When I charge & what I charge

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A topic on Twitter the last few days has been what autistic people charge for their time to deliver presentations etc.

I do lots of presentations and events. I tweeted about the pricing I use and the pricing I’ve seen other use and people fed back that it was helpful.

So I thought it would be worth sticking it in a blog post.

But first, I need to explain about when I charge.

When I charge

I don’t charge a fee to the majority of the events I do (> 90%). This is because most presenting I do is part of my BBC job.

My line manager is happy to give me an afternoon or two a month to go and deliver presentations. However I don’t get the preparation time. Most talks take 30+ hours to prepare and some talks have evolved over a decade or more.

While I don’t charge a fee, I do charge my support costs (up to £260 a day) and my travel + hotel costs (42p per mile).

The agency who do my support normally invoice the event directly. I don’t ace as a middleman. This keeps the arrangement clear and transparent.

I occasionally agree to do a presentation as part of a skill swap. Where i go do a presentation and in return the organisation I worked with do a presentation or some other thing in kind for the BBC.

I do occasionally charge a fee. Normally I charge a fee when I am working with larger charities, producing media (videos, podcasts, etc), delivering a lecture for a university course or training to a support agency.

If I charge a fee it’s on top of the other costs. If an event turns me down based on the fee then so be it.

What I charge.

What I charge depends a little on what I am doing. For delivering an off the shelf presentation is around £350 for the day, but for more intensive things like workshops it can be up to £700.

For custom presentations, if the client wants a copyright cleared side deck they can distribute I charge more. Starting at around £1400. The cost accounts the amount of time I need to take off.

I charge via my limited company which is VAT registered so I have to add VAT at 20%.

Why charging is complicated.

As a bonus topic, I am often asked why charging is complex. The short answer is because my employment situation is complex and charging adds a huge degree of pressure.

My day job is with the BBC where I am a research engineer with a focus on accessibility. Some autism event are BBC relevant (discussions employment or digital access) but many are not (eg visiting schools).

If an event isn’t a good fit for my BBC role then I may take annual leave in order to present at it and that’s when I charge for my time.

Charging adds pressure. For the most part I enjoy what I do and the added pressure can make an event to stressful to consider.

I hope sharing this information is useful.

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Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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Jamie: @JamieKnight
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