Autreach ASK pilot project

This page was the introduction to the 2012 pilot of the Autreach ASK (Autistic-Space Kit) project. Details of pilot project methodology and status have now been removed.

Contact ku.oc.hcaertua@liame for information on the current ASK project.

Project Overview | User Stories | Team Rôles | Development Plan | Methodology Notes

Autistic-Space Kit (ASK)  

ASK 10 year vision (part of AutreachIT 10 year vision)

Autistic-Space Kits are widely accepted:

  • The ASK is a signalling system embedded in a phone case which is nice to hold, stroke or squeeze, and is responsive in a soothing way (eg by changing colour softly, or purring), and can be turned into a signalling device to let people know that 5 minutes chill out time would be useful. For years now it has been a recognised way of asking for some autistic space for coping purposes.
  • Just like a white cane, when people see it in use, they adapt their behaviour supportively. Some people have personalised messages on their ASK; some people use private biofeedback to self-regulate before having recourse to their ASK.
  • Police everywhere recognise the ASK signal: arrests, restraints, prosecutions, and incarceration of autistic people under mental health laws have all been steeply reduced.
  • Within service provision, ‘challenging behaviours’ have been so reduced that thousands of hours of staff time are now available for more flexible and individually adjusted support systems to be in place for more people: key support for key needs, not supervision for risk management purposes. In schools, parallel successes have occurred.

Values *

We believe that communication issues can have a huge harmful impact on individuals’ capacities and on social perceptions of those. People typically set a very high value on speech and on evidence of being able to speak. Therefore one of our key aims is to alter this evaluation, which we believe misconstrues autism and the personal qualities of individuals.

The ASK is addressed to enabling autistic people, whether or not they usually speak, to escape being seen as a PWCB (Person With Challenging Behaviours).

Participants *

The ASK needs to be discussed and developed among a representative sample of autistic people. [...] we want to develop it so any objections or issues can be discovered and addressed in good time. We therefore want to get as wide a segment of the autistic self-advocacy and autism rights movements involved as possible.

* These paragraphs are edited extracts from Specifications for the Autistic Space Kit [ASK] – an app for smart phones of all sorts, D K C Murray, March 2011

ASK Effect map (click to view)



Adoption of project by Autreach Limited 9 Nov 2012

The ASK development project now has a new home with Autreach, a limited company formed in October 2012 to implement the product development plans of the AutreachIT group.

ASK development funded by TGT 9 May 2013

Autreach [Ltd] applied to the Three Guineas Trust for development funding, and in April 2013 a grant of £173,138 for two years work was approved by TGT.