An Adapter-Plug Guide to Autistic Artists

Equity is pleased to publish an innovative new guide for the creative and cultural industries on good practice in working with autistic artists. Our guide is for casting directors, producers, educational establishments, stage managers and all those who work within the industry. It provides insight on how inclusion in the arts can be achieved for autistic people.

The guide is the outcome of a collaborative exercise between Equity member JJ Green, and the union's Deaf and Disabled Members Committee (DDMC). A diverse range of autistic artists were consulted as part of the process. The resulting guide is their perspective on how to ensure fair and equal treatment of autistic artists in the industry. This, we hope, will enable autistic artists to gain work and flourish in a range of job roles and settings.

What we are asking for

We encourage all parts of the creative and cultural industries to use this guide and embed its best practice guidance into their organisational policy and practice. In particular Equity seeks: 

  1. Fair and transparent access to opportunities for autistic artists - to study, audition and gain work and benefit from relevant services.
  2. Reasonable adjustments are identified in consultation with autistic artists that enable them to gain equal, fair treatment when seeking opportunities to study, gain work, and when in work.
  3. That time is taken to appreciate and apply good practice using the guide in maintaining the health, safety and welfare of autistic artists.
  4. That there is recognition of the rights of autistic artists not to be treated in a way which is discriminatory or detrimental to them. While the guide does not include a focus on the rights of autistic workers to protection from discrimination, the Equality and Human Rights Commission's summary of the Equality Act (2010) provides helpful guidance.

Accessible versions

Accessible versions of the guide will be available on this page soon. If you would like to receive an audio or BSL version of the guide when it is available please email Ian Manborde, Equality & Diversity Officer on  imanborde@equity.org.uk 

What the arts industry says about the guide

'This new guide is absolutely vital; it is as frank as it is detailed and should be seen as an important step in improving best practice when working with autistic artists.' 
Alastair Coomer, Head of Casting, National Theatre

'An Adapter-Plug Guide to Autistic Artists will help everyone within the industry to understand how best to make everything the best it can be and to be inclusive. It includes the audition process, joining a company, performing on stage/on set plus touring and excellent advice on terminology and vocabulary and much more.

'JJ Green has created a brilliant guide with Equity and I am thrilled that they have magnified in great detail how we can all proceed with understanding and without assumptions and generalisations. This will enable autistic artists to be their authentic self.'
Jill Green, Jill Green Casting