Join the Equality Impact Assessments (EQIA) Workshops

The workshops open to autistic people to share life experiences and knowledge to help inform Equality Impact Assessments (EQIA) help look at how Scottish Government policies might impact on different people and groups, prevent discrimination and identify opportunities to promote equality.

All information disclosed at the workshop will be anonymised and there is no obligation to talk / submit information at the live workshop. If you prefer you can submit your information via email after the workshop.

Autistic Equality Workshop Information for Participants

These workshops are being held by Scottish Government’s autism and learning disabilities policy team to gather information about autistic people from different walks of life and how their experiences differ. It is an important first step to really understand the issues faced by autistic people from a range of communities.

The workshops will be done over Zoom and link to the workshops will be emailed to participants after completing the online registration.
We want to know about the different challenges faced by autistic people across Scotland. This will be done as part of an equality impact assessment – an exercise designed to adapt polices to make them accessible to everyone and avoid discriminating against someone because of who they are.

These workshops are designed as a start of the conversation and to start listening to diverse voices. The views collected in the workshops will help us focus on what the key issues are for autistic people with a range of protected characteristics. The next steps will depend on what we find out, but will likely involve further, more focused, conversations around the issues.
Autistic people with an interest in the topic are invited, and we particularly keen to get the views from autistic people who have experiences of the topics covered in the workshop.
You are more than welcome to come along to as many workshops as you like.
We understand that these types of workshops can be tricky to ensure everyone’s views are respected and heard. The workshops will be led by two autistic facilitators who will have full authority to manage the conversation to help softer voices be heard.
Some of the measures will include:
  • A set of ground rules will be explained by the facilitators at the start of the workshop and enforced throughout. These will include: keep contributions to the point where possible, to avoid talking over or interrupting speakers.
  • A facilitator will keep an eye on the conversation to ensure everyone is able to speak.
  • If the group is bigger (over 10) breakout rooms will be used to make discussions smaller and everyone will have a chance to feedback.
  • Contributions can be submitted before or during the workshop using email or the text box. These will be read out if the sender wishes. Contributions can also be submitted for 7 days after the event to be submitted to Scottish Government along with information gathered at the live workshop.
If there is anything else we can do to help make the discussion inclusive please get in touch: brendan.nisbet@gov.scot
Because we don’t know what the important issues right questions will be used to direct the discussion. Many of the questions will flow from the discussion, examples include:
  • What additional challenges do autistic people face?
  • How might the experiences of autistic people who are young differ from older people?
  • What can we do to make Scotland more welcoming to autistic people who identify as LGB?

We will share a set of more detailed questions ahead of the workshop with the Zoom link when you register for the workshop. If you have any other questions ahead of the workshop you can contact Marion McLaughlin, One Stop Shop Aberdeen, email marion@oss-aberdeen.co.uk or Kabie Brook, ARGH (Autism Rights Group Highland), email kb@arghighland.co.uk.
We will host three workshops covering some of the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010. More details below:
  • Pregnancy and Childbirth: We want to know about autistic people experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. In particular the workshop seeks to understand how the experience of pregnancy and maternity might differ.
  • Autism and Relationships: This workshop will discuss what experiences autistic people who are married, in a civil partnership or other long-term relationships might have that others don’t. We want discuses if autistic people who are married / in civil partnerships / long-term relationships face unique challenges and start consider how these might be solved.
  • Autistic Parenthood: We seek to understand the unique challenges faced by autistic parents, what barriers they have faced and how these can be tackled. We seek to understand how parenthood differs for autistic parents.

Learning Disability and Autism Transformation Plan: Equality Impact Assessment

Equality impact assessments (EQIA) help look at how policies might impact on different people and groups, prevent discrimination and identify opportunities to promote equality.

This EQIA is being completed as part of the Learning Disability and Autism Transformation Plan. It will identify where people might be unintentionally excluded from learning disability and autism policy by gathering and analysing evidence that relates to the protected characteristics including studies, statistics and lived experiences.
There is no prescribed way of completing an EQIA and depends largely on the policy being assessed. In the case of learning disability and autism transformation plan we want to engage with a range of voices to best understand how our policies impact them (i.e. autistic people, people with learning disabilities and carers.)

In particular, we want to understand the impact of our polices on people who identify as having a protected characteristic. These protected characteristics are:
  • Your Age – you must not be discriminated against because of age – so how old or young you are.
  • Gender – You must not be discriminated against because of your gender – male, female or non-binary.
  • Race - You must not be discriminated against because of your race – your colour, nationality or ethnic origin.
  • Coexisting Conditions - You must not be discriminated against because of any disability/disabilities you have – a physical or mental impairment.
  • Religion/ Belief - You must not be discriminated against because of your religion or your beliefs or lack of religion.
  • Marriage/Civil Partnerships - You must not be discriminated against because you are married/not married/in a Civil Partnership/not in a Civil Partnership.
  • Sexual Orientation - You must not be discriminated against because of your sexual orientation – so whether you are attracted to people of the same sex, opposite sex or either sex.
  • Gender Reassignment - You must not be discriminated against because you have changed the gender that was assigned to you at birth.
  • Pregnancy/Maternity - You must not be discriminated against because you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have recently given birth.
AWe require innovative and inclusive methods to gather a range of views from autistic people and people with learning disabilities with protected characteristics. The topics covered are flexible, but some suggested areas from the Towards Transformation plan:
  • Health and Social Care Support - Accessibility of support service (i.e. subsidiary services, physiotherapy, care at home, health checks, self-directed support and diagnostic services) to people with protected characteristic. We know that COVID has meant withdrawal of many of these services, and we want to ensure they are accessible in the future.
  • Mental Health- We know that many people with learning disabilities and autistic people are at high risk of suffering from poor mental health and this has worsened through the pandemic.
  • Employment- Through the pandemic there has been fears of being furloughed, losing jobs and increased competition for new jobs.
  • Education- It is clear that many have found home schooling difficult and that the transition back to school may cause anxieties people with learning disabilities and autistic people.
  • Digital Exclusion: - We know that there is a widening digital skills gap and that there is an ask for more guides on digital safeguarding.
  • Communication- COVID guidance has been quite confusing for many and we want to know how we can make our guidance and communication accessible to people with protected characteristics.
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