Empower Autism

For Volunteering Organisations – Engaging Autistic Volunteers

Welcome to your journey to becoming a more inclusive and accessible volunteering organisation!

Participation in volunteering is an excellent way for autistic people to contribute to the social and economic life of their community, to build their confidence and self-belief, and to thrive in life. Autistic people, through their diversity, can bring valuable and unique skills and experience to the volunteering sector. However, to make this experience positive, we need to firstly understand the barriers to volunteering that currently exist for autistic people and then work together to overcome these barriers. The benefits of a truly diverse volunteer organisation, that includes autistic volunteers, are immense for both the volunteer and the volunteer organisation.

This guide and the accompanying resources have been developed as practical tools, tips and information aimed at building the capacity of volunteer organisations to attract, engage, support and retain autistic volunteers. The guide takes you through three steps, each aiming to provide you with simple and practical tools to increase your organisations accessibility and engagement with the autistic community.  These include:

Step 1
A Shared Understanding
Printable Guide
Step 2
Attracting & Engaging
Printable Guide
Step 3
Onboarding, Supporting & Retaining
Printable Guide
About this Resource

We encourage you to work through each section progressively given each step builds on the last. If you want to extend your knowledge in a particular area, we have provided links to External Resources which you can download.

Throughout your journey, we aim to create:

  • A more accessible volunteering environment for the autistic community
  • Increased confidence to attract and engage autistic volunteers
  • Easy to use tools and resources to implement change
  • Greater access to volunteers from a diverse range of backgrounds and strengths

You will note that there is an absence of medical and clinical language when describing autism in these resources. This is intentional, as we approach autism from the social model of disability, emphasising the strengths and unique characteristics of the autistic community while trying to enact societal change by addressing and removing unintentional barriers that may exist. You can find out more about the social model of disability from People with Disability Australia.

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