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Autism toolkits for legal advocates

The Advocates Gateway (TAG) offers a range of good practice guidance for interviewing witnesses and defendants with communication needs.  

TAG have recently published a toolkit for legal advocates planning to question autistic people as witnesses or defendants. The guidance contains specific information on autism and how being autistic may impact on an individual’s communication in court. It includes:

  • behaviour and presentation
  • anxiety
  • attention and listening
  • understanding of spoken language
  • use of spoken language
  • non-verbal communication
  • reading ability
  • question content.

It sets out advice on how legal advocates can support autistic people to participate in the court process, and includes examples of good practice used with autistic witnesses and defendants.

The guidance also gives some specific advice on putting a case to an autistic witness or defendant in court.

TAG have also produced a toolkit for legal advocates which explores memory and sensory issues in autistic people, offering information and guidance on:

  • memory issues
  • witness testimony
  • questioning an autistic person
  • sensory issues

For the full range of toolkits please visit the Advocates Gateway website.

Date added: 27 January 2017