AsIAm launches its Autism-Friendly Towns Programme for 2022/23

AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity, has officially launched its Autism-Friendly Towns Programme for 2022/23, an initiative that brings communities together to work to increase accessibility, understanding and acceptance for Autistic people in towns across Ireland.  

AsIAm work with communities to build infrastructure and support to make their town more inclusive and ultimately autism friendly. The initiative, launched in 2018, sees towns seek accreditation by providing the necessary tools and measures that include reducing sensory simulation and undertaking staff training to improve understanding of autism across local businesses, clubs and schools. Currently Autistic people across Ireland face significant barriers with only 40% of Irish people claiming to have a ‘good’ understanding of Autism whilst 60% of people associate negative connotations with Autism. Autism Research AsIAm  

Autistic people across towns and villages in Ireland want to be afforded the same chance in every aspect of life, from going to school and making friends, to finding a job and accessing public services.  This year 19 towns* have signed up to the programme where they will recruit a certain percentage of businesses, public services, and voluntary and sporting organizations in their towns as “Autism-Friendly Champions”.

Whilst COVID-19 caused huge disruption for Autistic people and local communities, this year AsIAm will present awards to a number of communities in recognition of their progress:

  • Clane – Community Education Award
  • Castlebar – Inclusive Events Award
  • Skerries – Community Engagement Award
  • Tralee – Sensory & Communication Accessibility Award

Commenting on the launch of the programme, Adam Harris, CEO of AsIAm said:

The Autism-Friendly Towns Programme is being supported by a private philanthropist and has secured funding for the next 3 years.

For parents, educators, community members and those who want to learn more about Autism then the annual AsIAm National Conference on the 4th February at The Grand Hotel, Malahide is the perfect event to learn more. Tickets are priced €80.93 and can be purchased at Eventbrite.ie – spaces are limited so people are advised to book asap.   

 

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