2019 from 1-7pm
Venue: Sponsored venue in Singapore
Status: Interest has been registered, proposal is being discussed. Details of this event may change based on feedback.

This is a donation-based, no-frills autism event focused on providing self-sustaining solutions for adult autistics after their caregivers have passed on. The forum will invite local experts and pioneers who are developing solutions for adult autistics; international experts and pioneers are welcome but they have to pay for their own travel expenses.

If you are a caregiver, you can participate in the brainstorming sessions under the experts’ guidance and team up with other caregivers to create your own projects, organisations or funds. If you are a service provider, you can promote your services, projects and causes if they are relevant.

 

What is different about this autism event?

  • Not for Awareness/Sharings: We need practical solutions more than awareness.
  • Not for Therapies/Cures: We make the realistic assumption that adult autistics will remain autistic.
  • Not for Charity: We are looking for solutions outside the charity model.
  • Not about Talks: We need more solutions and fresh ideas; experts are here more to guide than to share.
  • Truly Inclusive: The project is started by an autistic and has a team of both parents and autistics organising it

 

Rough Itinerary

Day 1 will be for caretakers of dependent autistics, who lack the ability to provide for themselves.

  • Substitute Caregiving: Finding ways to delegate and replace personal caregiver duties without compromising the care for autistics (e.g. forming an advisory committee of trusted people to advise on life decisions, moving the autistic to an affordable overseas care centre)
  • Investment Solutions: Finding ways to use resources to provide for and protect autistics (e.g. community farms, adult care centres, social enterprises, insurance policies, annuities) in the long-term
  • Sustainable Success: Finding ways for autistics to achieve their success that also helps to provide for their own living expenses as much as possible (e.g. teaching autistics how to run a farm to grow food, starting a robot-proof business)
  • Living with Dignity: Finding ways to help autistics feel valued, positive and happy (e.g. how to let autistics pursue their harmless interests instead of bossing them around to do chores)

Day 2 will be for the caretakers of well-adapted autistics plus the autistics themselves. This group of autistics has the potential to provide for themselves.

  • Building Careers: Finding ways to develop talents and create careers for autistics beyond the formal educational system
  • Personal Development: Finding ways for autistics to master advanced life skills, cultivate personal responsibility, develop resilience, form meaningful relationships and emerge as future leaders.
  • Combating Discrimination: Finding ways to bypass or dispel the discrimination that is limiting autistic employability and potential
  • Making New Deals: Finding ways for autistics and caregivers to help each other (e.g. parents fund university scholarship for autistics who will serve a bond to help their community)

 

Rough Schedule

1pm: Registration & Networking
1:20pm: Opening Speech & Admin Instructions
2pm: Exploration for Theme 1 with a panel of experts
3pm: Exploration for Theme 2 with a panel of experts
4pm: Exploration for Theme 3 with a panel of experts
5pm: Exploration for Theme 4 with a panel of experts
6pm: Formation of Action Teams
7pm: Event concludes

Note: While breaks are not explicitly provided, participants are free to leave and rejoin the event if they need toilet breaks or get some refreshments. As this is a guided brainstorming session rather than a talk, they will simply miss out on the ideas that are raised during the absence. [If they want, they can still follow the flow of ideas using an online phone app.] In addition, as not all caregivers are interested in the same topic, they can take a break and choose to rejoin when the action team is being formed.

 

How do we explore each theme during the event?

Participants are assumed to have prior knowledge of the experts’ projects and background, which will be published on the official website for this event. In order to save time, the experts will not be speaking about their work; participants will instead be asked to share ideas with the audience using an online phone app. This will be flashed to the audience who will vote which idea will get a chance to be shared first.

Participants have 2 minutes to present each idea, and the experts another 2 minutes to respond if they choose to. If the participants have run out of new ideas, then the advocates of the most popular ideas will be invited to elaborate further on their ideas for another 5 minutes each.

 

How do Action Teams work?

Action Teams are formed by participants who have decided to take collective action to solve a certain issue, such as pooling their resources to set up a trust fund or social enterprise. People who already have existing projects and who wish to recruit new members can also announce their own projects as their action teams.

A participant can join multiple teams. After the event, action teams will continue the discussion on their own, with all participants either joining a chat group or mailing list.

To form an action team, an advocate (usually the person who raised the idea earlier) will hold up a sheet of paper with his/her ideas scribbled down. People who are interested will join that team. Each team will discuss a preliminary plan and how to follow-up for 15 minutes. Members will then be free to leave and join other teams that they are also interested in, for up to 3 teams in total.

To avoid chaos, advocates will step forward to the stage area first while everyone remains still. Advocates with the same idea will consolidate themselves into a team. Once the consolidation is done, the audience will start joining the teams starting with the smallest and least popular team first.

 

What is Needed?

  • A sponsored space for the event (estimated to attract 100-500 people)
  • Accommodation for adult autistics who come along (e.g. quiet rooms for those with sensory issues)
  • Volunteers to help organise the event
  • Networkers to help contact and invite the experts to participate
  • Some money to get things running

If you want to give feedback or be part of the organising team, please click on this link with your phone to join our WhatsApp discussion chat group

If you only want to be notified when this event is finalised, you may join the iautistic announcement-only WhatsApp chat group