AMASE is intended as a structure to promote autonomy and collaboration, and empower autistic people to help each other.
We have a committee charged with overseeing the general running of the organisation, but the idea of mutual aid is for people to look out for each other, and get together to make things better.
So while members of the committee are active in pushing projects forward, we want to make it as easy as possible for all our members (and all autistic people!) to contribute to the life of the community. One way to do this is with working groups committed to helping to make things happen. Each one will have a channel on the AMASE Slack, and may or may not also meet in person.
The working groups should be semi-autonomous, but since they will act in the name of AMASE we will need committee agreement on any major decision, and every working group should have at least one committee member actively involved. Working groups may also wish to agree a volunteer convenor to work with the commitee to take responsibility for keeping them going.
At AMASE’s first full AGM we established working groups for the following:
- Events (starting with the Autistic Pride picnic on the 13th July)
- A queer/trans/nb group
- Research (starting with housing issues)
- Late-identification support (currently add-on sessions for Number 6’s Late Diagnosis Groups)
- Support in Fife (improvement in autism services in Fife, perhaps informing improvements in similar services across Scotland)
- Workshops and training
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested to know more about any of these, or if you would like to propose an additional working group.
Slack is a relatively easy chat platform to get started with: it’s based on entering text in a box for other people to read. It also allows threaded conversations, which are useful for tangents, and lets you show agreement (or other reactions) with buttons like this:or
This can be useful in establishing consensus, which is AMASE’s preferred method of decision-making at every level. Sometimes consensus is impossible and it makes sense for a majority to overrule dissenters, but it is always worth making the effort to find a consensus position where possible.
The channels for working groups are intended mainly for discussion relating to what they’re working on. People have limits on how much off-topic conversation they can deal with, especially on difficult subjects, so please be mindful of the need to respect other people’s limited resources. In general, be kind and try to be patient; if you are having problems with someone, please talk to someone on the committee about it. The #general channel should be used for general AMASE business and questions about using the online platform. Please post in #introductions saying who you are, which working groups you’re interested in, and how much time you’re likely to be able to commit to helping out. Think carefully about how much time you can commit to working groups before deciding how many to join.
The Slack is not intended for social or support purposes, although part of its reason for existing is to help create better support and social opportunities elsewhere.
Please ask if you need help with anything!