This page has guidelines that researchers can follow to make their research accessible and inclusive for their participants.
Top 5 tips for good research practice:
- Respect your participants. Always have respect for, and listen to, participants before, during and after the research takes place. This includes, for example, the terminology you use to talk about autism, carefully considering those who self-identify as autistic, people who prefer non-verbal communication, children who don't know about their diagnosis or trans and non-binary participants when you design your research study.
- Send information in advance. To reduce your participants potential anxiety about taking part you should send detailed explanations of what will be involved in advance. This could include directions and pictures/videos of the research space(s) where the research takes place and the researcher(s) participants will meet.
- Communicate clearly. Always be clear and unambiguous when communicating with participants. Avoid metaphors, idioms and sarcasm. Be precise, for example, about when an activity begins and how long it lasts.
- Accommodate sensory needs. Be mindful of and accommodate people's sensory needs, and be prepared to pause, stop or change research protocols where necessary.
- Keep working on accessibility. There are many steps involved in making the entire research process as accessible as possible so make a start on the things you can change now and keep working on incrementally improving you and your lab's practice over time.