At least 1 in 100 Australians is autistic, with many more undiagnosed, and while 98% of Australians have heard of autism, only 4% of autistic people believe that others in the community know how to support them.
As part of our Community Partnership Program, Transdev Melbourne are proud to support Amaze, the peak body for people with autism in Victoria, and help raise awareness of autism and spread the word about Amaze’s new Autism Connect national phone line.
To date, Transdev has supported Amaze’s Change Your Reactions campaign by providing bus advertising and digital billboards across a number of locations in Melbourne. The campaign encourages members of the public to consider their reactions to autistic people in order to create a more inclusive and welcoming world.
Transdev has also helped raise awareness of Autism Connect, a new national telephone information service that supports autistic people, their families and caretakers and the community.
Public transport is for everyone and we need to be aware of, understand, and accept autistic people and be able to demonstrate this through our actions and the customer service we provide. As a public transport operator, we have a unique opportunity to help build this awareness and acceptance among the Victorian community.
Rachel Spencer, Interim Managing Director at Transdev Melbourne
Many autistic people feel they are treated harshly and judged unfairly by the community, particularly in the way they are described and how people react to them. It is important for Victorians to remind themselves that autistic people are not disabled by their autism, but mostly by how others respond to it.
Fiona Sharkie, Chief Executive Officer at Amaze
Simple actions people can do to change their reaction to people with autism include; not staring or judging, providing help when someone needs it, talking directly to the person, allowing people additional time to process information and allowing space to stim – repeat behaviors or movements that help keep people with autism calm such as fidgeting, rocking or talking to themselves.