What is Allyship?

Allyship is the active process of understanding, supporting, and uplifting the voices and experiences of marginalised individuals or communities. 

It involves recognising your own privilege, addressing systemic inequalities, and using your position to promote change. 

As an ally, you serve as a bridge between the privileged and the marginalised, amplifying the voices of those who are often silenced or ignored.

Why Allyship matters

In a world filled with diverse perspectives, experiences, and cultures, allyship plays a vital role in fostering unity and creating a more inclusive environment for all. By actively supporting marginalised groups, we can:

  1. Contribute to a more equitable society
  2. Break down stereotypes and prejudices
  3. Promote understanding and empathy
  4. Create safer spaces for open dialogue and growth
  5. Encourage others to engage in allyship

Tips for becoming a supportive ally to Autistic individuals

Becoming an ally to Autistic individuals is an ongoing journey that requires constant learning, reflection, and action. Here are some key steps to help you become a more effective ally:

  1. Educate Yourself: Understand the experiences, challenges, and history of Autistic individuals. Seek out resources, books, articles, and podcasts that discuss Autism and neurodiversity from an Autistic perspective.
  2. Listen and Learn: Engage in conversations with Autistic people, actively listen to their experiences, and be open to learning from their perspectives. Remember that Autism is a spectrum, and each individual’s experience is unique.
  3. Respect Language Preferences: Some Autistic individuals prefer identity-first language (e.g., “Autistic person”), while others may prefer person-first language (e.g., “person with Autism”). Respect each person’s preference and adapt your language accordingly.
  4. Speak Up: Use your voice to challenge ableist behaviour, educate others, and support Autistic voices. Share and promote the work of Autistic advocates, writers, and artists.
  5. Reflect on Your Privilege: Acknowledge your own privileges as a neurotypical person and how they may contribute to systemic inequalities faced by Autistic individuals.
  6. Practice Humility: Be open to feedback and recognise that your understanding of Autism will always be limited compared to those who experience it firsthand.
  7. Act: Participate in actions that support Autistic individuals, such as donating to Autistic-led organisations, volunteering, and advocating for policy changes that promote inclusivity and accessibility.
  8. Promote Inclusive Environments: Encourage and support the creation of inclusive spaces, both in your personal and professional life, by promoting sensory-friendly accommodations, clear communication, and patience.
  9. Be Mindful of Sensory Needs: Understand that Autistic individuals may have different sensory needs and be prepared to accommodate those needs in your interactions and shared spaces.
  10. Challenge Stereotypes: Break down harmful stereotypes about Autism by promoting accurate, respectful, and nuanced representations of Autistic experiences.

By embracing these principles of allyship, you can contribute to a more inclusive, equitable, and just society for Autistic individuals and their families.


Young girl with headphones on standing up and looking off camera towards the right.

Jessica, a High School Teacher

Jessica, a high school teacher, noticed that her student, Oliver, an Autistic teenager, was struggling with the noise level and chaotic environment during lunch breaks. 

She advocated for a designated quiet space in the school where Oliver and other students with sensory sensitivities could find solace. Jessica also encouraged her fellow teachers to include visual aids and clear instructions in their lessons to better accommodate diverse learning styles.

Aiden, a Co-worker

Aiden worked alongside Mia, an Autistic colleague, in their office’s customer service department. 

Recognising that Mia had excellent attention to detail and problem-solving skills but sometimes found phone interactions overwhelming, Aiden proposed a team restructure that allowed Mia to focus on email and chat-based customer support. As a result, Mia thrived in her new role, and the entire team benefited from her unique strengths.

Young girl with headphones on standing up and looking off camera towards the right.
Young girl with headphones on standing up and looking off camera towards the right.

Fatima, a Friend

When Fatima learned that her close friend, Priya, had been diagnosed with Autism, she took the initiative to educate herself about the spectrum and the unique challenges that Priya might face. 

Fatima began to understand Priya’s sensory needs better and made an effort to suggest activities that accommodated them. Fatima also made a point to use the communication style that Priya found most comfortable and encouraged their mutual friends to do the same.

Connor, a Sibling

Connor’s younger brother, Liam, is Autistic and has always had a passion for technology. Connor used his social media presence to share Liam’s achievements and talents, helping to break down stereotypes about Autism. 

Connor also supported Liam by attending advocacy events together, giving Liam the opportunity to connect with other Autistic individuals and find a sense of belonging.


Young girl with headphones on standing up and looking off camera towards the right.
Young girl with headphones on standing up and looking off camera towards the right.

Sarah, an Event Organiser

Sarah, an event organiser, learned that one of the guest speakers at her upcoming conference was Autistic. To ensure a comfortable and accessible experience, Sarah consulted with the speaker about their specific needs and preferences. 

She provided clear directions to the venue, created a sensory-friendly break room, and offered alternative communication methods, like text-based Q&A sessions. By doing so, Sarah created a more inclusive event for everyone involved.

Henry, a Neighbour

Henry’s Autistic neighbour, Emily, had a passion for gardening but often felt overwhelmed by the noise and commotion at the local community garden. Realising this, Henry reached out to the community garden’s organisers and collaborated with them to establish designated quiet hours. 

During these hours, the garden would limit noise and activity levels to create a more welcoming space for Emily and others with sensory sensitivities.

Young girl with headphones on standing up and looking off camera towards the right.