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Fostering inclusive practices in the NDIS community: A call to action for Autism Spectrum Disorder awareness month and beyond

By Marny Bykerk

This April, we have an opportunity to reflect on how we can best support individuals with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Understanding their unique needs and strengths is crucial for creating a more inclusive community. As NDIS professionals, we play a pivotal role in shaping environments that embrace individuals with ASD. According to Amaze Australia (2024), “ASD is a lifelong developmental disorder that affects how people behave and interact with the world around them.”

Did you know?

Around 1 in 100 Australians are autistic, and 85% of the community has a personal connection with an autistic person.

(Amaze Australia, 2024)

Through our collective efforts, we can foster a community where everyone on the spectrum feels welcome and understood. Autism affects social interactions, and each autistic person is unique, with distinct strengths and challenges. By recognising this diversity and embracing inclusivity, we can create a more supportive environment for all.

Enhancing Support for ASD Communities

The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS) provide a strong foundation for fostering inclusivity. The core principle of “Partnering with Consumers” emphasises collaboration with the individuals we support. Imagine the empowerment of having a direct voice in shaping the support services you receive. By advocating for comprehensive ASD education and training programs for all staff, we equip ourselves with the knowledge and understanding to create a more supportive workplace practices and supportive environments for participants

Support networks are vital for individuals with ASD and their families. Connecting individuals to these networks and guiding them through available services empowers individuals to take charge of their care. Witnessing someone similar thriving can be transformative, illustrating the collective impact we can achieve.

Empowering Individuals with ASD

Collaboration is key. Fostering partnerships within our organisations, across disciplines, and with external service providers unlocks the potential for a more holistic support system for individuals with ASD. Working together ensures that every individual’s needs and preferences are met with care and consideration. Our commitment to inclusivity extends beyond our organisations. We must advocate for the rights and inclusion of individuals with ASD in our wider communities. Upholding the principle of “Partnering with Consumers” means actively engaging individuals with ASD and their families in community initiatives, workshops, and awareness campaigns, and furthermore, acceptance campaigns.

Let’s work together this April and beyond to create a world where everyone on the spectrum thrives!


Amaze. (2024). What is Autism. Amaze. Retrieved from https://www.amaze.org.au/about-autism/what-is-autism/

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. (2021). National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (2nd ed., Version 2). Sydney: ACSQHC.

About the author

Marny Bykerk is the Regional Support Lead at KEO Care, known for her thoughtful approach. With many years of experience in the disability sector as an occupational therapist and early intervention key worker, Marny has developed expertise in developmental delay, neurodiversity and family-centred practice.