Access rider

This rider is to help others understand how to support me with my access needs so we can all get the best out of our encounters.

I am Panda Mery, an almost too calm productive irritant, neurodivergent researcher, participant in several Autistic communities, bricoleur trying to repair the world one gizmo at a time and flâneur observing the infra-ordinary surrounding us. Being multiply neurodivergent affects my sensory experience and needs.

I will not be able to stay in a noisy environment for very long, please ensure we meet in a quiet environment. If I do I will need a lot of time to recover. I will wear active noise cancelling headphones in noisy environments and can generally have conversations while wearing them. Please provide advance warning of any predictable sudden loud noises such as fire alarm tests. Noise is both painful and overwhelming.

I will have difficulty understanding if there’s background noise or several simultaneous conversations.

If you need to contact me, please email preferably or alternatively use a text messaging service. Do not call as this is extremely difficult and overwhelming. In online meetings I will contribute solely via the textual chat interface with my camera and microphone turned off (you can use video, audio or chat, whichever is best for you).

If I experience a shutdown, I will need a quiet space, preferably dimly lit, in which I will stay until I recover enough, likely for ten to twenty minutes. If you need to communicate while i experience a shutdown, please make it as short as possible. Do not touch me.

I welcome directness. Sometimes my external appearance does not match my internal state. If you are concerned that I look angry or about any other face or body expression, ask me directly as I would prefer to avoid such misunderstandings.

I do not drive so meetings should be close to public transport or in walking distance.

If there’s food, my dietary requirements are: vegetarian food, no cucumber, no celery, no olive, no alcohol, no fruit juice.

These are not essential, but will mean I can function better for longer: a seat with my back to a wall (this helps me to hear better and reduces my anxiety); natural light (I will wear photochromic specs and a cap to prevent most direct light); I prefer to meet in small groups ideally of no more than three; having access to WiFi is appreciated.

Further reading

Writing an access rider