A while back now I delivered a project called Animated ASDES. Here we worked with autistic clients get their voice across to employers. They explained skills that employers should learn to help them deal better with their autistic employees. We empowered participants to say what needed to be said and created a short film about what we’d found.
So what is empowerment then? Lots of people mistakenly think it’s giving people a voice and giving them the power to do the things they want to do. I disagree. You already have the voice and nobody gives you the power. To empower someone means showing them the seed that has the potential to grow inside of them and then giving them to tools to cultivate it for themselves.
So when Bay TV in Swansea asked me to do a short interview about the project and talk about ASDES, autism, and the project I hesitated. What’s the point in empowering someone and helping them to grow their own confidence if you’re then going to talk to the media on their behalf. Nope. That’s not how I roll. Instead I felt that the interview should be with one of the participants. Their voice should be heard, not mine. I’ll take a back seat on this one thank you very much.
Today then, Rhys Lewis and I went over to the TV studios in Swansea where Rhys has been interviewed about his experiences by the lovely Rachel Hopkins. Rhys voiced his ideas about what it is like to live with autism and how ASDES supports those with autism in getting into the workplace. He was articulate, well reasoned, and came across as a complete pro. It’s time to forget every stereotype, and throw away anything you think you know. Rhys tells it like it is.
You can see his interview TONIGHT on Bay TV [Freeview 8 and VIrgin 159]
The film Animated ASDES will be launched on May 11th at the Autism Awareness Day in Tapestri, Swansea. Contact ASDES for more information on this event via their website HERE.
If you’re interested in knowing more about autism then Rhys tells me it’s also worth watching Are you Autistic? which airs on Channel 4 tonight at 10pm.
More on the Animated ASDES project is HERE.