Presentation – Kent Critical Law Society Conference

Gabor Petri, PhD student at the Tizard Centre, recently presented a paper at the Kent Critical Law Society Conference 2017  “Disability rights in times of crisis – critical perspectives by advocates and self-advocates with autism or learning disabilities”.

Disabled people have long been disadvantaged in society: they lack access to public services and are more likely to live in poverty and are often denied full legal capacity.  Human rights have been seen as effective tools to bring about progressive changes in society.  Gabor’s paper appraised the core principles and provisions of the CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities) particularly focusing on opinions of advocates and self-advocates with autism and intellectual disabilities.

The Conference is run by a student led critical lawyers’ group and is an annual event at the University attracting students, academics and practitioners.  This year’s event sought to critically explore questions about ‘Law in Times of Crisis’.




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Autism Friendly Church Service – Maidstone

As part of World Autism Awareness Day, the Union Street Methodist Church, Maidstone, will be holding an Autism Friendly Church Service at 10:00 am.

The Church is looking to host this event in a relaxed and inclusive atmosphere with clarity on expectations and a low arousal sensory environment which will include a chill out zone. The Service being conducted by Pru (the minister) will last no more than 50 minutes.  Time has been spent to ensure everyone’s comfort.

If you would like more information please contact Krysia Waldock on  or look at the web page which gives details of the Service and instructions on how to find the Methodist Church.

Krysia also has a blogspot that you can read:



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Understanding and supporting children and adults on the autism spectrum

KCC are running a one day workshop exploring the key characteristics of autism and how they can respond to help people with autism to experience a good quality of life.  The workshop is relevant to to anyone who lives with, teaches, supports or interacts with children or adults on the autism spectrum on a regular basis.  Prof Julie Beadle-Brown, Tizard Centre, University of Kent will be the main speaker at the event.

For more information:  Flyer for KCC Autism workshop(2)

Places to this will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.  To register your interest please email:





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Fragile X Newsletter

The latest Fragile X newsletter is now available online.  As well as offering family stories and experiences of living with Fragile X, it also looks at the latest research being carried out across the UK and opportunities to participate in this.

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BILD Conference Bristol 2017

Working together to deliver positive behaviour support

The 2017 International Positive Behaviour Support Research and Practice Conference is being held in Bristol 3/4/5 May 2017.  The underlying theme of this is about delivering the most effective support, building on strengths and meeting even the most complex of needs successfully.

The speakers include international academics contributing global perspectives . Peter Baker, Jill Bradshaw, Nick Gore and Tony Osgood from Tizard will all be presenting papers at the Conference.

For full details of the Conference and to book a place please go the BILD webpage.


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QORU participants needed

Help us to pilot a new questionnaire designed to measure the quality of life of people with learning disabilities or autism who use adult social care services.

This project is a pilot of a new questionnaire that is part of the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit (ASCOT) (see ASCOT questionnaires are used to collect information about the quality of life of people who use social care support. This information may be used to monitor, evaluate and improve the quality of services.

We are looking for organisations in Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Essex, Kent, Surrey, Leeds, Wiltshire or Warwickshire to help us with this research project.

This would involve:

  • Identifying adults (aged 18 years or older) with learning disabilities or autism in your organisation who would be able to complete an Easy Read questionnaire with 30 questions, either alone or with some help.
  • Giving out information packs and questionnaires to people who may be interested in taking part, and facilitating informed consent, where necessary.
  • Helping people to complete the questionnaire, if necessary.
  • Completing a very short form with two questions about where the respondent lives and the type(s) of services used.
  • Returning consent forms and completed questionnaires to the research team (FREEPOST envelopes will be provided).

Summaries of the findings of the research will be made available to participating providers.  The project has been approved by the Social Care Research Ethics Committee (SCREC).

If you would like more information, please contact Stacey Rand by 13th March 2017.
Stacey Rand, Research Fellow
Telephone: 01227 823877


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SPELL Framework Training 2017

The next SPELL Framework Training is being held on the 3/4/5 July 2017 at the University of Kent, Canterbury campus.  Prof Julie Beadle-Brown will be delivering the training aimed at understanding and supporting children and adults on the autism spectrum using the SPELL framework.

Full details of this training are available on the Tizard short course page

To register and pay for this please go to the University of Kent online store.

If you further information or have any additional queries please contact   A reduced fee is offered to current students, those who have previously studied at Tizard or parents with children with autism.





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Hungarian Blog – Gabor Petri

Gabor Petri, PhD student with the Tizard Centre, has just completed an interview for an independent Hungarian blog carried out with Dr Michelle McCarthy, covering her work on domestic violence and women with learning disabilities.

The blog has proved a great success with 4000 visitors and 300 likes on Facebook.  The interview was well-received by parents’ organisations and professionals and widely shared by national DPO’s and advocates.  This small success will help to raise awareness about abuse in Hungary.

The interview is available, but is in hungarian.
Michelle’s research and findings on domestic violence are available on the Tizard webpages



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Talking in Picture – Film

One of our post grad students and autistic self advocate, George Watts is trying to contact other autistic adults in Kent to ask if they would be interested in contributing their photos to a film about happiness, to raise awareness of the non-tragic aspects of autism. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please ask them to get in touch with her at


I am an autistic student at the University of Kent, Canterbury.  For World Autism Awareness Week this year I am hoping to make a short film about autistic adults in Kent. This will be in the form of a slideshow using photos sent to me by people like yourself.
What do I want?
Quite simply I’d like you to think about a few things which make you happy and send me pictures of them.
Most people have heard of autism these days but there’s a still a lot of stereotyping, a lot of people don’t even realise that it’s not just kids who can be autistic. People often expect autistic adults to be like Rainman or Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. I’d like to challenge people’s ideas of what autism is by showing them the wide variety of the things which make us happy. I have chosen to focus on pictures of happiness as there’s already so much out there on all the negative things but very few positive images of autism – I’d like to change that!
What now?
I would be so grateful if you could take the time to send me some photos of your life and the things which make you happy. By putting together pictures from lots of different autistic people being happy I hope to be able to show people that there’s much much more to our lives than meltdowns or achieving things ‘despite’ being autistic.
Please do email me if you have any questions or comments or would like to get involved in making the film and do feel free to forward this to other autistic adults in the Kent area.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!
George Watts
With support from the Disability Team at University of Kent Student Support and Wellbeing
Please note that by contributing your photos to this project you confirm that you have full copyright over the images, consent to their use within this film and understand that we cannot control how the images are used once they are in the public domain.
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Domestic violence and women with learning disabilities blog

In this research project we wanted to hear directly from women with learning disabilities themselves about the domestic violence they had experienced. (We also explored the views, attitudes and responses of the Police and health and social care professionals and these will be reported elsewhere).

Click here to read Michelle’s full blog about the project


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