Autistics United Canada's membership has created community guidelines, to establish safer spaces where we work, socialize, and connect. We recognize that guidelines do not fully cover all situations and that no space is perfectly safe for everyone. However, we hope they will help guide our actions, so that we can all build a kinder and more inclusive community.
Our guidelines, like our organization, are a continuous work in progress.
Community guidelines apply to all Autistics United Canada spaces, online and in person. By being in these spaces, you agree to the guidelines.
Our Community Guidelines
1. Practice respect and kindness.
Treat each other with the dignity and compassion that all humans deserve.
Listen to and honor other people’s experiences.
2. Be considerate about other people’s boundaries.
Accommodate other people’s access needs as best as you can.
Try to understand and respect other people’s boundaries about their personal lives.
Everyone has different levels of comfort around sharing personal details.
Examples of personal questions that some people may feel uncomfortable with include ones about medical history, gender identity, sexual orientation, or racial background.
Let others share the information they choose to.
If any person asks to be left alone, respect their wishes.
3. Say your own boundaries.
Try to practice saying no to requests you feel uncomfortable with.
This can be very hard for some people. We encourage everyone to try saying their boundaries by saying no, but it is up to you exactly what, when, how, and to whom you say no.
Let others know about your access needs and what they can do to respect them.
4. Practice anti-oppression.
This means working together to not participate in racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism, religious discrimination, classism, and ageism.
Avoid making assumptions about other people’s identity, including their gender, race, ability, or sexual orientation.
We may not know things or make mistakes. It is okay to make mistakes, but we should try to recognize our mistakes and make changes to not hurt others again.
Practicing anti-oppression is hard. Trying to practice anti-oppression can also lead to cases where we make mistakes, and do end up harming people—and so would have to have to reassess and readjust how to respond.
5. Create dialogue.
Dialogue is a two-way process.
This means balancing deep listening and sharing.
Speak from your own lived experience and listen to others’.
Respect others’ communication preferences.
6. Use respectful language.
Use other people’s pronouns (e.g. he/she/they/ze/xe/it). Ask if you don’t know someone else’s pronouns.
Use the identity labels that others prefer when referring to them (for example, autistic person versus person with autism). Ask if you don’t know which terms to use to describe someone.
Don’t use slurs (e.g. n-word or r-word) or insults.
7. Ensure confidentiality.
Any personal or private stories shared in AU spaces need to stay in those spaces.
Avoid bringing other people’s personal stories into AU spaces.
Do not share anyone’s personal information, including conversations, contact details, cut and pasted messages, or screenshots.
Be careful about outing others. Some people are open about parts of their identity (e.g. gender, pronouns, sexual orientation, disability status) only to specific people and not to the public.
If you are unsure what another person feels is private, don’t share; ask for permission first.
The exception to anonymity are cases where harm or abuse has happened. If you have been hurt or aware of harm being done, please report it.