Good business: creating an autism-friendly community using the SERVICE principles
Disability and Society
This article discusses the characteristics of enabling and autism-friendly environments and outlines how one community co-enacted research to become autism-friendly. The project was a co-production between members of the autistic and autism communities and local business/service members. Data collected during this participatory action research to develop a set of principles for autism-friendliness were analyzed to ensure the resulting principles could meet the needs of the local autistic community and be realistically applied by varied businesses. Through the exploration of literature, the lived experiences of members of the local community and the use of walk-through observations by two autistic research assistants, the SERVICE principles were developed. A website (https://www.autismfriendlycommunities.com) was co-developed to showcase the principles and provide examples of how to apply them to any environment and/or work practices to become more autism-friendly for low or no-cost. This article discusses the development of the principles and the co-production process.