Autism Friendly Exhibitions.

Discuss model railway topics and news that do not fit into other sections.
User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 13489
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Autism Friendly Exhibitions.

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Nov 05, 2021 5:39 pm

We had a governor on the College Board who was in a wheelchair, when out and about he would allow companions to push him because it kept them close enough to continue a conversation. He possessed a good baritone voice, if anyone was stupid enough to direct a question to his companion they would be treated to " It's the bloody legs that don't work, all the rest does" much in the way that Brian Blessed would have delivered the line.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

Someone
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:19 am
Location: Somewhere on Earth

Re: Autism Friendly Exhibitions.

Postby Someone » Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:13 am

Mountain wrote:
End2end wrote:Anyone tried using noise cancelling headphones?
Just a thought. :idea:
Thanks
End2end

No, but I don't really get along with wearing earphones. I have done it with ordinary earphones but after a certain amount of time I have to take them off as they get clustrophobic. I don't like open faced motorbike helmets due to this and I never have been able to wear full faced helmets.
I would like to try them but never have tried the noise cancelling type. If one can't hear noise, what happens if one does not hear a car coming or something like that, or if someone wants to talk to you?

For me they hurt my head after a while.
Someone is stealing wheels from Police cars, The Authorities are working tirelessly to catch them.

Bigmet
Posts: 9119
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Autism Friendly Exhibitions.

Postby Bigmet » Sat Nov 06, 2021 10:05 am

b308 wrote:You should try being in a wheelchair, a good (bad?) 30% of the layouts at Gaydon last weekend were not visible to my wife.

But here's the thing, layouts are private constructions built to meet the owner's needs first, and how are you going to change that?

Different hobby, gardening, my parents-in-law both required wheelchairs in their 90s for any movement beyond two yards; and the first thing they discovered was that the garden they had lovingly developed over 65 years was totally wheel chair inaccessible; couldn't even get out of their house into it. Why? Because it had never been a requirement. (The house interior wasn't much better, and it wasn't even afflicted with the funky 'split level' design of the sixties which totally confounded the 'carry me out in a box' plans of another elderly family member.)

It's brutal but I'll write it: diasability is correctly termed, it means unable to do some things which the general population can accomplish unaided without difficulty. The needs of those with a disability now receive more attention, but we are a long way from being able to address all needs. The baseline problem is the huge capability range that has to be replicated: take just physical movement, the human body is an exceedingly multifunctional all terrain and climate vehicle

I see the son of near neighbour who is immobile from birth and is progressively being equipped with taller motorised wheelchairs, so that he is at an eye height appropriate to his age, which is real progress. But this is not simple, overcoming the balance problem on the normal range of paved surfaces in any UK weather condition remains a developing art, if the vehicle is to be sufficiently compact to also work inside the built infrastructure and thus give the user reasonable access 'everywhere'. The engineers are on it, but the solution is still a way off, and that young man will never be able to negotiate the Pennine Way unaided as I did when 17: stiles, rock scrambling, jumping streams, peat bog and river wading.

b308
Posts: 5125
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:48 pm
Location: North Worcs

Re: Autism Friendly Exhibitions.

Postby b308 » Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:01 am

Bigmet wrote:
b308 wrote:You should try being in a wheelchair, a good (bad?) 30% of the layouts at Gaydon last weekend were not visible to my wife.

But here's the thing, layouts are private constructions built to meet the owner's needs first, and how are you going to change that?


They are fine until they are put on display for others to look at at exhibitions. In their own home they can do what they want, but when they decide to show it to the general public then their responsibilities change, they then have a duty to make them accessible to all, within reason. Deliberately building an exhibition layout that is not accessible for a disabled person (I'm not talking about the home layout that is subsequently shown, but the purpose built exhibition layout which are the main offenders here) is, quite simply, deliberate discrimination.

Bigmet
Posts: 9119
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Autism Friendly Exhibitions.

Postby Bigmet » Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:28 am

b308 wrote:... they then have a duty to make them accessible to all, within reason...

And it all hangs on that 'accessible to all, within reason'. When an event is only possible due to large scale volunteer input of time, effort and expenditure (and that's typical of a model railway exhibition) the accessibility expectation is quite reasonably set lower, than for a fully commercial event. You and I might want it otherwise, but this is about societal consensus, that requires further movement in the direction of improved accessibility.

muggins
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:24 am

Re: Autism Friendly Exhibitions.

