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Autism-Friendly Communities

People with autism are often excluded from their own communities through lack of understanding. Autism-Friendly communities enable people with autism and their families to engage with local services and resources in a positive way. These communities may include public services, workplaces or facilities used by people with autism, such as health service, retail outlets, public transport or leisure venues.

Creating an autism-friendly environment can be simple and low cost, and there are many success stories giving confidence that all sorts of organisations can achieve this.

From April 2015 Autism East Midlands were one of 5 delivery partners for the Connect to Autism initiative: an innovative project by the Autism Alliance UK and the Department of Health to improve public awareness and understanding of autism. As part of this work Autism East Midlands delivered training to over 2,000 people within our local communities and beyond, and now continue this as part of our core business.

Some of the Partnerships developed in the initiative

  • Riding for the Disabled
  • Unison
  • De Montfort University

“This training should be mandatory for all staff. It was extremely useful and it has been well accepted. The Chief of Nottinghamshire Police has fully backed the training and hopefully there will be more opportunity” Nottinghamshire Police

“We now know how to adapt to customers on the autistic spectrum.” Wilkinson’s

“The training gave me more understanding of the strengths of a person with autism. Now I shall be much more confident supporting these clients.” Barnsley CCG

“We need to find a way to bring the Charter into our organisation.” Rolls Royce

“The organisation now considers adjustments for customers use, current employees and recruitment of new staff.” Next PLC

“I’ve now changed a few ways I do things to be more prepared for an autistic child in a session.” FitC, Nottingham

“This course gave me much more confidence and a much better insight into how to help people with autism.” Butlins

“I would like to be able to discuss with someone 1:1 about what we should change in our specific service.” NHS Trust

“This training means changes to our organisation! Better Menus, staff training, signage, photos etc.” Peppercorns Catering (Leicester)

“This will give me a much better understanding of how children with autism see the world, and how I can behave around them. It shows me how much of a difference our dogs make for the child.” Support Dogs

“I had very little knowledge about autism. This training will help me to move policy on with regard to more staff training, our customer charter and employment initiatives.” YHA

“I am a parent and a sole carer for my 19 year old son who has severe autism and global development delay with extreme challenging behaviour. This training will help my son, and it will help my future I hope. I found some positives from this session.” YCH

“This will help me to identify with detainees with autism during their stay in custody. If I can relate to them I am going to be more proficient at taking care of their needs ensuring a safe and secure stay.” G4S Custody Officer