Note: This option currently controls cookies on this site (www.autism.org.uk). It will be extended shortly so that the same setting covers our Community and Network Autism sites (May 2018).

What happens if I block cookies on the National Autistic Society's sites?

If you block non-essential cookies (using the option above)

  • We use analytics to track what users do on our sites and, for example, to understand which site areas and pages are most popular, and also which paths our visitors find useful for navigating around our pages. We will not be able to use your visits to help with this.
  • We work with social sites, such as Facebook, to alert you to our activities and services that may be relevant to you, via adverts on their sites. When you respond to these adverts and therefore come to this site, the partner social site will not be able to track your response, nor use it to offer more relevant adverts to you in future.
  • Many of our pages offer sharing tools, so that you can post comments about our information to social sites. These use cookies from the social sites, so we only offer these tools if you allow non-essential cookies.
  • We may use personalisation to show you links to pages that we believe may be of interest, on the basis of other pages that you have viewed. We will not be able to do this.

If you also block essential cookies

Because these cookies are needed so that our sites can work for you, we do not offer an option for you to block them. You can, if you wish, use browser facilities to block all cookies. If you do this, some of our key services and facilities will not work. For example:

  • Signing into the website (i.e. with username and password) and into the Community and Network Autism will not be possible.
  • In the shop, you will find that the site fails to remember the goods that you have put into your shopping basket.
  • The Autism Services Directory may not be reliable.
  • When you submit enquiry forms, the information may not be recorded successfully.
  • Personalisation features that you control will not work, such as the option at the top of the screen to set the nation in which you live, or some messages that you need to see because they relate to choices that you have made (for example, relating to a place that you are booking at a fundraising challenge event).
  • We have to set a cookie in order to remember your choice over non-essential cookies. Because we will be unable to do this, you will be asked on every page to consent to cookies being set.

What are 'cookies'?

A cookie is a small text file deposited on your computer's hard drive, that allows your choices and information to be remembered between one page and the next. Some examples of what cookies do are given above, where we tell you what will happen if you choose to block cookies. In general, the function of a cookie is to recognise you as you request successive pages; this then makes it possible for the site to access information about you that it has already stored in its own databases, from your previous page requests and forms. Cookies themselves often contain little more than a long string of letters and numbers that identify your visit to our sites, so that the site can look up this information. Your browser may give you tools to allow you to view the contents of the cookies that have been set by the sites that you have visited.

Each website can only access those cookies that it has created. We do not have access to the cookies from websites belonging to other organisations, and in turn other websites do not have access to cookies used by our websites. However, a page may contain components from more than one site. For example, where our sites make use of content and features provided by social sites, including for example Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, those sites may set their own cookies, and do the same on other sites that you visit. This may allow social sites to track you across multiple sites. If you choose to block non-essential cookies on our sites, we disable most of these features, and so prevent the cookies from being set.

More information

The Information Commissioner also has a page of information about cookies, including links to instructions on how you can use settings in your browser to control them.