Each year on April 2, we celebrate World Autism Awareness Day, which seeks to spread awareness about the unique experiences of people with autism.

This day is often celebrated by sharing and accessing educational materials, donating to organisations that support individuals and families through access to resources, support teams and financial relief, and looking at how we support people with autism in their day-to-day lives.  

So how can you provide a safe environment for someone with autism? Here are our suggestions:

Sensory awareness

Having autism means a person may have unique sensory requirements to help them thrive in their work, home or school environment. Creating a safe space that accommodates a person’s sensory needs can make a huge difference in their ability to participate in activities and situations.  

This may include noise-cancelling headphones, a quiet space with minimal background noise, or sensory toys for example. The specific needs will change from person to person.

Ask questions

The best way to find out what someone needs is to simply ask. As an employer, you could set up a meeting to establish guidelines for how your team member works best. As well as this, holding regular staff training can help to build awareness of the needs of staff members or customers, and create a more inclusive workplace in the process.  

Here are a few questions you could try asking as an employer:  

“Is there anything you struggle with in your current set-up or duties?”  

“How can we best help if you start to feel overwhelmed?”  

“Are there any changes you would like to make to your workspace?”

Be willing to listen

More than anything, it is important to accept feedback directly from the community you seek to support. If, as an individual, business, or group, you are given feedback on an area needing improvement (e.g. current working space is too noisy), try to keep an open mind. By being accommodating, this will increase trust with those who are seeking your support.

If someone in your circle or community identifies as neurodivergent, the best way to support them is by seeking to improve your understanding of their situation and asking how you can accommodate their needs.  

You can also support your community by fundraising for services, resources and families who may be in need. For further information, visit any of the following websites:

How Jobedge Can Help

Our Jobedge Mentors are experts when it comes to reaching your job goals and helping you realise your full potential. 

As an organisation, Jobedge aims to Progress Together. We are committed to collaborative and inclusive discussions with all job seekers, our stakeholders, our local South Australian Community and at every level inside our organisation.

If you would like to learn more about finding a supportive work environment or supporting your team with neurodiversity-friendly workspaces, get in touch with us today.