Part of AsIAm’s work of being Ireland’s National Autism Charity is to provide autism training for businesses, employers, public sector organisations, educational settings and of course, the general public.
In order for society to fully include autistic people, it is necessary to mainstream knowledge of the condition. A peer in school may need to know how to effectively communicate with an autistic person whilst a doctor may need to understand how to effectively treat a patient who is on the autism spectrum. We provide a suite of training targeting a wide array of people and professionals. All businesses and public services in Ireland are required under the Disability Act to be accessible for people with disabilities. However often organisations struggle to meet the access needs of autistic people due to a lack of information on what is involved.
Autism-friendly practice is defined in our training as:
“being aware of social engagement and environmental factors affecting people on the autism spectrum, with modifications to communication methods and physical space to better suit an individual’s unique support needs.”
In short, it means being open to making changes to empower an autistic person to participate in society. It also means you are recognising the fact that the autistic person has already had to make a lot of adjustments in order to deal with the world around them, and you are open and willing to make the necessary adjustments to include autistic people.
Our autism training helps to close this gap, over the course of which you’ll receive easy to understand, up to date information on what autism is (and isn’t!), the diverse ways it can manifest and how it may contribute to a different experience using a service or visiting a space than it would in a non-autistic service user. Based on this, we offer guidelines on best practice to encourage autism understanding, acceptance and (most importantly) access within your organisation.