This course is part of the Autism: Developing Knowledge of Autistic Experiences ExpertTrack
Autistic People's Rights and the Law
Learn about legislation affecting the rights of autistic people within social care, employment and the criminal justice system.
Weekly study3 hours
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Autistic People's Rights and the Law
Understand the rights of autistic people
This four-week course will provide an overview of legislation affecting various aspects of autistic people’s lives. The course aims to amplify and uplift autistic voices, exploring the power dynamics at play in advocating for the rights of autistic people.
Using examples from UK and worldwide legislation, you’ll examine the impact of policy on autistic rights, in the contexts of social care, social inclusion, and employment.
With the knowledge you gain, you’ll be able to implement good practice and contribute to improving the lives of autistic people in these key areas.
Learn how to improve social inclusion and enhance social care for autistic people
Focussing on issues surrounding social care and social inclusion, you’ll consider the quality of care received by autistic people.
You’ll begin to reflect on best practices and ways of improving social care.
Explore the experience of autistic people in the criminal justice system
In the final phase of the course, you’ll investigate the experiences of autistic people who come into contact with the criminal justice system, whether as offenders or as victims of crime.
You’ll explore how autistic differences can influence the treatment people receive, and consider best practices for supporting autistic people within justice systems.
Over the four weeks of the course, your learning will be guided by autistic and non-autistic academics at the University of Kent, who’ll share their expertise on legal issues impacting the lives of autistic people.
The Autistic Voice
In this activity we consider the importance of the autistic voice and invite you to share your own experiences. Image by Garry Knight, https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/, CC BY 2.0
We’ve considered how important it is to include autistic perspectives - but how do we actually do this in practice? In this activity we explore some ways to include autistic perspectives in different forms of practice.
Here we look at the various stakeholders and consider the dynamics between them. Image by Nick Youngson, http://www.nyphotographic.com/, from Alpha Stock Images http://alphastockimages.com/, CC BY-SA 3.0
Legislation, social inclusion, and employment
Social care legislation
In this section we will be looking at social care legislation. Image by Nick Youngson, http://www.nyphotographic.com, from Alpha Stock Images http://alphastockimages.com/, CC BY-SA 3.0
Employment and social inclusion
In this section we learn more about autistic people's rights in relation to employment and social inclusion. Image: Innov8social, https://www.flickr.com/photos/44313045@N08/, CC BY 2.0
To complete Week 2 we present a case study. Image: 'At the movies' by B. de los Arcos, https://flickr.com/photos/welikesharing/, CC BY 2.0
Autistic people and crime
Is ther any link between being autistic and the likelihood of offending? We discuss neurodiversity and moral responsibility and learn more about autistic offenders. Image: Klaus with K, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Criminal Justice System
UK policy relating to autistic people in the Criminal Justice System & different perspectives of how it is applied in practice. Image: “Law scales on table” by Jernej Furman, https://www.flickr.com/photos/91261194@N06/, CC BY 2.0
Improving the system
In this section we learn about how the Criminal Justice System could be improved for autistic offenders and reflect on what we have learned this week.
Autistic victims of crime
Issues affecting autistic victims of crime
We discuss hate crime, whether autistic people should be seen as vulnerable, and what happens when autistic people witness crime. Image by Rebecca Barray, https://www.flickr.com/photos/rebeccabarray/, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
What is it like when things go wrong in the Criminal Justice System? In this activity, we examine three case studies. Please note that this content describes experiences of injustice that people may find distressing.
How might things be iproved for autistic people coming into contact with the justice system?
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Learning on this course
On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
- Identify legislation relevent to different aspects of autistic people's lives
- Describe the power-dynamics involved in advocating for autistic rights
- Critique the impact of policy on autistic rights in the context of social care, employment and social inclusion
- Discuss the experiences of autistic people who come into contact with the Criminal Justice System
- Explain how autistic differences impact on how autistic people are treated within the Criminal Justice System
- Apply what you have learned about good practice to improve the lives of autistic people
Who is the course for?
This course is designed for anyone interested in supporting the rights of autistic people and learning more about their experiences.
It will be particularly valuable for autistic people, their family members, or professionals advocating on behalf of autistic people.
Who will you learn with?
Dr Jill Bradshaw is a Senior Lecturer in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and a Speech/Language Therapist -Tizard Centre, University of Kent. She has been working in this field for 25 year
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