Postby muggins » Sat Nov 06, 2021 1:38 pm

Have to say that as far as this subject goes, those last two posts from Bigmet are IMO the most sensible I've seen in a very long time.

(Just for the record, I have been diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum myself.)

User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5388
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: Autism Friendly Exhibitions.

Postby Mountain » Sat Nov 06, 2021 4:38 pm

The difficulty is that there are quite a lot of different "Dissabilities" out there all requiring differe t needs, and if it all gets too complicated many will not even exhibit which is not the situation that anyone wants to see, so it is better that 70% of layouts out of 50 will be viewable then having 100% viewable and only having about w0 layouts to see, so I never want to say "You must do this or that" as I think this approach is wrong for everyone. Put it this way. If a perfectly able person has built their layout too high and too bright with too many flashing lights and also has loud DCC sound with many locos making sounds at the same time, along with smoke oils dr8fting through the air, and they are told because some of us are sensitive to smells or have breathing difficulty the smoke is not allowed, and because some have fits with bright lights or may get shutdowns or meltdowns etc then those are not allowed.... And because some have issues with being overwealmed with too much sounds coming from differe t directions so could have a shutdown or a meltdown that is not allowed... And because wheelchair users can't see the layout it may also be not allowed.... And I want to ask you this. Is this exhibitor not the one who is also being discriminated against because his or her creation is not allowed? So we do need a sensible approach here where some layouts with lots of noise ad smoke oils etc maybe set in a room where they can enjoy to their hearts content along with the public who have no issues with that sort of thing, while other areas in other rooms maybe more ideal for others?

I have to say that when an exhibition is held in a school using a few classrooms, I generally get on well with it. When an exhibition takes place in one large hall I have issues. The noise of many people speaking at once along with the train sounds takes a lot out of me. I hated the enviroment at school where many talked at once in a hall. I would get soaked standing out in the rain at lunchtimes trying to avoid the teachers who would send me into the hall because to e that hall with lots of screaming or noisy kids was torture. If I complained I was made to feel that I was the problem so I soon learned not to say anything and I would be there trying to put my hands over my ears and watching incase a teacher saw me do that and I would get told off. It was horrible.

But anyway. The strictest teachers were actually good because they had lovely quiet classrooms despite me not liking the strictness of it. It was a hidden blessing in a way but I would also be living in fear so it was a bit of both good and bad.

So I certainly don't want to create a senario where no one dare set up an exhibition.

What my aims are in setting up this threads are along the lines of thinking about the ones who normally can't access exhibitions and finding ways to help them enjoy trains.

b308
Posts: 5125
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:48 pm
Location: North Worcs

Re: Autism Friendly Exhibitions.

Postby b308 » Sun Nov 07, 2021 8:08 am

Bigmet wrote:
b308 wrote:... they then have a duty to make them accessible to all, within reason...

And it all hangs on that 'accessible to all, within reason'. When an event is only possible due to large scale volunteer input of time, effort and expenditure (and that's typical of a model railway exhibition) the accessibility expectation is quite reasonably set lower, than for a fully commercial event. You and I might want it otherwise, but this is about societal consensus, that requires further movement in the direction of improved accessibility.


The point I was making is that for those (like me) who deliberately make a layout that can and will be exhibited then accessibility for everyone must be taken into account when building it. Not do so is discrimination. I do not believe that just because it's a model railway exhibition makes any difference at all to the responsibilities the builder has to the viewing public. I would fully accept that if something was old and not suitable (a vintage bus for example) then that is acceptable, but a new build exhibition layout is not the same. At the very least they should provide periscopes so the less able punters can see the thing!

Sorry, Bigmet, but I do not feel that they have any excuse in this matter and knowing people who have raised the issue with the builders of such layouts their response has always been "Well s*d you, I don't care!" is their answer, so I have no sympathy at all for them. If they wish to view the layout at eye level then the answer is simple, get a seat and sit on it!

Anyhow I've made my point, I'll leave it at that, if it makes someone think twice before buying those long pieces of wood needed for the layout supports then it's done it's job!

User avatar
Flashbang
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: SE United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Autism Friendly Exhibitions.

Postby Flashbang » Sun Nov 07, 2021 10:56 am

Mod Note: Lets not let our feelings out on the forum and this topic.
I have locked it temporarily as I feel that personal feelings are beginning to run high in print. I will review the locking decision in a few days.
[Image << Click the Icon to go to my website
Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.


Return to “General Model Railway Discussion / News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests