1st Edition

Autism Friendly Business Serving Neurodiverse Customers

By Jennifer Percival Copyright 2023
    166 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    166 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    166 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    Designed as a guidebook for leaders at the beginning of their journey embracing neuroinclusion, Autism Friendly Business: Serving Neurodiverse Customers will provide business owners, executives, managers, team members, and associates the tools to integrate strategies and techniques that will enhance their business, while improving the delivery of a quality experience for all. Autistic individuals often experience barriers when engaging with businesses. This book provides solutions and examples on how leaders can remove obstacles to develop supportive and inclusive environments.

    PART 1: Why?

    Chapter 1: Why Us? and Where are We Now?

    • *Reflect and Discuss
    • DEIA: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility
    • *Evaluate Your Business

    Chapter 2: Why We Need to Engage Others

    • What is the Time Commitment?
    • How Do We Pay for This?
    • Financial Benefits
    • When You Meet with Resistance

    Chapter 3: Why Listening is Powerful

    • Customer Satisfaction Survey

    *A customer satisfaction survey can help you gather baseline data about a person’s experience at your business as a customer. Responses can guide organizational change or help shape customer information questions needed to improve accessibility.

    PART 2: THE WHO: People with Autism, Leaders, and Community Partners

    Chapter 4: Let’s Talk a Bit about Autism

    *Quiz (Pre/Post Test): A Brief Quiz on Autism

    • Basic Diagnostic Information
    • Prevalence
    • Characteristics
    • Difference Versus Deficit
    • Neurodiversity
    • Hard Conversations

    *Pre/Post-Test Quiz Answers

    Chapter 5: Training

    • What Training Does My Team Need?

    *Worksheet: Questions (and answers) for Potential Training Providers and Consultants

    • How to Continue the Conversation

    Chapter 6: Create Your Inclusion Team: Community Partners Are Key

    • Develop Your Inclusion Team

    *Worksheet: Create Your Inclusion Team

    • Potential Community-Based Team Members
    • Location and Timeframe for Meetings
    • Inclusion Team Meeting Agenda
    • Sample Inclusion Team Meeting Agenda
    • Team Collaborations and Projects
    • Regional or Statewide Inclusion Teams


    Chapter 7: Getting Started

    *Worksheet: What Does Inclusion Look Like for Your Business?

    Chapter 8: Environmental Modifications

    • Sight
    • Hearing
    • Touch
    • Smell
    • Taste
    • Temperature
    • Spatial
    • Sensory Spaces

    *Worksheet: Design Your Space

    Chapter 9: Communication Techniques

    • First Point of Contact
    • Universal Design
    • Website
    • Using Direct Communication
    • One-On-One Communication

    *Meeting Agenda Template

    Chapter 10: Visual Supports

    *Sample Visual Support Template

    *Sample Visual Support Incorporating Directions

    *Sample Visual Support Where Graphics Are Incorporated into Existing Document

    Chapter 11: Social Stories

    • What is a Social Story?
    • What Must a Social Story Contain?
    • How Can I Create a Social Story?

    *Sample Social Story

    Chapter 12: Designing Large-Scale Events

    Chapter 13: An Example: Libraries

    • Sensory Library Spaces
    • Sensory Friendly Browsing
    • Autism Friendly Programming

    *Sample Autism Friendly Program Registration Form

    • Sensory Friendly Movie Night
    • Sensory Friendly Story Time

    Chapter 14: Summer Camp Inclusion/IRPs

    *IRP (Individualized Recreational Program) Sample:

    Chapter 15: Employment and HR Tips

    • Conclusion: Share with Others
    • Success Stories
    • Conference/Expo
    • Declaring You Are an Autism Friendly Business
    • Tell the World

    Appendix: Implementation Examples

    • 911/999 Emergency Registry
    • An Artist Illustrates the City Calendar
    • Autism Friendly Nature Area
    • Inclusive/Barrier Free Playground
    • Autism Day of Fun
    • Outreach and Giveaways
    • Emergency Shelters
    • Support Social Enterprise and Familial Entrepreneurship
    • Agency Fair
    • First Responder Event
    • Economic/Business Initiative
    • Autism Awareness Month Proclamation and "Light it up Blue"
    • Fundraise for Your Initiative and Support Others
    • Create a Website or Social Media Page


    Jennifer Percival, Ph.D., CRC Dr. Jennifer Percival is the Assistant Director of Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. She holds a Doctorate from FAU in Educational Leadership and Research Methodology with a research area of Disability Studies. She is a Nationally Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, published author, expert on inclusion, disability employment strategies, and the transition experience. Jennifer is a sought-after speaker and presenter, and a consultant on program development. Jennifer created the FAU CARD Autism Friendly Business and Cities program and the Developmental Disability Small Business Network. She is the founder and coordinator of the world’s only Autism Friendly Cities Institute. She serves on the Royal Caribbean International Autism Advisory Board, the South Florida Business Leadership Network Board, the CareerSource Palm Beach County Youth Employment Board, the City of Boynton Beach ADA and Inclusion Board, Palm Beach County’s Special Needs Advisory Council, the Palm Beach Council for In Transition Youth, and the Treasure Coast Transition Council. Jennifer was the 2019 Florida Graduate Research Symposium second place state-wide winner for disability-specific dissertation research. She was the state of Florida’s Workforce System’s Barbara Griffin Workforce Excellence Award winner in 2017, FAU’s Lifelong Learning Society Lunafest Scholarship recipient in 2017, and FAU’s College of Education North Campus Student of the Year in 2016. Prior to working at FAU, Jennifer divided her career between the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Florida Department of Children and Families. Jennifer is a community leader who develops infrastructure through her work with collaborations and regional planning, while assisting professionals and individuals with program improvement, planning, and strategic implementation.