By Erika Gleeson, Senior Behaviour Specialist
& Harry Hawkins, Behaviour Support Practitioner
1. Choose to reduce/eradicate sensory experiences at a stipulated time/day each week. Dim your lighting and remove sounds (beeps for instance).
2. Ensure that employees understand the importance and significance of these considerations by providing opportunity for them to understand the experience of sensory sensitivity, such as watching this video and reflecting on people coming into their work place.
3. Create a break-out room or area, that has minimal stimulation, so people can retreat there if they are starting to become overwhelmed.
4. Educate employees of the signs of escalation and means for redirection.
5. Reduce the amount of questions you ask your customers. Allow them to shop/browse/experience without having to answer questions.
6. Provide psycho-education surrounding disability to normalise and increase understanding of it.
7. Teach the basics of ‘key word sign’ to employees. The basic signs that would be helpful in a basic interaction in the context of the workplace, with someone who requires it.
8. Educate employees on the potential signs of the disability and in order to customise the customer experience on an individual level.
9. Ensure the workplace has easy to comprehend entry, walking and exit paths.
10. Increase employee training for aptitude of giving and receiving body language.
11. Educate staff on interactions guidelines for levels of the autism spectrum. e.g. Level 3 ASD use simple sentences and words, less conjunctions, exaggerate body language and facial expressions.
12. For decisions, provide concrete choices. Instead of saying ‘so do you want the tee or the trackies’ (firstly these are both slang which is not advised), instead, hold up the t-shirt and tracksuit pants in each hand, showing them at the same time whilst asking an easily understandable question.
13. Use easy read labelling of products and/or easy read instructions.
14. Promote an approachable work culture and workspace that encourages people with sensory difficulties to ask for help or to reduce the sensory stimulation.