The National Autistic Society's BIG survey is now live!

Click here to take part

The BIG Survey.Since 2015, we’ve asked you for your feedback through an annual survey: it’s not the only way we find out what you think, but it’s the most significant. Last year, we heard from over 6,500 autistic people and their families, and from the professionals who work with or support autistic people. And this year we hope that even more of you will participate.

What you tell us is vital. It helps us make sure we’re campaigning on the things that matter to you. It allows us to check that our information and advice is what you’re looking for at the key stages of your life. And it helps us develop the training and conferences that will have the most impact on professionals’ autism practice.

Last year, both autistic people and families told us that our work challenging perceptions of autism in society was the thing you value most about our charity’s work – closely followed by the website.

We challenge public perceptions mainly through our ground-breaking Too Much Information (TMI) campaign. It’s reached millions of people across the UK and you have helped shape the campaign by telling us about the places that need to be more autism friendly and the groups in society that need to understand autism better. That’s why, last autumn, the TMI campaign turned to employers to begin closing the Autism Employment Gap. This month we also launched the first nationwide, mass-participation National Autistic Society Autism Houraimed at making shops and other public-facing facilities more autism-friendly.

The BIG survey asked you about things you’d like us to do differently. You told us we should be clearer about how we support autistic adults to ensure we're communicating about, and with, people of all ages and across the autism spectrum. Among other changes, we’ve now re-launched our online community and are taking even more care to check our communications are properly representative of autistic children and adults.

You told us we need to make it easier for you to contact us and to know where we can help – and where we can’t, so you aren’t simply left frustrated. We’ll keep developing the website, our contact centre and the Autism Helpline to meet these needs as resources allow.

Sometimes, we can simply do things differently – for instance we’re very grateful to our volunteers who allow our contact centre to respond to more of your enquiries: already helping with one in five. And we’re continuing to work to make the website more user-friendly to ensure it has the information you need, presented in the way you need it.

We often need more resources to bring about the changes you’re looking for, but your feedback can help with this too. The more you can tell us about what would make a difference to your lives, the stronger our case is to funders and commissioners.

So, thank you to everyone who completed last year’s survey. We know many people struggled to complete it all, so this year it’s shorter. There’s a lot we want to find out, so it’s still BIG, but do complete it if you can: we really want to know what’s important to you, and what you think about all that we do.

Click here to take part