Autism at 34C3

Autism at 34C3

TL;DR: If you need a quiet place or support, you can reach out to Sam, see below for contact details.

The Chaos Communication Congress is a tolerant and welcoming space for lifeforms of all kinds. In accordance with our hacker ethics we do not draw any difference based on ethnicity, gender, degrees or else. In short: Congress is colorful.

It is not always easy to accommodate the needs and wishes of every single group or individual. But that doesn’t mean we’re not trying to do our best. We listen to your criticism and recommendations and try to get a little better every year, expanding our offers to make everybody feel safe and welcome.

Traditionally, the proportion of autistic genes is above average at Chaos events. This is why we want to introduce our efforts for people with autism at 34C3.

Ever since 30C3, the chaos mentors have provided a place to go for people with autism. Back then, Sam Becker who is an autist herself, began to accommodate for the special needs for people with autism at 34C3. From first hand experience, she knows very well how hard it can be at times to deal with all these people, the noise, the music and the light. Here (German) she wrote about her first Congress experience. Even neurotypical individuals can easily get to the point of sensory overload at the Congress.

As beautiful as Congress is, it can be literally overwhelming at times. This is why the chaos mentors began offering a quiet room a couple of years ago already. So far, they have done so rather unofficially. The awareness team and the CERT were informed about the option and could contact Sam in case of need.

As we did notice a demand, we now want to extend this offer. We’ll strengthen the communication and coordination between the three teams and offer more options to take a time out. Sam Becker remains the direct point of contact for the awareness team and the CERT for all requirements of people from the autistic spectrum.

In her own words:

Hello my dear community,

in line with this year’s motto “tuwat” we’ll expand and officialise our offer for autists this year. Me and my partner Linny will again be on site for the whole Congress. We will be reachable on most channels (DECT, Twitter, etc). If you have questions, problems, or wishes, please contact us directly or reach out to the awareness team. We’ll do our best to support you as best and as quick as we can. The awareness team is available 24/4.

I am also available via Twitter before 34C3, particularly for those of you who attend for the first time – in case you have questions how you should prepare for 34C3.

Here are a couple of tips up-front:

  • In case you want to contribute to the Congress as an angel, we can help you find adequate quiet shifts without noise and fuss.
  • To prevent sensory overload, you can bring sunglasses and ear protection – an absolute “must” at the Congress.
  • Take regular time-outs and plan and adhere to fixed pauses. Get some fresh air and find a quiet spot – they do exists indeed!
  • If you get anywhere near an overload or meltdown, come to the quiet room or contact me or the awareness team.

You can reach the awareness team 24/4 at DECT 113.

Contact details of Sam Becker:
Twitter: @tageshauscaos
DECT: 2884 (AUTI)

Contact details of Linny, her partner:
Twitter: @Linny3D
DECT: 2885

Image kambor-wiesenberg, CC BY 2.0.