With the support of Aspect Autism Friendly, Sydney and Gold Coast Airports have introduced several initiatives aimed at making travel more accessible and enjoyable for Autistic individuals and their families. These can be found below:
The Aspect Research Centre for Autism Practice (ARCAP) is conducting research to better understand and improve the travel experiences of Autistic individuals and their families through direct feedback and insights.
Our goal is to enhance the airport experience for Autistic travellers and their companions. We believe that by understanding the current travel experiences of Autistic individuals, we can identify effective practices and areas needing improvement.
What are the travel experiences of Autistic individuals? How can we make airports a more welcoming space for everyone?
We are looking for Autistic adults, as well as parents or caregivers travelling with their Autistic child (of any age), who will be departing from Sydney or Gold Coast Airport from 1 April 2024 to 30 June 2024.
- Before Your Trip: Complete an expression of interest form (approximately 5-10 minutes) to share some initial information.
- After Your Trip: Share your travel experience through an interview tailored to your communication preferences (e.g., Microsoft Teams, phone, text), lasting approximately 20-30 minutes.
Making a difference
The insights gained from this research are intended to inform practical improvements in airport environments, not only at Sydney and Gold Coast Airports but potentially at other airports as well. Working alongside Aspect Autism Friendly, we aim to use these findings to make subtle yet impactful changes to how airports cater to Autistic individuals and their families. This effort is about understanding specific needs and addressing them in ways that can make a real difference in the travel experience. By doing so, we hope to contribute to a broader movement towards more inclusive and accessible travel for everyone.
Dr Chris Edwards, Aspect Research Centre for Autism Practice (ARCAP)
Dr Abbey Love, ARCAP
Dr Ru Ying Cai, ARCAP
Dr Vicki Gibbs, ARCAP
The ethical components of this research have been approved by Griffith University (GU ref no: 2023/860)
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)