Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Embrace diverse minds and be Open to Autism

The ‘Be Open to Autism’ Campaign has been launched within the Tasmanian market to invite curiosity and positive action around the neuro-diverse community.

Using exaggerated and humorous scenarios, the campaign is designed to highlight how bland and uninspiring the world would be if everything was the same, and the audience is encouraged to embrace diversity and celebrate what makes people unique. It goes on to invite neoro-typical people and businesses to find out more about the Learning and Development Programs on offer through Autism Tasmania, and introduces the National Assistance Card – Autism Trial (Tasmania) to both the Autistic Community as well as the rest of community.

National Assistance Card, Autism Trial (Tasmania)

Autism Tasmania invites members of the Tasmanian autistic community to participate in the National Assistance Card Autism Trial (Tasmania).

We are excited about this opportunity because the National Assistance Card is designed to make it much easier for people to communicate their unique needs for understanding and / or assistance. It is also an important step toward fostering greater community awareness and acceptance of autism.

Across Australia, the National Assistance Card is available for people living with brain injury.
In Tasmania only, the National Assistance Card is now available for autistic people too.

The Autism Trial has been developed with and for the autistic community.
A team of 12 autistic community members, family members and carers formed the Autism trial Advisory Group and together tailored the National Assistance Card to meet the needs of the Autistic community and developed:
– the set of standardised wording of the most common autistic traits
– the communication resources for their community and the broader community

What is the National Assistance Card?

The National Assistance Card is a personalised Card designed to:

  • Help cardholders communicate their unique challenges and the assistance
    they may need.
  • Help cardholders communicate their strengths.
  • Give cardholders greater independence.
  • Assist cardholders to feel more confident in everyday social situations.
  • Enhance community understanding of autism.
  • Support positive community interaction with cardholders.
Promo image

The trial commences from 1 September 2022 and will be evaluated for further development after 6 months.
The evaluation will find out how to improve the benefits of the National Assistance Card for autistic people and importantly inform decisions on future funding and expansion to others. The National Assistance Card Service hope that, in the future, the Card will be available to all people in Australia with disability and health conditions.

What does the National Assistance Card include?

The cardholder chooses the information on their card.
The Card includes a cardholder’s:

  • First and last name
  • Photo and date of birth
  • Nominated contact person’s name and phone number
    (A cardholder can choose if this person is contacted).

Also printed on the Card:

  • Up to five areas of difficulty chosen by the cardholder
    (for example: communication, sensory overload, processing information)
  • A QR code providing access to additional information (written or personalised video)
    that the cardholder has chosen to include
  • The Police Assistance Line phone number.

What does the Card look like?

NAC example NAC example

Information for the autistic & general community

Contact Autism Tasmania to ask any questions about tailoring for the Autistic community:

Contact the National Assistance Card Service for application system assistance:

Useful Downloads:

Autistic Community Brochure, PDF download.
Learn what to do when a person shares their card with you, PDF download.

Autism Tasmania Learning & Development programs

The Autistic community is at the center of Autism Tasmania’s mission to create the right conditions for autistic
Tasmanians to achieve. Our Learning & Development (L&D) Program delivers this mission.

Our L&D Autistic Community Program works to develop Autistic people, their parents, families, and carers to learn new skills and gain confidence. Find out more about our Autistic Community Program and access free parent, family & carer workshops here.

Our L&D Professional Development Program works to develop individuals and organisations, equipping them with
knowledge, skills & confidence (capacity building) because they can make a huge difference to the Autistic Community.

Our professional development program provides three options:

For further information please contact

  • Email:
  • Phone: (03) 6722 5000
  • Our champions stories and participant testimonials

    Pen Brake is a member of the National Assistance Card Autism Trial Advisory Group and is the first person to receive their card. Pen has kindly agreed to be a champion to help others and shares why she believes the National Assistance Card is important for the autistic community.

    “While I was in high school I was struggling immensely with depression and coming to terms with my autism diagnosis. The school gave me a card I could show to teachers when I was in class and felt I needed to have a time out or seek support outside the classroom. The beauty of that card was that it came with the recognition of my disability in an official way, and it meant I did not have to explain myself and my autism every time I needed help. I see the National Assistance Card as similar to that card I was given in high school, but with much more scope.”

    “The National Assistance Card will mean that in times I may not be able to articulate my need for assistance I will be able to present the card to any trusted stranger and potentially get help and even understanding without having to explain what autism is and why I am behaving a certain way. I have used my QR code on the back of my card to explain to anyone who scans it how I act if I’m anxious, overwhelmed, or depressed, and what they can do to aid me in each of these circumstances. I could have chosen to explain more about my autism, but for me these three emotions reflect the most probable times when I will be unlikely to communicate my needs and so I elected to highlight these.”

    “I foresee that giving someone a card that explains why I need help and how will give me the confidence to be part of the community more actively. The card will help eliminate barriers to asking for assistance, and so give me the courage to step out of the safe space I have built for myself”.

    Donna Kenny expresses her view on the benefits of the National Assistance Card.
    “The card is a vital resource that makes it easier for everyone in the community to have an immediate and positive connection with an autistic person – in a way that person chooses! I also like the way it helps an autistic person to think about the type of understanding and assistance they might need in a number of different settings and to design their card to include the information they wish to share. Autism is not invisible, we are out there and a part of the community”.

    Annonymous – L&D participant
    Best Session I have attended.. This workshop was one of the most relevant, best delivered professional learning sessions that I have attended.”

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