What do these principles mean?

The principles address common challenges that people on the autism spectrum face when they are out in the community. Although every person on the autism spectrum is an individual and may find some things difficult and others not, by applying as many of these principles as possible to your business you will address the most frequently occurring challenges reported by people with autism.

What is SERVICE?

Smiley faceSensory: The right kind and level of sensory stimulation is important. Volume should be audible but no overwhelming. Aim for low odour products and perfume free environments.

Smiley faceEquipment: Use furnishings and fittings that absorb sound, are accessible or clearly and purposely limit access, and assist in arranging clear spaces.

Smiley faceRespectful: Greet with a smile, offer support and wait, patience for processing is key.

Smiley faceVisual: Clutter free, clearly signed using pictures or place markers wherever possible and natural or solid colours with matte finishes are best.

Smiley faceIntentional: Ensure that whatever you have in the space and the things you say are necessary and serve a purpose. Is the language used clear and concise? Is it necessary to put many items around the counter or have posters near important signage?

Smiley faceCreate Zones: Create spaces that are easy to navigate, provide cues to the function, and use furniture or colour to indicate movement through the space. Have lower stimulation options using dividers, seat placement, mirrorless/non-reflective views, or low volume/no echo spaces.

Smiley faceEnvironment: The overall environment should be neutral. Natural ventilation, low decibel fans, natural or incandescent light wherever possible.


Best Practice Avoid
Audible music not overpowering Echos
Windows double or triple glazed Banging
Absorbent materials for floor, ceiling, and walls Loud noises
Best Practice Avoid
Low odour products Strong Smells
Odours, perfumes, air freshners
Best Practice Avoid
Clean Surfaces Air dryers
Non-reflective surfaces Bright colours, bold patterns
Sound absorbing Strong textures
Self-serve options Shiny surfaces
Low shelving High shelving
Best Practice Avoid
Warm greeting Rushing
Patience for processing Excessive offers/choices/questions
Respectful and kind Judgement
Offer support and wait Assumptions
Best Practice Avoid
Calm colours- cream, tans Bright bold patterns
Matte finish Shiny finishes
Natural Materials
Best Practice Avoid
Pictures and symbols Clutter
Concise labels Vague signage
Pictorial language Unnecessary signage
Label areas
Visual instruction-demonstration
Social procedure*/menu on website for preparation
Plain English

* For an example on social procedure you can download an example here

Best Practice Avoid
Create displays, speak, and interact thoughtfully and purposefully Things in the environment that serve no instructional or communicative purpose
Provide a social procedure* to prepare before visiting Language that is vague or excessive

* For an example on social procedure you can download an example here

Best Practice Avoid
Option of spaces with lower stimulation Multifunction areas
Storage, seating, waiting area, and ordering or service counter visually separate and organized Visual clutter
Navigable environment Non-discript areas, vague space
Cues to function Narrow Aisles
Cues for instruction- one way circulation Crowded spaces (items in aisles, difficult to move around
Clear simple art
Arrange furniture to indicate separate areas
Clear Layout
Colour or patterns to show movement through space
Best Practice Avoid
Natural Florescent
Incodenscent Glaring/dull
Coloured Lights
Best Practice Avoid
Natural ventalation Overly Warm
Low decibel fans

How can I show that I have implemented these principles?

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