The purpose of this paper is to reflect on engaging young autistic people in the participatory design of the Autism & Uni online toolkit. The purpose of the toolkit…
The purpose of this paper is to reflect on engaging young autistic people in the participatory design of the Autism & Uni online toolkit. The purpose of the toolkit is to provide autistic students with information and strategies for dealing with the challenges they may encounter when entering higher education. The study adds to existing research on participatory design by considering the specific needs and contributions of autistic people who are of average or higher intelligence, academically competent and generally articulate, a group that has received limited attention hitherto.
The research used a five-step design thinking approach and engaged multiple stakeholders at different points. The paper covers the whole process, paying particular attention to the final two steps of prototyping and testing. During three participatory design workshops, autistic people acted as co-designers and co-creators.
The workshops were effective in engaging participants in various design activities and rich discussions. Several assumptions about capabilities and preferences of autistic people were challenged. Design thinking proved a suitable framework for involving this group in the creation of solutions that serve their needs.
Because of the low number of workshop participants (11), research results may lack generalisability. Also, the workshop format with its focus on group activities may discourage some autistic people to take part. Further work is needed to explore this and to confirm the reported findings.
The paper offers practical advice regarding how to involve autistic people in co-design activities.
The research contributes to a strength-based view of autism, rather than one that focuses on deficits.
The paper provides new perspectives on the strengths of autistic people in participatory design settings, with a focus on those autistic people who are of average or higher intelligence and able to communicate effectively.
A distinction must be drawn between a dismissal on the one hand, and on the other a repudiation of a contract of employment as a result of a breach of a fundamental term of that contract. When such a repudiation has been accepted by the innocent party then a termination of employment takes place. Such termination does not constitute dismissal (see London v. James Laidlaw & Sons Ltd (1974) IRLR 136 and Gannon v. J. C. Firth (1976) IRLR 415 EAT).
The Sanitary Committee of a certain County Council, strong with the strength of recent creation, have lately been animated by a desire to distinguish themselves in some way, and, proceeding along the lines of least resistance, they appear to have selected the Public Analyst as the most suitable object for attack. The charge against this unfortunate official was not that he is incompetent, or that he had been in any way negligent of his duties as prescribed by Act of Parliament, but simply and solely that he has the temerity to reside in London, which city is distant by a certain number of miles from the much favoured district controlled by the County Council aforesaid. The committee were favoured in their deliberations by the assistance of no less an authority than the “Principal” of a local “Technical School”;—and who could be more capable than he to express an opinion upon so simple a matter? This eminent exponent of scientific truths, after due and proper consideration, is reported to have delivered himself of the opinion that “scientifically it would be desirable that the analyst should reside in the district, as the delay occasioned by the sending of samples of water to London is liable to produce a misleading effect upon an analysis.” Apparently appalled by the contemplation of such possibilities, and strengthened by another expression of opinion to the effect that there were as “good men” in the district as in London, the committee resolved to recommend the County Council to determine the existing arrangement with the Public Analyst, and to appoint a “local analyst for all purposes.” Thus, the only objection which could be urged to the employment of a Public Analyst resident in London was the ridiculous one that the composition of a sample of water was likely to seriously alter during the period of its transit to London, and this contention becomes still more absurd when it is remembered that the examination of water samples is no part of the official duty of a Public Analyst. The employment of local scientific talent may be very proper when the object to be attained is simply the more or less imperfect instruction of the rising generation in the rudiments of what passes in this country for “technical education”; but the work of the Public Analyst is serious and responsible, and cannot be lightly undertaken by every person who may be acquainted with some of the uses of a test‐tube. The worthy members of this committee may find to their cost, as other committees have found before them, that persons possessing the requisite knowledge and experience are not necessarily indigenous to their district. Supposing that the County Council adopts the recommendation, the aspirations of the committee may even then be strangled in their infancy, as the Local Government Board will want to know all about the matter, and the committee will have to give serious and valid reasons in support of their case.
In a previous article we have called attention to the danger of eating tinned and bottled vegetables which have been coloured by the addition of salts of copper and we have urged upon the public that no such preparations should be purchased without an adequate guarantee that they are free from copper compounds. Copper poisoning, however, is not the only danger to which consumers of preserved foods are liable. Judging from the reports of cases of irritant poisoning which appear with somewhat alarming frequency in the daily press, and from the information which we have been at pains to obtain, there can be no question that the occurrence of a large number of these cases is to be attributed to the ingestion of tinned foods which has been improperly prepared or kept. It is not to be supposed that the numerous cases of illness which have been ascribed to the use of tinned foods were all cases of metallic poisoning brought about by the action of the contents of the tins upon the metal and solder of the latter. The evidence available does not show that a majority of the cases could be put down to this cause alone; but it must be admitted that the evidence is in most instances of an unsatisfactory and inconclusive character. It has become a somewhat too common custom to put forward the view that so‐called “ptomaine” poisoning is the cause of the mischief; and this upon very insufficient evidence. While there is no doubt that the presence in tinned goods of some poisonous products of decomposition or organic change very frequently gives rise to dangerous illness, so little is known of the chemical nature and of the physiological effects of “ptomaines” that to obtain conclusive evidence is in all cases most difficult, and in many, if not in most, quite impossible. A study of the subject leads to the conclusion that both ptomaine poisoning and metallic poisoning—also of an obscure kind—have, either separately or in conjunction, produced the effects from time to time reported. In view of the many outbreaks of illness, and especially, of course, of the deaths which have been attributed to the eating of bad tinned foods it is of the utmost importance that some more stringent control than that which can be said to exist at present should be exercised over the preparation and sale of tinned goods. In Holland some two or three years ago, in consequence partly of the fact that, after eating tinned food, about seventy soldiers were attacked by severe illness at the Dutch manœuvres, the attention of the Government was drawn to the matter by Drs. VAN HAMEL ROOS and HARMENS, who advocated the use of enamel for coating tins. It appears that an enamel of special manufacture is now extensively used in Holland by the manfacturers of the better qualities of tinned food, and that the use of such enamelled tins is insisted upon for naval and military stores. This is a course which might with great advantage be followed in this country. While absolute safety may not be attainable, adequate steps should be taken to prevent the use of damaged, inferior or improper materials, to enforce cleanliness, and to ensure the adoption of some better system of canning.
