Have you ever felt angry about some stupid design in the community but had no place to complain?
Have you ever felt that some people are trying to help but don’t really help at all?
Have you ever tried to find somewhere just to be alone and calm down, whilst out in public but failed?
Eric Knows is here to hear!
In fact, our new research is about the perceptions of disabled or neurodivergent people when accessing community resources and going out and about.
Why did we start this research?
Speaking of the reason for doing this research at the beginning, Ella, the Founder of Eric Knows, said
‘I want to give disabled and neurodivergent people a voice.
In today’s society, a lot of decisions for autistic people and disabled people. But they don’t place these people at the centre of the decisions making process, because decision makers don’t ask them about the best things for them.
We still live in a world where sometimes people made decisions for people instead of with people. So, I wanted to carry out research to find out from people first-hand what they find frustrating about accessing community resources, and what they find genuinely helpful as well.
Because sometimes people can see a disabled person or an autistic person and take certain action and think that they’re being really helpful. And actually, they’re not. They run the risk of being condescending, getting in the way or assuming that others need help in a certain area. BUT in fact, it’s not.
I wanted Eric to close the gap between mainstream and disabled access stuff. And I wanted the questionnaire to close the gap between what we think we know about disabled and neurodivergent people, and what disabled neurodivergent people actually have to say themselves.’
Why in the disability and neurodiversity area?
‘I hope we could use the information that we gathered when we talk to politicians, councils, and funders. When we talk to educational establishments, schools, colleges, and workplace environments, we are using this information to inform best practices, and how we share what autism is and what disability means. Because a lot of the time, courses are held and they might not be held by an autistic person or a disabled person. And actually, the only way we’re going to change this world is by placing people at the centre of what’s being offered in terms of training and advice and guidance, but also listening to them first-hand in terms of what their experiences are, instead of others making assumptions about this.’
What is the research about?
The questionnaire mainly focuses on what respondents feel dissatisfied about when accessing community resources as well as the frequency. And we also investigate what facilities or services respondents need when going out including the level of need. Furthermore, materiality analysis are included by calculating the weighted average point of each result. In addition, the questionnaire encourages respondents to share their unique personal experiences other than the choices we give.
Findings so far
Based on the responses so far, 66% of respondents often or always find going out to particular places stressful, difficult, or hard in any way. When we ask ‘what you need when going out’, 77% of respondents select ‘space to calm down’. The second popular need is sensory coping devices (e.g. headphones, fidget toys, calming toys).
Some respondents mentioned the need for changing places toilets (CPT).Unfortunately, there are just 1,300+ registered CPT in England now. Compared to ordinary disabled toilets, CPT has more space and the right equipment, such as the
height adjustable changing bench, the peninsular toilet, and the ceiling hoist. I guess this is the point of doing this research, we make decisions with disabled and autistic people. Someday, Eric knows may use the result of this questionnaire to talk to organisations to make some changes for the community. Allachievementsare the resultsofourcommonefforts!
Come on and join the Programme!
So, come on and join the research, we would appreciate it a lot if you could complete the questionnaire! The respondents are people with disabilities or autism, or their families. It is short, and only takes about 5 mins to finish!