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Autism Friendly Charter

How the Autism Friendly Charter is supporting a more inclusive community?

The Autism Friendly Charter is an initiative designed to support Australian businesses and organisations to become more inclusive through the development of autism friendly spaces, and applying autism considered practices to support the wider autistic community.

It also helps the autism community to learn more about and get greater access to businesses that are autism aware.

Coloured blocks on top of the words autism friendly an autism sa initiative

How does the Autism Friendly Charter benefit the autism community?

The Autism Friendly Charter is designed to help businesses and organisations understand autism and show them how small changes to their operating environment could increase participation from people on the autism spectrum, their families and carers.

According to the 2018 Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, only around 4% of the more than 200,000 people in Australia on the spectrum believe that businesses, organisations and venues across the country understand autism, or know how to support individuals with autism through the provision of autism-friendly places and services.

This means that a significant majority of people on the autism spectrum with sensory, communication and social interaction differences are not being made to feel welcome in retail spaces, leisure facilities or service providers across the country.

By signing up to the Autism Friendly Charter, businesses can play a crucial role in creating a more inclusive community for all, ensuring that people with autism are able to enjoy services and participate in activities without the experience negatively impacting on wellbeing.

The initiative has already been extremely successful, with many charter organisations holding autism-friendly quiet hours, events and activities, and making permanent adjustments to the way they operate.


Visit the Autism Friendly Charter website and find out more.



How does the Autism Friendly Charter benefit businesses and organisations?

The Autism Friendly Charter is a free online learning platform that gives advice and guidance to businesses and organisations about how to be more inclusive, and in so doing demonstrates their commitment to a socially inclusive community.

Any business can join no matter where in Australia they are located, and the training will help to increase an organisation’s autism awareness and guide its transition to an autism-friendly environment. It will also show how small adjustments to the way in which they operate can significantly increase participation from people on the autism spectrum.

The range of businesses that have signed up to the Autism Friendly Charter include:

  • Sports clubs
  • Cinemas
  • Supermarkets
  • Shopping centres
  • Playgrounds
  • Restaurants
  • Dentists
  • Doctors
  • Hairdressers
  • Swimming pools
  • Recreation centres
  • Museums
  • Driver education centres


Visit the Autism Friendly Charter website and find out more.

The Autism Friendly app

The Autism Friendly app is designed to help people on the spectrum and their families to discover places and spaces that are committed to supporting an inclusive society.

Free to download and install on a smartphone or tablet, the Autism Friendly app can be used to find places to eat and drink, recreation facilities, or retail spaces that cater for people with autism anywhere in Australia.

The listings provide all the information you need to help you choose autism friendly businesses and service providers, including services such as designated quiet times, autism aware staff, calm spaces and much more.



How to download the Autism Friendly app

The Autism Friendly app is available free for iOS and Android users.

Visit the Autism Friendly Charter website and find out more.

Autism SA Statement on Language Use

Language is a powerful way to promote positivity and to change perceptions, attitudes and beliefs.

There are many ways in which the autism spectrum is described and different ways in which autistic individual/individuals on the autism spectrum prefer to be identified.

There are generally two language preferences;

‘Person first language’ (‘person with autism’) aims to put the person before their disability. ‘Person first’ language includes terminology such as “person with autism,’ ‘people on the autism spectrum,’ or ‘individual with autism’, ‘person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder’

 ‘Identity first language’ (‘autistic person’), reflects the belief that being autistic is a core part of a person’s identity. includes ‘autistic,’ ‘autistic person,’ or ‘autistic individual’.

Autism SA is committed to ensuring that all views are represented in our written and spoken language.

To ensure we are reflecting the diversity of language preferences within the Autism SA community, we, as an organisation, use both ‘Person First’ and ‘Identify Frist’ language in written and spoken language.

Autism SA Disability Access and Inclusion Plan

Autism SA has developed a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) to identify and address barriers to access and inclusion.

The DAIP is a living document that assists Autism SA systematically to address matters related to access, as well as making services and information more accessible to all and develop strategies that meet the participation and service needs of all people.

The Action Plan recognises community and cultural diversity and acknowledges the valuable contribution of all to the social and economic society.

DAIP development and strategies

The Disability Access and Inclusion Plan incorporates six key objectives and includes a number of major outcomes Autism SA aims to achieve. All management and staff are committed to the implementation, maintenance and success of the DAIP.

Disability Access and Inclusion Plan development

The development of a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan has the following benefits for Autism SA:

  • Shows Autism SA’s commitment to eliminating discrimination
  • Promotes principles of access and equity
  • Helps Autism SA achieve its goals in terms of quality of service provision, so as to benefit as many clients as possible with available resources
  • Changes made to encourage people with disabilities to use our service will also benefit other clients
  • Assists Autism SA to comply with the DDA and eliminate the need for complaints
  • Improve Autism SA’s funding opportunities, and
  • Supports both people accessing the service and staff employed by Autism SA.

Consultation process, findings and strategies

The process of developing Autism SA’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan has involved consultation with the Autism SA Leadership Team and the broader staff team, and, where possible, client and carer stakeholders to:

  • Review Autism SA’s current activities to identify potential barriers to access and areas in need of change
  • Develop strategies to eliminate the potential barriers identified in the review of Autism SA activities
  • Set some specific, achievable and measurable goals or targets against which Autism SA can assess the success of the Action Plan over specified timeframes
  • Determining how we will be able to measure whether our actions have been successful
  • Assign specific staff and teams within Autism SA with the identified responsibility for implementing each strategy, ensuring they have sufficient resources, priority and authority to ensure successful implementation
  • Ensure the DAIP will be available on the website, and
  • Report on outcomes in the Annual Report.

Autism SA’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan is communicated to all staff to ensure that they understand the goals and targets, and how they can contribute to the success of the plan.

Autism SA Leadership will aim to review the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan annually in March, when the success of the Action Plan will be evaluated against goals, targets and timelines.

Disability access and inclusion plan implementation process

The DAIP will feature as an agenda item on Leadership and Team meetings. Updates will be provided as to the progress of actions, along with suggestions made from all sources with regard to updates and improvements required to the plan.

Staff are informed of the DAIP development through a variety of sources including email, Infomail, Jigsaw, Insight, intranet and team meetings.

Staff is asked to consider the impact of the DAIP and to make suggestions for improvement in future versions.

Overall responsibility for the implementation of the Autism SA DAIP rests with the Chief Executive Officer. Responsibility for specific actions may be delegated to executives or managers of particular designated areas specified in the actions of the plan.

The Autism SA DAIP will be publicly available on the Autism SA website and lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission. In accordance with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet Circular PCO13, Autism SA will report on the implementation of the plan in annual reports.

Download our plan

Disability Access and Inclusion Plan

“Each individual on the autism spectrum lives the life they in an inclusive society”

Download Autism SA’s DAIP Plan
Is your business truly exclusive

Visit the Autism Friendly Charter and complete the free business and staff training. You will also receive a free listing on our Autism Friendly Business Directory

Autism Friendly Charter Website