The Andrews Labor Government has established Australia’s first social behaviour change campaign to promote better understanding and inclusion of autistic people.
Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan today launched the new $2.8 million public education campaign Change Your Reactions with Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie.
Change Your Reactions encourages Victorians to recognise some of the challenges that autistic people face and to understand the impacts of community actions and reactions.
It focuses on helping Victorians to be more open to learning about autism and how to be supportive.
Amaze worked with autistic Victorians and their families on the campaign which includes a mix of advertising across TV and radio, digital and social media and most importantly features actors with autism.
A recent Amaze survey shows that despite widespread awareness of autism, only 29 per cent of people said they know how to support an autistic person.
The campaign is part of the Labor Government’s Victorian Autism Plan, released last year. The plan sets out actions to provide autistic Victorians greater opportunities for choice and community participation, backed by $7.1 million in funding.
Amaze is a peak body for autistic Victorians and their families and provides advocacy, services and supports.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan
“A lack of community understanding is one of the main barriers that can lead to autistic Victorians missing out on opportunities in life.”
“We want Victorians to know some of the ways autism can impact people, and the helpful ways in which they can respond, to build greater understanding and inclusion.”
Quotes attributable to Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie
“Many autistic people have reported being treated harshly and judged unfairly by the public in the way they are described and how people react to them.”
“Our aim is for a better understanding of how autistic people experience autism so others are less judgemental. It’s about being curious, not critical.”
Reviewed 30 July 2020