This series of posters raise awareness of autism in the post-COVID Era. They expose the difficulties experienced by those on the autism spectrum exacerbated by COVID. By highlighting the psychological effects of the COVID19 Pandemic on society, one can draw poignant parallels between neurotypicals and those on the spectrum. For instance, the effects of social distancing measures, closing of non-essential services and forcing people to remain indoors have increased rates of depression, unemployment and loneliness, exposing a crisis in mental health care.
Although technology has now made it possible to bridge the gap in distancing, communication and productivity, it has limitations. It can never replace the human element of face to face encounters. It is not easy to pick up the nuances of body language in a virtual space. The picture doesn’t feel complete. It is not as comprehensive, readable or memorable. The experience often vaporises. The pandemic has put the rest of society into the shoes of an autistic person. There has been an exponential growth of counselling and telehealth services during COVID.
This collective experience of the pandemic has hopefully increased empathy and understanding of the complexities of social isolation, marginalisation and alienation. The infographic also raises awareness of this complexity and compares the autism unemployment rate to the COVID unemployment rate. It encourages employers to rethink their hiring strategies after the pandemic to employ workers who are autistic or have other disabilities. The posters and infographic were created using Adobe Illustrator, in Melbourne, Australia.