Autism Friendly Communities
The Autism Friendly Town initiative follows a series of principles aimed at fostering autism inclusion and empowerment in local communities. These are referred to as the Autism Friendly Town Commitment and includes:
- Creating a 3-year charter inclusion plan
- Undergoing understandable staff training
- Each participating business must create a social story
- Undergo an Environmental evaluation
- Participating businesses must be assistance dog-friendly
- The community must commit to enacting at least one change in the community
(Image: Naoise Culhane Photography)
What does becoming Autism-Friendly involve?
In following these principles, it is important that interested communities understand the purpose behind them. This involves an awareness of the main barriers to inclusion for autistic people, including:
- Predictability and control
- Sensory processing
- Judgement and attitudes
AsIAm have developed a central framework to assist and guide applicants throughout this process. Included within this are a resource pack and training modules for different parts of the project, namely for planning meetings, producing materials and creating autism-friendly spaces. A Committee for each interested community will oversee the Commitment’s implementation within their respective area.
An Autism-Friendly Towns Coordinator, funded by SuperValu, will play a key role in mentoring interested communities to achieve their accreditation. This role will guide each committee along the process and to ensure The Autism Friendly Town Commitment principles are being followed.
Support will be assessed through a series of one-to-one calls, webinars and additional supports when/if required. We will also support towns by visiting your autism-friendly town committee once for in-person training.
As part of the accreditation process AsIAm will make 3 visits to each participating town for your town launch, in-person committee training and adjudication. Additional visits can be arranged at a fee through the Autism Friendly Town’s Coordinator.
What costs are involved?
Registration is free for this initiative, however in order to fully implement a project of this nature, it is important to note that some costs may be incurred throughout this project. Autism friendly town committees will be required to fundraise for those expenses.
Please note that applications are closed–although, we can certainly help prepare you for when they reopen! We invite you to connect with us through the application form, and we look forward to continuing the journey towards an autism-friendly Ireland with you.
Please keep an eye on this page for updates.