In the week of 2 October, we’re supporting The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour which aims to create a more autism-friendly world, and if you can, you should get involved too!
NAS informs us that for autistic people, the world can seem full of too much information – and too little understanding, making the world a terrifying and isolating place. An astonishing “64% of autistic people and their families avoid even going out to the shops. Shops can be too loud, glaringly bright and overwhelming for autistic people.”
Autism Hour will see a number of shops, restaurants and other businesses take simple steps for 60 minutes that are autism-friendly, such as dimming the lights, turning down music and helping customers understand. These simple changes will make a world of difference to autistic people and raise awareness within the public, as we know it can be easy to overlook or be unaware of the difficulties autism can cause.
We’re hoping that a little thoughtfulness and understanding during Autism Hour will encourage regular change within our daily lives, making the world a more inclusive and less terrifying place for autistic people.
What we’re doing
About 20% of the people we support are autistic and we’re committed to improving their lives in any way possible. The NAS’s Autism Hour is a great opportunity to demonstrate this. We will:
- have a dedicated hour of reduced noise at Group Support.
- focus on being clear and concise.
- participate in multiple activities throughout the week to raise maximum awareness within the company and externally.
- host a number of internal talks by our Autism Specialism Implementer. Raj will introduce our enhanced autism specialism and raise awareness with colleagues about what it is like to be autistic. He'll provide helpful tips on what we can do to make a difference to autistic people’s lives.
Our local teams will tailor their involvement to meet the needs of the people they work with and we suggest they find out whether anything is happening locally using the NAS’ map of companies taking part.
We are encouraging as many people to as possible to make little changes to their behaviour and/or environment during the week Autism Hour is taking place. NAS have given out a list of simple activities that aim to make the world more autism-friendly. These include:
- At work: sending agendas out in advance, giving people time and space when they seem anxious and making instructions clear.
- At the shops: being patient, offering people who appear distressed to go in front of you at the checkout.
- With other autistic people: share your experiences to help others understand, start a conversation with someone about their interests.
How will you take action?