A photograph (description below) of my interaction badge from the UK autistic run conference/retreat Autscape last year. Autscape is kind of the European version of Autreat and will be happening again in Yorkshire this August.
I found that interaction badges make a huge difference with autistic access. People take them seriously and you can use them to have no one initiate interaction with you, or only people you’d told in advance can do so. I found them helpful the one time I was overloaded and couldn’t deal with people, and also found the green badges helpful for knowing I had permission to talk to people.
The orange star is to give people permission to *ask* if they may touch you, for example for people who like to be hugged and would like people to ask for permission to hug them. Without this star no one should even ask to touch you, let alone hug.
I really enjoyed my experience at Autscape and I’ve already registered to go back this year. I especially enjoyed the sensory room and the ‘sparklies in the dark’ group stimming outside after dark. It was wonderful to be in clearly autistic space where stimming and being explicit and direct were the norm and celebrated. I’m looking forwards to going again this year :)
[Image description: A plastic name badge and transparent card holder decorated with stickers, both attached to a lanyard. The name badge reads ‘Nat’ in large letters, above this in smaller letters is ‘Autscape - an autistic conference’. Inside the card holder is a green piece of paper printed with text reading, in increasingly smaller text, ‘Green / Please Initiate / I would like to socialise, but I have difficulty initiating. Please Initiate with me.’ Around the card holder are similar white, red and yellow papers reading ‘White / Neutral / I am able to regulate my own interactions.’, ‘Red / No Initiation’ and ‘Yellow / Prior Permission / Please do not initiate unless I have already given you permission to approach me on a yellow badge.’ There are also two large bright orange paper 6 pointed stars.]