World Autism Awareness Week is celebrated in April. It is a great chance for everyone – including leisure and tourism businesses and charities – to raise money and awareness of autism for The National Autistic Society.
You could use our hints and tips below to support the autistic visitors to your business or charity.
Creating an Autism Friendly Setting
- Marketing – ensure your promotional materials, social media and website let people know you offer an autistic friendly setting and how
- Website – ensure that information is clearly signposted and and downloadable and offer a FAQ
- Maps – offer maps showing areas of potential sensory overload (noisy areas/unexpected noises/extreme visuals), quiet areas and ensure that these are up-to-date
- Trails – create downloadable trails that are autism friendly
- Specialists – work with local and national autism societies and groups to develop your inclusivity
- Training – have all staff conduct autism friendly training – not just those working directly with people
- Information – through visual stories, maps and information about the setting, let visitors know what to expect
- Champions – make it clear through badges – or another visual – who they can approach that has an understanding of their needs
- Quiet Sessions – offer quiet sessions and days where people can avoid sensory overload – such as noise and crowds
- Quiet Space – offer spaces where people can escape from sensory overloads
- Warnings – through maps and warnings ensure people are pre-warned about visual or auditory displays
- Packs – offer packs with autistic friendly activities and objects – including ear defenders
- Trails – have trails that will enhance experience and understanding but not over stimulate
- Communicate – ensure that communication supports inclusivity – e.g. using PECS
- Evaluate – try to obtain feedback from autistic visitors and their families and friends – how can you improve?
- Continue – continue to improve and develop your offer using feedback and the good practice of others
- Partnerships – using partnerships with other settings and community groups can enhance your offer and give you ideas that will make a positive impact on your visitors
If you would like to know more about how to improve your setting and make it more inclusive to all the websites above have many posts, downloadable materials and useful guidelines.
Alternatively, we can support you with a thorough review of your provision and our inclusivity training
Exciting Education’s Dartmoor Ambassador
We are excited to announce our MD, Rebecca, as the Visit Dartmoor Ambassador for 2017. The following article is available on the Visit Dartmoor website at https://www.visitdartmoor.co.uk/visitor-info/visit-dartmoor-ambassadors. Although we have worked with Visit Dartmoor on their holiday calendars for families, Rebecca will now be working closely with the team to promote Dartmoor and share its wonders with you!
‘Our Visit Dartmoor Ambassador Rebecca Martin is an educational consultant and writer with an expert eye!
Rebecca is a consultant and writer who offers the ‘expert eye’ for businesses, companies and charities wanting to attract young customers and families. From creating educational activities, trails and workshops for tourist attractions that will inspire and enthrall children, to making hotels and restaurants more family friendly; With a wealth of experience in education and tourism, she knows how to create ‘the place to visit’ for children and families.
“I am so proud to be an Ambassador for Visit Dartmoor. To work with such a passionate team to promote Dartmoor is a dream come true.” Having grown up on Dartmoor with the ‘moor’ being her playground, Rebecca has a passion to help families utilise the amazing resource that is right on our doorstep. She has been working with Visit Dartmoor to create holiday calendars to encourage families to enjoy everything Dartmoor has to offer. Rebecca also writes fun Dahl-esk poetry and fiction to encourage children to fall in love with Dartmoor as she did as a child. These have been turned into workshops that are taken into schools, along with the other educational days her freelance consultants conduct.
She writes about parenting and education for a variety of magazines, including the local Tavy and Moor Links Magazines. “My aim is to encourage parents and teachers to get outside and into their locality – including Dartmoor- with children through my writing and regular ‘What’s On’ guides.’
In the Office
Her consultancy clients include local authorities and governments offices, magazines and a variety of tourism businesses. Rebecca uses her wealth of experience gained from years as a teacher, consultant and Ofsted Inspector to gently guide her clientele; helping them see themselves through the eyes of a child. She supports them in understanding how to market to their target audience, how to make important changes that improve their provision for families and most importantly, how to gain more custom.’
If you want to contact us about our consultancy, writing or find out more about what we do, please e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org; follow us on Twitter @excitinged or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ExcitingEducation/