The National Autistic Society has produced and distributed Asperger United, a free quarterly magazine, for 14 years. It is a unique and valued publication, written and produced by and for autistic people. It has evolved over those 14 years and we are now planning further changes.

What is changing?

Two things are changing as part of our wider efforts to make the magazine more accessible online and to make sure our charity continues to be sustainable in the current financial climate:

1. Our charity is having to save costs in a number of different areas and will no longer be able to provide the printed magazine to readers free of charge after the October 2017 issue. (There is more explanation about why we’re having to save costs below under ‘Why is it changing?’)

We conducted a survey to gather feedback from readers, which we used to explore the options for continuing to provide the printed magazine or individual articles to people who will not be able to access the new online magazine. 

The survey found:

  • 53% of respondents said they would read an online version, and a further 25% would have the capacity to print off copies.
  • 22% of respondents selected that they would not read an online version and have no option for printing a copy.

A universal shift to an online format posed a risk of us losing 22% of our existing readership. However, half of this group said they would be willing or able to pay for a subscription to continue receiving the printed copy of the magazine.

So, in order to provide print copies of the magazine for these readers and to other people who prefer that format, The National Autistic Society has established a subscription system.

A subscription form has been sent out with the October 2017 issue of Asperger United or you can download a PDF of it below. It is only for those who wish to receive a printed copy of the magazine.

Download AU subscription form

There are more details about the survey results and new subscription system in the October issue of the magazine.

You can still download and print a PDF of the whole magazine for free. 

2. We have redeveloped Asperger United as a free online magazine on this website (it has previously only available online as a downloadable PDF). The article pages will be printer-friendly.

You can link through to the magazine here: www.autism.org.uk/AUonline. Note we will continue to consult about and improve the online magazine and welcome your feedback (see contacts below.)

It is important that we establish a good quality online version of the magazine that maintains the same content under the same editor. The online magazine allows Asperger United to benefit from the advantages of ‘going digital’. These include making it available to more people without incurring additional costs and we'll be making back issues and old articles available. You will be able to read Asperger United on your phone and tablet, and share and search articles.

Why is it changing?

Our charity, like many others, is facing increasing financial pressures. In order for us to continue to sustain our services and other activities, we're having to make savings across all our charitable activities, including Asperger United. The annual cost to the charity of printing and postage for Asperger United was about £40,000 and the magazine is currently unfunded and distributed free of charge.

Our charity will continue to produce Asperger United. However, we have had to consider the best way to reduce the costs while maintaining the magazine’s ethos, quality and staffing. We believe the best way to do this is by launching the magazine online, but no longer providing the printed magazine free of charge. 

When are things changing?

  • Between June and December 2017, a working group, including autistic members of staff and autistic members of the charity’s National Forum, worked with the charity to:
    • draft the readers’ survey
    • assess feedback from the autistic community
    • review options for providing printed copies of the magazine or individual articles to people who cannot access an online magazine.
  • 19 June 2017 – Readers’ survey went live online. The survey gathered information, particularly about readers’ access to the internet.
  • 4 July 2017 – Copies of Asperger United issue 91 were posted to readers, together with a printed copy of the readers’ survey and a pre-paid return envelope.
  • 19 July 2017 – The readers’ survey closed.
  • 20 July to September 2017 – The National Autistic Society assessed feedback from the survey and to our Supporter Care team. The charity then considered and agreed a subscription system for providing printed copies of the magazine to people who cannot access an online magazine.
  • 2 October 2017 – Copies of Asperger United issue 92 posted to readers, including the results of the survey and the new subscription form for printed copies. 
  • Early January 2018 – Asperger United issue 93 will go out as an online magazine and printed copies will be sent to subscribers. A PDF of the full magazine will also be available to download and print.

If you have any questions

If your questions about the changes to Asperger United haven't been answered by the information on this page, you can contact our Supporter Care team at ausubs@nas.org.uk or write to them at:

Supporter Care
The National Autistic Society
393 City Road
London EC1V 1NG