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The Durham Constabulary Autism Association is undergoing a period of transformational change @llysiih

The jigsaw piece is increasingly seen by many within the Autism community as a divisive symbol, it can imply that Autistic people are a problem, that Autistic people require a solution, to be worked out, that Autistic people need to mould themselves into a shape that fits them into an unbending society.

The Durham Constabulary Autism Association is undergoing a period of transformational change, moving away from the jigsaw logo to a new infinity loop.

Why? Well let’s explore that now….

The jigsaw piece is increasingly seen by many within the Autism community as a divisive symbol, it can imply that Autistic people are a problem, that Autistic people require a solution, to be worked out, that Autistic people need to mould themselves into a shape that fits them into an unbending society.

This absolutely should not be the case for any Autistic person, nor should it be so for anyone in our society.

Not only that, but brightly coloured jigsaw pieces are believed now to subtly fuel and reinforce the societal view of Autism as a childhood thing, which is partly why support for Autistic adults can be so lacking.

Because of this evolution of opinion and shift in perception, the Durham Constabulary Autism Association has decided to begin using the infinity loop, in a gold colour to both represent itself and the Autistic people we seek to benefit.

The infinity loop is the internationally recognised symbol of neurodiversity, which recognises that all people have different ways of thinking; under this Autism is recognised as neuro-divergent, entirely different neurology, not something that is wrong or broken, just different.

In our new logo, the infinity loop is positioned central to the Durham Constabulary force crest to show acceptance, recognition, appreciation and understanding of this. It states proudly that neurodiversity, indeed all diversity, is a fundamental part of what makes us human.

But why gold? Well, that’s fairly straightforward – the chemical symbol of gold is Au, which can be seen highlighted in bold within the logo.

This is the strategy and colour we have chosen as our brand and our preference, following discussions with our representatives in the Durham Constabulary Autism Association, Kieran Rose at Infinite Autism, partners, and most valuable members of the Autistic community; collectively they are helping us generate a legacy through education, awareness and inclusion.

Kieran Rose of Infinite Autism said “Gold has always been something to be treasured, something to be strived for. It’s so important that hope and positivity are injected into the lives of Autistic people, that we are validated and valued; and gold represents this and us.”

He added, “Autistic people all over the world, who recognise the negative way that Autistic people are treated and viewed in society, are recognising the colour gold as a symbol of change and equity and, more importantly, are recognising their own worth.”

Whatever you choose to represent Autism and Autistic people to ensure that society accepts and integrates them, we applaud you. We’d ask you to remember that the message and the ethos behind it matter more than our brand – but nothing matters more than the people we are doing our utmost to help.

We hope you like it. We do.

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Trevor Sherwood is the Editor of Police Hour. Trevor studied Crime and Investigation at Teesside Uni and has a background within policing.

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