IT is evident from the numerous press cuttings which are reaching us, that we are once more afflicted with one of those periodical visitations of antagonism to Public Libraries, which occasionally assume epidemic form as the result of a succession of library opening ceremonies, or a rush of Carnegie gifts. Let a new library building be opened, or an old one celebrate its jubilee, or let Lord Avebury regale us with his statistics of crime‐diminution and Public Libraries, and immediately we have the same old, never‐ending flood of articles, papers and speeches to prove that Public Libraries are not what their original promoters intended, and that they simply exist for the purpose of circulating American “Penny Bloods.” We have had this same chorus, with variations, at regular intervals during the past twenty years, and it is amazing to find old‐established newspapers, and gentlemen of wide reading and knowledge, treating the theme as a novelty. One of the latest gladiators to enter the arena against Public Libraries, is Mr. J. Churton Collins, who contributes a forcible and able article, on “Free Libraries, their Functions and Opportunities,” to the Nineteenth Century for June, 1903. Were we not assured by its benevolent tone that Mr. Collins seeks only the betterment of Public Libraries, we should be very much disposed to resent some of the conclusions at which he has arrived, by accepting erroneous and misleading information. As a matter of fact, we heartily endorse most of Mr. Collins' ideas, though on very different grounds, and feel delighted to find in him an able exponent of what we have striven for five years to establish, namely, that Public Libraries will never be improved till they are better financed and better staffed.
ALTHOUGH the first Public Libraries (Scotland) Act was placed on the Statute Book in 1853, it was not until 1899 that the Corporation of the City of Glasgow was empowered to establish and maintain public libraries throughout the city. Between 1876 and 1897 four attempts were made to secure public approval for the adoption of the Public Libraries (Scotland) Acts, but when all these efforts proved unsuccessful, the Corporation decided in June, 1888 to include in a Local Bill for submission to Parliament, certain clauses conferring upon themselves the power to become a library authority. Promoted in 1899, the Bill became known as the Glasgow Corporation (Tramways, Libraries, etc.) Act 1899, and the library clauses passed through Parliament without opposition and received Royal Assent on 1st August, 1899. The powers conferred by this Local Act empowered the Corporation:
LIBRARIES are not a first priority in the building programme of the nation. It would be difficult to make them so. The Library Association Council, we are assured, have this matter under consideration continually and will lose no opportunity to urge the need for extensions of old buildings and for new ones. The demand for libraries grows, in the face of other needs, at a pace which is both a pleasure and an embarassment to librarians. Some authorities have made provision for new libraries this year in budgets which come under consideration this month, and we hope the Ministry concerned will allow some of these projects to be realized.
ONCE upon a time—admittedly many years ago—a working man sneered at his son who wished he might go on to a University: “Education and a penny will buy you a loaf”. The inference was that without the penny the boy would starve.
THE catalogue, as a library appliance of importance, has had more attention devoted to it than, perhaps, any other method or factor of librarianship. Its construction, materials, rules for compilation and other aspects have all been considered at great length, and in every conceivable manner, so that little remains for exposition save some points in the policy of the catalogue, and its effects on progress and methods. In the early days of the municipal library movement, when methods were somewhat crude, and hedged round with restrictions of many kinds, the catalogue, even in the primitive form it then assumed, was the only key to the book‐wealth of a library, and as such its value was duly recognized. As time went on, and the vogue of the printed catalogue was consolidated, its importance as an appliance became more and more established, and when the first Newcastle catalogue appeared and received such an unusual amount of journalistic notice, the idea of the printed catalogue as the indispensable library tool was enormously enhanced from that time till quite recently. One undoubted result of this devotion to the catalogue has been to stereotype methods to a great extent, leading in the end to stagnation, and there are places even now where every department of the library is made to revolve round the catalogue. Whether it is altogether wise to subordinate everything in library work to the cult of the catalogue has been questioned by several librarians during the past few years, and it is because there is so much to be said against this policy that the following reflections are submitted.
THAT ONE SHOULD do in Rome as the Romans do is sound advice. It never does to stand out in a crowd. At the turn of the Century many Jews fled from the pogroms in Hungary, Romania, Poland and much of Eastern Europe. They asked no favours, did not insist on retaining anything other than their own religion.