Why Enabling Spaces?

Imagine every day walking into your home or your workplace and it was in discord with who you are?

Imagine if every time you wanted to relax, to learn, to enjoy, you couldn’t.

“Every man’s home is his castle.” Imagine if your castle was full of dragons.

Imagine when the lights turned on, the dragons glared at you with eyes of fire. And when the temperature changed, those dragons spewed forth licking flames or paralysing ice. Dragons that smell so bad you didn’t want to breathe, that constantly lung at you, follow you, never leaving you in peace and everything was chaos – and you couldn’t escape.

Now imagine walking into a room where you felt at peace, you felt uplifted or excited, you felt calm or restful. You felt safe.

Spaces and places have the ability to create different feelings within ourselves. Spaces and places that are designed well, not only function in a practical way but have the ability to nurture our soul and cater to all of our individual needs.

People on the Autism spectrum are sensitive to many things in our environment that those of us who are neuro-typical don’t even notice. All environments should be designed with thought and care to ensure every member of our family and community is respected, nurtured and safe. Every single room should provide an environment where everyone is encouraged to thrive and wholeheartedly welcome.

Welcome to this online space, a place where I will share all things Autism-friendly spaces and places and Fellowship.

A little about us...

Building Designer. People Person.

Shelly Dival

Shelly Dival from Enabling Spaces is one of a handful of experts worldwide in this important and emerging approach to creating inclusive and nurturing buildings and spaces for people with ASD.

Shelly’s work is informed by her own research, including global research as a Churchill Fellow, and the research of others, her long career in building design and her first-hand experience with her grandson, Jacson, who has autism.

“Imagine a world where people with neuro-diversity thrive at home, work and play. Where our built environment supports this so everyone can reach for their stars and nobody is left behind”

If you are passionate about creating an enabling space at your home or work, or would like to learn more about the benefits, Shelly is available to assist you or your organisation through a choice of seminar and workshop sessions. Shelly is also available for bookings to present to your professional association or networking group.

Shelly is an accredited building designer with the BDAWA, a state design excellence award winner, and national award finalist. She has regularly judged for BDAWA, NABD, and HIA on state and national levels. She gives back to the industry by mentoring graduate designers and Architects. Shelly is a Churchill Fellow and currently sits on the board of the Churchill Fellows Association of WA.

Autism Friendly Building Designer

“The solutions I help individuals with can at times be simple, but at other times quite complex. By interpreting needs and providing enabling spaces through architecture, it complements and extends on services other professionals such as occupational therapists and teachers provide. For public spaces, which are complex, I use different methods to create environments for people with ASD and other neurological conditions, but the fact is, enabling spaces are really beneficial for everyone so it’s win-win.”

Intrepid Adventurer. Organiser. Assistant.

Jasmine Hart

As a recent graduate of Murdoch University, I've completed a Bachelor of Communications with a double major in Communication and Media Studies and English and Creative Writing. In 2015-16 I attended CEU Universidad San Pablo, a private university in the heart of Madrid, for a semester as part of the international exchange program to continue my education in digital communication in a global context. During my time at university, I have gained valuable skills in professional and creative writing, digital content and editing, and excellent critical analysis and communication skills. As a member of my university's PR student chapter, PURE (Public relations at Murdoch University), and during my time as a volunteer at WA AIDS Council, a local not for profit organisation, I've gained experience in social media and audio-visual content creation, curation and copywriting. I'm very excited and honoured to accompany Shelly during her Fellowship awarded research project travel, helping in any aspect that I can (sometimes that means squishing a tightly packed bag closed!).

Marketing & Communication

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