It’s Day 12 of #AsIAmChallenge and things have taken a big step up! Today we are challenging members of the public, businesses, schools and community organisations to conduct a sensory audit of their environment.
Autistic people can experience environments in a different way to those who are not autistic – some people experience sensory overload whilst others may need to engage in sensory seeking behaviour. Many autistic people also have “triggers” certain sensory experiences which can cause real distress and discomfort. As a result many environments are immensely uncomfortable or inaccessible for autistic people. The consequence is autistic people being cut off from public services, businesses and leisure activities – denied the right of access that other people can take for granted.
Indeed in 2016 our Youth Leadership Team Members, Ben Rowsome and Eleanor Walsh, described their experiences of these access barriers in Dublin to Newstalk’s Chris Donohoe and you can hear their experiences here.
Or you can check out this great video from the UK’s National Autistic Society below…
For non-autistic people it can be hard to identify the challenges in the environment or understand what changes are needed. Small changes in the environment can enable an autistic person’s participation and we bet make for a nicer experience for all too!
We have compiled a short, simple document on autism-friendly environments which will enable you to look at your own home or facility and how you can make it more inclusive!
The access needs of every autistic person will be different but we hope this process allows you to create an environment in which individuals are able to use their own skills and coping mechanisms to adapt to as needed and which allows you to describe the environment in advance to visitors.
You can access it at the link below – why not put it into action today and share your experiences with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #AsIAmChallenge. We will be sharing some examples of great sensory-friendly practise from businesses and organisations we visited in some video content later today! Stay tuned!
Let’s create lasting change this World Autism Month!