What is this blog?
This blog represents the thoughts and opinions of six autistic adults living in West Sussex, UK. The autism spectrum is diverse and as such these blog posts will reflect that. It is important to remember when reading them that these posts in no way represent the thoughts of the organisations which are affiliated with us.
Who are we?
Aspie Trainers West Sussex is a project which has been supported by Impact Initiatives Advocacy Service, and funded by West Sussex County Council since April 2014.
As the name implies, we are a team of Aspies (adults diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome) whom deliver training sessions across West Sussex, the focus of which is to portray what it’s like to live with an ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition).
We are different because all of our training is designed and delivered by autistic people. From the start we wanted to make our training sessions fun, interactive, and full of useful suggestions on how to make services better for people living with an ASC (which now includes Asperger’s Syndrome).
How did the project come to exist?
In November 2013, a quality check was completed by people living with ASCs in order to assess the quality of the mental health services services provided to them in West Sussex. One of the main findings of this piece of work was that mental health professionals received little (in some cases no) Autism training. When asked about this, the staff were keen to received training from autistic people, but at the time there was nothing in place to facilitate this end. Recognising an opportunity, Impact Advocacy Service submitted a bid to West Sussex County Council’s Autistic Spectrum Conditions Small Grant Fund, through which this project came into existence.
How is our project funded?
In October 2015, Aspie Trainers were awarded 3 years worth of funding by West Sussex County Council’s Autistic Spectrum Conditions Small Grant Fund, with a view to becoming an independent social enterprise by October 2018. Consequently, we are able to offer a limited amount of free training sessions.
What are our aims?
This project has three main aims:
- To develop the skills and confidence of our team of autistic individuals;
- To acquire paid employment as trainers; and
- To improve the local services offered to autistic individuals living in West Sussex.