Contributed by Lucy Wyndham
Keep The Noise Down
Sound can be a major trigger for people with Autism, and it’s difficult to know which sounds can cause a person to have a meltdown. If possible,design individual rooms within your building to be soundproof.
These rooms can help people with ASD to feel comfortable in your space. This is particularly important if someone with Autism may work in your office.
Make it Feel Like Home
Florescent lights and cubicles can be difficult to be around, even for people who are not on the Autism spectrum. However, buildings that feel like stereotypical offices can be especially triggering for people with ASD.
To include people with developmental disabilities, you may choose to make your space feel more like a living room. Consider ditching overhead lights, adding comfortable seating, and other home-like touches. Just like your living room, you don’t want your office to be too hot or too cold either. Think “comfortable living room,” and you can help invite people with Autism to enjoy your space.
Provide Alternative Ways to Communicate
Many people with ASD have difficulty communicating verbally. However, this doesn’t just affect people on the spectrum. In fact, 7.5 million people in the United States alone have trouble communicating verbally.
It can be simple to help people who are not as skilled in communication. Simply providing paper and pens can help people feel more included. Remember that someone who is nonverbal may have trouble asking for the paper in the first place, so it’s better to keep supplies in a place where anyone can access them.
There are plenty of ways to include people from all walks of life in your building. Not only is it the compassionate thing to do, but it is also relatively easy. Make the change to your space today.