Advocacy for Allies in the Workplace Toolkit
We are addressing the room broadly here, because anybody in a workplace can be an ally. You can be an ally even if your position in your organization does not entail much individual power, and even if you do not have any autistic colleagues that you are aware of. But being an ally is also much more than a label you ascribe to yourself or brag about.
Our hope with this toolkit is to offer some resources for demonstrating your intentions through meaningful action and advocacy, to whatever extent your position enables you. We applaud anyone who wants to work in good faith toward becoming an ally at work and is willing to engage in a process of learning and self-improvement. Nobody expects you to be perfect right away, just willing to try and do better when necessary! Do not underestimate the power of setting an example for your colleagues, nor for showing instead of telling.
Being an ally by definition implies that you are in an alliance, and alliances don’t just happen overnight or because one side decided it’s true. We ally with people, not at them. Alliances can take considerable effort and good will and most importantly agreement from both parties. It is for this reason that simply announcing yourself to be an ally is more than just a social faux pas. It is unilaterally declaring something to be true and completely ignoring the autonomy of the people you wish to ally with. Talk about getting off on the wrong foot!
In this toolkit we cover/include:
- Neurodiversity in the Workplace
- What is Neurodiversity?
- Continuing your role at work
- Common workplace gaps that allies can help fill
- Should I Be Showing Support Right Now? Decision Tree
- Commonly Requested Accommodations
- Continuing Education Resources
- Advocacy self-assessment
- Advocacy next steps for yourself
Who Is This For?
This toolkit is for all members of the autism community to get on the same page around a specific topic. Note however, that this particular toolkit is written for allies in the workplace. Caregivers, self-advocates and professionals are encouraged to read it too!
In whatever role(s) you occupy, you can use this guide to support your knowledge on the topic, share information with others in your support networks, and use this guide in discussions about locating appropriate resources.
Each individual is in a different place and can benefit from learning about ideas and ways to support or seek support.
About the Lifespan Toolbox
The Lifespan Toolbox is a collection of toolkits for everyone in the autism community from self-advocates, family members, professionals, and other members of the community to get on the same page about autism and lifespan.
We span topics all over the lifespan, specifically thinking about the adulthood years (the longest span of our lives!) and how we can all work together to support the autistic person/people in our lives and community.
Research and reported experiences from autistic individuals show a need to receive individualized support regarding life skills and to be connected with others. That’s where the Lifespan Toolbox comes in!
- We have a growing library of toolkits and are adding to it on a biweekly basis. There are numerous topics to cover here!
Up to Date Resources
- Isn’t it frustrating to finally find a resource and discover that it’s from 2011? We keep ours updated with news, research, and feedback from the ASD community.
- Each toolkit page has an interactive webpage with active links and videos. You can also download the PDF which has ample space for taking notes.