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AutismBC Meets Guidelines: 
 

  1. Everyone’s voice matters and is important! It’s up to the Facilitator to make sure that as many members of the group have the chance to speak or ask questions for an equal amount of time as possible. When a person’s speaking, everyone else needs to be respectful and listen. *If you want to comment on or ask a question about what the person who’s speaking just said, you can put your hand up and the Facilitator will call on you to jump into the conversation as soon as possible. We ask the when it not your turn to talk you have your microphone muted to avoid talking over and reduce extra audio output. 

  2. It’s really important that we refer to people in the way which they prefer to identify.  Example: Referring to a non-binary person as “they or them”. We recommend putting preferred pronouns in your name signature on Zoom. 

  3. Everyone will choose to participate in their own way. Sometimes you want to share, sometimes you want to listen to others, sometimes you feel better with your camera on or off and that is ok. In the group, we’ll end up discussing some strong topics that some people might feel sensitive, uncomfortable or emotional about. We need to acknowledge and respect the feelings of everyone in the group. If someone doesn’t feel like taking part in a particular conversation, none of us should try to push that person to talk when they’ve made it clear they don’t won’t to. 

  4. Everyone has different triggers and topics that will impact them differently. If a subject comes up that makes anyone feel triggered (i.e., upset, anxious or where it brings back a painful/traumatic memory), as soon as someone communicates, they feel triggered, we'll will aim to stop that conversation. If you are feeling overwhelmed you can stop or turn off your video or choose to leave the meeting. Please practice self care, you know yourself better than anyone else.   

  5. Part of everybody in the group feeling safe and respected is making sure it’s an environment free of bullying, harassment and discrimination. AutismBC welcomes people of all identities (i.e., diverse abilities, backgrounds, cultures, and genders) to attend our meet-up groups. We want to make sure that everyone feels safe when attending. The following behaviors will not be tolerated by anyone in the group:  

    -Words or actions towards another group member that are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, hateful, or discriminatory in any way.  

    -Any threatening language or behaviour.  

    -Refusing to respect the voice or feelings of anyone in the group.

    A verbal warning will be issued, if comments persist you will be removed from the group and our team will follow up after the meeting with you.   

  6. A big part of this group is people being able to express their feelings, ideas, lived experiences, and opinions in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. This means that sometimes we end up going into some tough, and emotional topics of conversation. It’s important for all of us to remember that people are sharing very personal experiences and difficult stories. It’s not easy to open up and be vulnerable, especially in a group setting. We have the responsibility to honour everyone’s lived experiences, feelings and provide each other with support!  

  7. There are going to be times where all of us might not agree with what somebody in the group has shared. But we all have the responsibility to agree to disagree in a way that respects everyone.  This doesn’t mean we can’t talk about why people disagree or have other views, but we just have to do it with open, respectful minds. This is a place of learning sharing and discussion

 

Actions that will be taken if these guidelines aren’t followed: If a group member isn’t being respectful of others or behaving inappropriately, the Facilitator will give them a reminder. If that person ignores the reminder and continues to behave inappropriately, the Facilitator will remove them from the meeting. If the same group member attends another meet-up and behaves in the same inappropriate and/or disrespectful way, that person will be removed from the group.  

If you have questions about AutismBC Meets Guidelines please contact bsheppard@autismbc.ca

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